Katherine R Clifford, Ph.D.


Katie Clifford is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Social Scientist at the Fort Collins Science Center. Her research examines human-environment relationships in the context of environmental change, with a focus on resource management. Her postdoc, which is jointly funded by the North Central and National CASCs, has two projects. The first is creating a rapid assessment method to better understand community impacts and vulnerabilities of drought and the second looks at the human dimensions of ecological transformation. Katie’s commitment to community-engaged scholarship come from a long history of working with stakeholders to co-produce research and conduct usable science. In a previous collaboration with the NCCASC, she contributed to Social-Ecological Climate Resilience (SECR) project in the Gunnison Basin of Colorado where she used scenario-driven focus groups to help natural resource managers consider a range of future conditions and better understand how stakeholders envisioned and responded to change. Katie received her masters and doctorate degrees in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


  • Ph.D. Geography, University of Colorado Boulder 2019
  • M.A. Geography, University of Colorado Boulder 2014
  • B.A. Environmental Studies, Macalester College 2009

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Fellow (Social Science), USGS Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO (2020-Present)
  • Project Manager, Vulnerability Consequences and Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS), Western Water Assessment, Boulder, CO (2018)
  • Research Social Scientist, Social-Ecological Climate Resilience (SECR) project, North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center. Fort Collins, CO (2014-2016).
  • Conservation Associate, Washington Wilderness Coalition, Seattle, WA (2010-2012)
  • Naturalist, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), Aspen, CO (2009-2010)


  • North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, Boulder, CO
  • Western Water Assessment, Boulder, CO