Faith Kearns

Scientist, California Institute for Water Resources

Faith Kearns is a scientist and science communication practitioner and author of Getting to the Heart of Science Communication. She is a scientist with the California Institute for Water Resources, where she writes about water, wildfire, climate change, and people. She previously served as an officer with the science division of the environment program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she collaborated with policy and advocacy staff to develop research projects and integrate scientific information into campaigns. Kearns has also managed a wildfire research and outreach center at the University of California, Berkeley, served as a AAAS Science and Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, and developed science communication projects at the Ecological Society of America.

Kearns' work has been published in New Republic, On Being, Bay Nature, and others. She is currently writing a book about science communication on emotional and contentious issues.  She received degrees in freshwater ecology and policy from the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.) and environmental science from Northern Arizona University (B.S.).

Live Event Appearances

Podcast Guest Appearances

The Land of Dreams and Drought

Jul 17 2019 - 6:30pm

The California dream, with its promise of never-ending sunshine, fertile soil and rivers running with gold, has been beckoning people west for over two hundred years. But making that dream come true for an ever-increasing population has taken its toll on the landscape. Is the California dream coming to an end?

California’s Story: How Did It Get Here?

California has long been on the frontlines of environmental protection. These days, however, the state is also on the frontlines of a destabilized climate, careening between record drought and extreme rainfall, while its largest electric utility shuts off power to more than a million residents to avoid more damage from climate-amplified megafires.

Finding the Heart to Talk About Climate

More than half of Americans surveyed by Pew have talked about climate change one to two times in recent weeks – and that number is even higher for Gen Z and Millenials. A majority of all groups surveyed think climate should be a top priority to ensure a sustainable future.

While that data may be encouraging, scientists have been ringing the alarm on climate disruption for decades. They often speak from their brains with facts and figures, as they’ve been trained to do. But that approach only goes so far.