James Buizer

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Director, Climate Adaptation and International Development Institute for the Environment, University of Arizona
  • Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona
  • Research Scientist, Office of Arid Land Studies, University of Arizona

University of Arizona
845 N. Park Ave, Ste 532
Tucson, AZ 85721
Email: buizer@arizona.edu


James (Jim) Buizer is Founding Director of the Climate Adaptation and International Development Program in the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, where he also holds an appointment as Professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Prior to joining the University of Arizona, Jim was Science Policy Advisor to Arizona State University President Michael Crow, and Executive Director for Strategic Institutional Advancement in the Office of the President. He also held an appointment as Professor of Practice in Climate Adaptation Policy & Institutional Design in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, and was founding Director of the Center for Integrated Solutions to Climate Challenges.

Upon arriving Arizona State University in September 2003 until July 2007 Buizer served as founding Executive Director of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives in the Office of the President, where he led the conceptualization, design and initiation of the Global Institute of Sustainability and its School of Sustainability, launched fall 2006 as the first of its kind in the world.

Prior to Arizona State University, Jim served as Director of the Climate and Societal Interactions Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for designing and leading NOAA's integrated, multidisciplinary research and applications program positioned at the climate and societal interface. Jim was also intimately engaged in the efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

In his personal life, Jim serves on the Executive Secretariat of the Federal Advisory Committee for the National Climate Assessment. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the National Council for Science and the Environment and Second Nature, Inc. He is Chairman of the Climate Adaptation Working Group for the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an Operating Advisor at Pegasus Capital Advisors, LP, and on the Advisory Board for Planet Forward.

Buizer has published extensively on institutionalizing the science-to-action interface, and upon invitation serves as reviewer of University-based Sustainability programs across the United States. He received his degrees in Oceanography, Marine Resource Economics, and Science Policy from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.


sustainability science; climate change; climate change impacts; climate change adaptation; institutional analysis; institutional transformation; boundary spanning organizations; decision making; international development


BS, Oceanography, University of Washington

MMA, Marine Affairs, University of Washington

Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, Intergrative Program in Administration, Graduate School of Business, University of Washington

Journal Articles


van der Leeuw, S. E., A. D. Wiek, J. Harlow and J. L. Buizer. 2012. How much time do we have? Urgency and rhetoric in sustainability science. Sustainability Science 7(Supplement 1):115-120. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-011-0153-1. (link)



White, D. D., R. Quay, D. B. Ferguson, J. L. Buizer, Z. Guido and N. Chhetri. 2013. Linking climate change science and adaptation policy at the community scale through anticipatory governance: A review of concepts with application to Arizona communities. Presentation at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 9-13, 2013, San Francisco, CA.


Jacobs, K. L., J. L. Buizer and D. Cash. 2008. Making short-term climate forecasts useful: Linking science and action. April 2008 Invited Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Chapter, to be presented at a National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium, Washington, DC.

Jacobs, K. L., L. Lebel, J. L. Buizer, L. Addams, P. Matson, E. McCullough, P. Garden, G. Saliba and T. Finan. 2008. Linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable water resources management. April 2008 Invited Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Chapter, National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium, Washington, DC.

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