"California is on fire. Almost 2.5 million acres of land have burned there so far this year — nearly 20 times what had burned at this time last year — and the wildfire season is far from over.
That means many scientists in the state aren’t just studying their field; many of them are living it.
When I got in touch with Nina S. Oakley on Tuesday for an article about the connections between climate change and California’s wildfires, she was in her car, driving toward the ocean.
Dr. Oakley, a research scientist at the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was driving with her husband, Benjamin Hatchett, a climatologist, away from their home in Santa Rosa, Calif., where choking smoke from wildfires and power failures had made it impossible to work.
For these climate scientists, and, increasingly, for all of us, their discipline is anything but academic."