Melanie Lenart, Ph.D., is an environmental scientist and writer who has worked at the intersection of climate, forestry, and journalism for more than a decade. Before starting her Ph.D. in 1996, she worked primarily as a newspaper reporter and editor, including at Puerto Rico’s English-language daily newspaper The San Juan Star and several papers in the Chicago area.
After receiving her Ph.D. in 2003 from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona in Tucson, she worked for several years as a postdoctoral researcher with the UA's Climate Assessment for the Southwest. Currently, Lenart works as a science translation consultant for Gila County Cooperative Extension, writing articles for peer-reviewed journals and the eXtension Community of Practice website on Climate, Forests and Woodlands.
Lenart has carried out physical and social science research working in subtropical, temperate, and tropical forests. Her research has involved studying carbon cycling, the effect of high carbon dioxide levels on plants, tree-ring analysis, forest dynamics, collaborative forestry, and climate model downscaling. She continues to write for a variety of magazines, newspapers, and websites and is the single author of a peer-reviewed University of Arizona book, Life in the Hothouse: How a Living Planet Survives Climate Change. She is an adjunct professor in the UA Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, where she teaches courses in water harvesting as well as environmental writing.