Hailing from Mariposa, California, and offering a background in agriculture and natural resources management, Leigh Bernacchi applies social science theory to the practice of communication. Her research interests include public understanding of science, climate change adaptation, and more locally, the Tuolumne River within Yosemite National Park where she was a naturalist ranger. She holds a Ph.D. in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in environmental humanities from the University of Utah, and a B.A. in environmental science from Willamette University.
Bernacchi pursues questions about the intersections of science, policy and the public through quantitative and qualitative research methods. She is particularly interested in how the communication of scientific concepts affects public participation and natural resources management.