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Michael Mendez, Ph.D., to speak on wildfires’ impact on undocumented Latinos and Indigenous migrants

Michael Mendez, Ph.D.

Michael Mendez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning and Visiting Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research

On Tuesday, Oct. 12., from 9 – 9:50 a.m. (PT) join the Latino Staff Association (LaSA) for the next event in its popular Charlas de Café speaker series, “Tainted Grapes, Tainted Lungs: Extreme Wildfire Impacts to Undocumented Latinos and Indigenous Migrants.” This event will feature Michael Mendez, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental policy and planning and visiting scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

As climate change advances, communities across the United States are adapting to the increased threat of wildfires. Such disasters are expected to become more frequent and severe. In this lecture, Dr. Méndez explores why it is crucial to understand how these events amplify existing inequalities and how to lessen the resulting harms, in particular for the most stigmatized populations, such as undocumented Latinos and Indigenous migrants.

About Michael Mendez

Michael has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, member of the California State Mining and Geology Board, and as vice-chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission. In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Dr. Mendez to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The board regulates water quality in a region of 11 million people.

During Michael’s time as a scholar, he has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including serving as an advisor to a California Air Resources Board member, and as a co-author of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s study on “Climate Vulnerability and Social Science Perspectives.” Michael is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS), a co-author for the forthcoming National Academies of Sciences’ consensus study, “Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions,” and a co-author of the upcoming National Climate Assessment (NCA5), the U.S. Government’s premier report on climate change impacts, risks and adaptation across the nation (a Congressionally mandated, interagency effort).

Join us

What: Tainted Grapes, Tainted Lungs: Extreme Wildfire Impacts to Undocumented Latino/a and Indigenous Migrants

When: Oct. 12., 9 – 9:50 a.m. (PT)

Zoom info:
Meeting ID: 998 2021 3340

Download an event flyer (PDF). For questions regarding the event, contact


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