I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which explains a lot about me -- my compulsive tendency to put green chile on everything I eat, my deep-in-the-bones need for big open skies, and my love of semi-arid regions. Academically speaking, I studied History and Science (Physics and American History) at Harvard as an undergraduate, and got my doctorate in Physics at Stanford University. I ended up where I am through two postdoc stints -- first in the department of Earth Systems Science and the Center on Food Security & the Environment at Stanford, and then as a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Institution of Oceanography here at UC San Diego. I moved up the hill to my current faculty position at GPS in 2012. When not at work I can usually be found outdoors with my family.
Q and A with Professor Burney
Real FAQs (!) from my time at GPS
Q: So...how did you go from physics to GPS?
A: The journey is not as circuitous as it seems. I've always been very interested in issues of climate, technology, and development and was working in this area on the side during graduate school. It was only a matter of time. A related question is: why on earth would GPS hire someone like me? The answer to that one is that GPS is expanding its circle and has (IMHO) fantastic faculty from a wide array of disciplinary backgrounds. (Fun fact: I'm not the only lapsed physicist here...)
Q: But, like, what are you?
A: Let's just call me an environmental scientist, and a pretty quantitatively-inclined, dorky one at that.
Q: When are your office hours?
A: They change every quarter depending on my teaching schedule. Check out the office hours page for updated information, and to sign up for a slot.
Q: Do you tweet?
A: Till now, rarely. But a good friend makes an excellent argument for increased use of social media in the sciences. So I hereby resolve to try harder. Follow along or, even better, participate!