Caleb O’Brien

Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

Caleb O’Brien studies how communities around the United States are responding to climate change.

After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, Caleb served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and Panama, where he worked on beekeeping and sustainable agribusiness projects. He then earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, focusing on science writing and investigative reporting, before he returned to Paraguay on a yearlong reporting fellowship. His work there explored stories at the intersection of society, science and the environment. Between bouts of academic fervor and service stints, Caleb has managed an organic orchard, worked as a freelance journalist, sold outdoor gear, mucked horse stalls, etc.


Now, for his doctoral research, Caleb is working with Dr. Marc Stern  in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (FREC) on an Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Research in Service to Practice project that tracks how eight communities across the United State are grappling with the complex challenges of adapting to climate change.

Caleb is deeply interested in the linkages among science, society and the environment and in the ways communication can enhance or corrode those connections. As a participant in the Interfaces of Global Change program, Caleb hopes to explore how collaboration and communication–across disciplines, sectors and belief systems–can contribute to positive change.