Nicky Sundt is a Summer 2017 Sr. Fellow for GAP’s Climate Science & Policy Watch (CSPW) program, brought on to lead a special report on the integrity and overall support for federal climate science and communications under the Trump Administration. She is an accomplished expert on energy and climate change with over 35 years of experience in government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. She spent most of the 1980s at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) where she was an analyst contributing to six major assessments, including OTA’s first major report to the US Congress on climate change. During the 1990s she was an editor, first with a privately published newsletter, Energy, Economics, and Climate Change; and then with a quarterly called Global Change, published by the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California.
In late 2000 she joined the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Coordination Office as the communications manager. During most of her seven years with the USGCRP, Nicky worked alongside CSPW founder Rick Piltz. Nicky and Rick collaborated closely and frequently in monitoring and pushing back against what Rick had dubbed the “global warming denial machine;” in advocating for a strong and effective federal interagency climate change research capability; and in promoting and defending the scientific integrity of the national climate change impacts assessment reports to Congress required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Nicky left the USGCRP at the end of 2007 to join the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Climate Program where she stayed until July 2016, initially as Director of Climate Communications and later as Director for Climate Science and Policy Integration.
Nicky has authored hundreds of articles in the two publications she edited, and her work has been published in the The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Climate Progress, Wisconsin Public Radio, and elsewhere. She also has been interviewed and featured by media outlets such as National Public Radio and The Weather Channel.
From 1976 through 1990, Nicky spent most of her summers in the western region of the United States as a firefighter for the US Forest Service, including six seasons as a smokejumper. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.S., 1976, Conservation of Natural Resources; M.A., 1980, Energy and Resources).