< Back to directory

Michael Mendez

UC Irvine

Assistant Professor and Andrew Carnegie Fellow


pronouns: He/Him
state: CA
city: Long Beach
languages: English, Spanish
race + ethnicity: Mexican American, Mexican, or Chicana/o/x, Latina/e/o/x or Hispanic (e.g., Latin American, Central American, South American)
Michael's most recent research focuses on climate-induced disasters and social vulnerability, especifically exploring the disparate impacts of extreme wildfire events on undocumented Latino/a and Indigenous migrants. 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, and has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including 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, and is on the board of directors of the social justice nonprofit, Alliance for a Better Community. In 2021, he became the first Latinx scholar to receive the National Academies of Sciences' Henry and Bryna David Endowment Award for his wildfire and migrant research. Méndez was also bestowed with the prestigious 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, which provides research funding to "exceptional scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals" with a capacity of "communicating findings to a broad audience."

share Michael's profile: