Sylvia Dee, assistant professor of earth, environmental and planetary science at Rice University, is a climate scientist specializing in climate change and the hydrological cycle in the past, present and future. Her research focuses on how Earth’s modes of natural variability, like El Niño and La Niña events, compound with climate change to alter the characteristics of weather and climate extremes, such as flooding hazard on the Mississippi River. Her lab evaluates climate model data to understand future risks to human and natural systems. She was named a National Academies of Science and Engineering Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellow in 2021 for her work on climate change impacts on the Gulf of Mexico.
Outside of Rice University, Dee regularly leads environmental science programming for the Girl Scouts of the USA, work for which she was recently honored with the Global Leadership Award, by the Girl Scouts of New England. She is a regular contributor to media coverage on climate change via NPR, AccuWeather and the Houston Chronicle. Dee is a college associate and the divisional adviser for natural sciences in Duncan College and loves working with Rice undergraduates to find solutions to environmental problems.