Burkett was the first female in the U.S. to be appointed director of a state fish and wildlife dept. when she was appointed secretary of the La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1988. She is an internationally recognized expert on global change and low-lying coastal zones. She was one of several hundred scientists on the intergovernmental panel on climate change who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Burkett received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NSU and her doctoral degree in forestry from Stephen F. Austin. She is chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey. She was formerly chief of the Forest Ecology Branch at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette.
Burkett has published extensively on global change and low-lying coastal zones. Nominated by the U.S. government, she was a lead author of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 and 2007 assessment reports and the IPCC Technical Paper on Water in 2008. She was a lead author of the 2001 and 2009 national assessments of climate change impacts produced by the United States Global Change Research Program.
Burkett has served on over 40 commissions, committees, science panels and boards during her career. She was a 2011 inductee into NSU’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line.
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