Resilient, Reliable, & Optimistic: Sarah LeRoy

June 5, 2023
Sarah Profile Image

People of the SWCASC is a series of profiles that highlight the important work and unique life experiences of staff members of the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.  

Sarah LeRoy is the Science Applications and Communications Coordinator for the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. She manages the SW CASC communications team, hosts webinars, co-hosts the podcast Come Rain or Shine with the USDA Southwest Climate Hub, and coordinates cross-consortium and partner initiatives, such as the Southwest Fire and Climate Adaptation Partnership (SWFireCAP). 

Originally from Mesa, Arizona, Sarah studied at the University of Arizona in Tucson for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and her Master’s of Science in Geosciences with a specialty in Paleoclimatology. During the year between her degrees, Sarah worked in a stable isotope lab in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona and later, during her Master’s program, did field work in the Amazon Rainforest while conducting research under the advisement of climate scientist, Jonathan Overpeck (University of Maryland), and ecologist, Scott Saleska (University of Arizona). 

Sarah’s interest in communicating science began during her graduate program where she had the chance to take classes in science communications. “Climate change research is clearly needed,” Sarah said, “but it’s only useful if it gets into the hands of someone who can use the information.” 

Her current work in science communications at the SW CASC has made Sarah feel like she’s making a difference and it brings her hope for the future. “I’m hopeful when I read about all of the great work that the CASC network researchers and partners are doing, and when I meet with our partners and I get to help them manage their lands and resources,” Sarah said. “There are so many people doing so many things to ensure that we are prepared for the coming impacts.”

Sarah is a firm believer in the work that the SW CASC does and enjoys the great people she gets to work with in achieving the SW CASC mission. Engaging with partners, being part of the CASC network, and sharing information that will help natural and cultural resource managers adapt to climate change impacts are fulfilling parts of Sarah’s job. 

Sarah describes herself as resilient, reliable, and optimistic (and also sarcastic). Despite the difficult nature of climate change work, Sarah remains optimistic about the efforts that the SW CASC is involved in and finds ways outside of work to experience nature and maintain her resilient attitude. She loves to hike in Tucson and travel to farther away places. Cooking, reading, and spending time with her daughter and pets are also favorite activities. 

Sarah has been a member of the SW CASC staff for five years, acting as a steady anchor for the center’s communications and research efforts. As a person who has no trouble working successfully with all types of personalities, Sarah is at the core of all that the SW CASC does.