David Battisti is The Tamaki Endowed Chair of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. David received a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences (1988) from the University of Washington. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin until 1990. Since then, he has been on the Faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, and has served as the Director of JISAO (1997-2003) and of the UW's Earth Initiative (2003-2006).
Battisti's research is focused on understanding the natural variability of the climate system. He is especially interested in understanding how the interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, land and sea ice lead to variability in climate on time scales from seasonal to decades. His previous research includes coastal oceanography, the physics of the El Nino/Southern Osciallation (ENSO) phenomenon, midlatitude atmosphere/ocean variability and variability in the coupled atmosphere/sea ice system in the Arctic. Battisti is presently working to improve the El Nino models and their forecast skill, to understand the mechanisms responsible for the drought cycles in the Sahel, and to better understand the monsoons. He is also working on the impacts of climate variability and climate change on food production in Mexico, Indonesia and China.
Battisti's recent interests are in paleoclimate: in particular, the mechanisms responsible for the remarkable "abrupt" global climate changes evident throughout the last glacial period.
Battisti has served on numerous international science panels, on Committees of the National Research Council. He served for five years as co-chair of the Science Steering Committee for the U.S. Program on Climate (US CLIVAR) and is co-author of several international science plans. He has published over 100 papers in peer-review journals in atmospheric sciences and oceanography, and twice been awarded distinguished teaching awards.
Rob LeClerc, CEO of Ag Funder, is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and founder of BabbleFlix. He has over 15 years of qualitative and quantitative experience as a scientist and engineer, and over four year of experience in global agriculture.
Rob has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Financial Post, and twice in Nature journals (172 citations across both publications). Forbes Magazine named Rob in their list of 'Up-And-Comers' in 2014,and has been invited to speak at global conferences on agriculture, technology, and capital raising.He's given seminars at the USDA; has been in and Forbes, FastCompany, and Reuters; is a judge for the National Ag Innovation Prize; and is a committee member for the Ag Innovation Showcase, the world's leading AgTech conference. Rob has five degrees, spanning Philosophy, Computer Science, and Computational Evolutionary Biology, including a PhD from Yale University.