Environmental Health Department
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus
Cancer Biology Division and Leader of the Environmental Translational Cancer Program
UPR-Comprehensive Cancer Center
Complete list of publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Mendez-Lazaro+PA
Geographer by training, I expanded my transdisciplinary background by studying natural science, a Master of Sciences in Marine Science and a PhD in Environmental Sciences. At graduate school, I took a diversity of classes such as Oceanography, Marine Ecosystems, Hydrology, Remote Sensing, Physical Analysis in Coastal Areas, among others while acquired competencies on Social and Behavioral Science; Personal and Social Skills; Interpersonal Relationships and Communication Techniques. Graduate school experience, in addition to the 3 years Post Doc on Climate Change and Weather Extreme Events at the University of South Florida-College of Marine of Science and the San Juan Bay Estuary Program in PR allowed me to formulate and implement programmatic plans for climate change and research addressing analytic needs and issues for a major organization that emphasizes science quality and integrity. Nationally and internationally recognized interdisciplinary expert in Climate Change, Equitable Climate Adaptation, Climate and Health, and Social Ecological Systems. I have over 14 years of experience working at the Department of Environmental Health of the Graduate School of Public Health, UPR-MSC. I’m one of the scientists responsible of supervising the implementation and compliance of Act No. 33-2019: Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience in Puerto Rico (PR). I co-authored the US Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) for the Caribbean Region (PR and US Virgin Islands). In addition, I am an active member of the Puerto Climate Change Council, a group of 120 scientists working on different aspects of climate change, and Chapter Lead of the ongoing Fifth National Climate Assessment of 2023 (NCA5) for the US Caribbean for the US Global Change Research Program. I’m also a contributing Author in the IPCC Working Group II (WG2) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) Chapter 6 (Cities, Settlements, and Key Infrastructure): Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability 2022 and has served as Supervisor at the US Forest Service-Office of Sustainability and Climate. As an investigator, I served as Principal Investigator on several NASA research projects utilizing new technologies, integrating observing satellites, in situ, and modeled weather information, and public health data (Grant numbers: 80NSSC20K1588; 80NSSC19K0194).
Currently, I am leading the Caribbean Climate Adaptation Network-A NOAA CAP/RISA Team (Grant Number: NA22OAR4310545) and one of the multiple PIs for the CDC-Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE)-PR. I have mentored over 30 Graduate Students (master’s and doctorate) in academic institutions in PR and the continental US and has ample experience supervising employees at USFS-Office of Sustainability and Climate, the Expert Advisory Committee on Climate Change for the Government of PR (2019-2025).
(Updated Oct 19, 2023)