Mr. Backlund has more than 25 years of experience in management and leadership of complex research organizations and interdisciplinary Earth system science. His interests include assessment of climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and response strategies; the relationship of human activities and environmental change; the use of scientific research for decision-making and public policy; and development and use of cyberinfrastructure and observational technologies for environmental research and education. He is also very interested in making science accessible and improving the communication of scientific information to non-technical audiences.
Mr. Backlund was part of the leadership team of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from 2001-2013, serving as Director of Research Relations, Director of External Relations, and Director of the Integrated Science Program. Before joining NCAR, Mr. Backlund worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science and Technology Council, NASA, and a variety of private sector consulting firms.