Don Friend is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at Minnesota State University. His research and teaching interests focus on physical geography, especially earth surface and atmospheric processes, and their interaction and human impacts in mountains. His PhD is in Geography from Arizona State University. He earned the MA in Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and he earned the BS from the University of California at Berkeley in Conservation of Natural Resources. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Germany, he served as Guest Professor at Universität Erlangen. He has held several other invited appointments including: University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe, Germany; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He has held summer lectureships with Wildlands Research in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska and with The Mountain Institute in West Virginia. He has years of “boots on the ground” experience in mountain and river environments in arid and temperate regions, in the tropics and in the sub-arctic. He has worked, hiked and climbed throughout North America, Western Europe, Central and East Africa, and South Korea. He served as US Representative to the International Geographical Union Commission on Mountain Response to Global Change, and is past Chair and Founder of the Mountain Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. He serves as Editorial Advisor to the Journal of Mountain Science published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has written over 50 papers and reports, and edited two books, including a text entitled Mountain Geography. He instructed eight seasons for the Colorado Outward Bound School.
Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment
Office of Global Climate Change
As Senior Science Advisor in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment - Office of Global Climate Change (E3/GCC), Don Friend provides strategic through operational level guidance and input on Climate Risk Management (CRM) across the Agency. CRM is a required element in the strategic plans required of every USAID Mission abroad, and in every project appraisal produced by USAID Washington, DC-based operating units. He also provides strategic guidance on select other programs including SERVIR, a joint venture between NASA and USAID that delivers satellite-based Earth monitoring data, geospatial information and tools to help improve environmental decision-making among developing nations. He is a member of the USAID Higher Education Working Group, and the NASA-Interagency Forum on Climate Risks, Impacts and Adaptation.