Michael is currently a climate change scientist with the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. He is primarily interested in characterizing regional scale land use/cover change and energy/water processes and feedbacks to inform farmer adaptation to water scarcity. After receiving his BS in physics from UC-San Diego, he served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. He received a Fulbright Fellowship, before earning his MA in Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University to evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of climate change on the spread of malaria and cholera in communities around Lake Victoria. He received his PhD in Geography from UC-Santa Barbara in 2010.
His dissertation titled, "Modeling Evapotranspiration in sub-Saharan Africa: A Tool for Food Security Analysis" synthesised remote sensing and land surface reanalysis to parameterise a low cost, timely, and accurate evapotranspiration (ET) model. He completed his postdoctoral work under the Mendenhall Research program through the US Geological Survey at the end of 2013 in Flagstaff, AZ, where he combined multispectral broadband and hyperspectral remote sensing to simulate biomass, ET, and crop water productivity for water-intensive crops in the Central Valley of California.