Meet the experts behind the communication program:


Lisa Leombruni, PHD


Lisa is co-founder of the Bren Communication program and has experience in broadcast media, communication research, and environmental policy. She has a PhD in Communication from UCSB and a Master of Environmental Science from Yale. Previously, Lisa worked for NOVA/WGBH Boston, where she co-developed proposals for new television programs, oversaw media evaluation and impact studies, and conducted editorial research. She has consulted for a variety of clients, including the United Nations, Oxfam America, and Climate Nexus.


Michael Hanrahan


Michael is Video Producer at the Earth Media Lab and brings more than two decades of experience in environmental media storytelling to UCSB. In collaboration with UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center, Michael co-founded Blue Horizons, a summer environmental filmmaking program. He has spent 20 years in natural history film and media production for clients such as Discovery Channel, The Nature Conservancy, and NOAA.

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Richard Hutton


Richard is co-founder of the Bren Communication Program, and has served as Executive Director of UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center. Previously, he ran Vulcan Productions, where he co-produced numerous documentaries and mini-series for organizations such as PBS. Richard was Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering and has been published widely, including in the New York Times Magazine.


Heather Hodges, PHD


Heather Hodges, PhD is a program manager for Community Operations, an Amazon organization tasked with helping Amazon be a better neighbor in the communities it operates within. Prior, Heather received her PhD in Political Science and Masters from the Bren School. She continues to bring her research experience in environmental organizing, politics, and policy into the classroom as a lecturer at the Bren School.


Allison Horst, PhD


Allison is a lecturer (statistics, data science, and presentation skills) at the Bren School. She brings experience in data visualization and communication, and also leads courses and workshops on public presentation and interview skills, research storytelling, and poster design. As a graphic designer and artist, she also creates educational materials to make complex science and data analysis concepts accessible and engaging for diverse audiences.