Charles Lester

Charles Lester portrait
Researcher, Marine Science Institute

Dr. Charles Lester has been working in the field of ocean and coastal management for more than 25 years. He recently moved to the Marine Sciences Institute at UC Santa Barbara, and continues to research, write, teach and consult about sea level rise, coastal resilience, and other aspects of California coastal law and policy. Charles is also the half-time director of the Santa Clara River Conservancy, working to protect, restore and enhance the Santa Clara River. Charles worked many years for the California Coastal Commission, including serving as the agency’s fourth executive director from 2011 to 2016. Previously, Charles was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he taught environmental law and policy, with a focus on public lands governance and coastal zone management. He received his Ph.D. and J.D. from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Geochemistry from Columbia University.

Research Area/s: 

Contact Information


Office Location: 

3304 Marine Science Building

Office Phone: 


Mailing Address: 

UCSB Marine Science Institute Bldg 520 Rm 4002 Fl 4L Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150 United States