Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

One Shields Avenue
Davis CA

Graduate Students


Madison K. Hoffacker

Madison K. Hoffacker | is a Renewable Energy System Scientist at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and Masters student in the Energy Graduate Group under Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez. She graduated from Chapman University in 2013 with a BA in Environmental Science and Policy. As a researcher at Stanford University and in partnership with the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology, Madison was the co-developer of the Carnegie Energy and Environmentally Compatibility Model, which provides energy developers, agencies, and stakeholders guidance on siting energy infrastructure in a manner that reduces environmental impacts. Madison’s recent work on the use of degraded land for renewable energy development has been featured on NPR, CBS, Yale Environment 360, and Scientific American. Madison has been published in PNAS, Nature Climate Change, Environmental Science and Technology, and Restoration Ecology and was featured in Chapman Magazine for her research impact on sustainability.  

Research Gate | LinkedIn 


Hoffacker MK, Allen MF, Hernandez RR. 2017. Land-Sparing Opportunities for Solar Energy Development in Agricultural Landscapes: A Case Study of the Great Central Valley, CA, United States. Environmental Science & Technology. 51:14472-82.

Hernandez RR, Hoffacker MK, Murphy-Mariscal ML, Wu GC, Allen MF. 2015. Solar energy development impacts on land cover change and protected areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112:13579-84.

Hernandez RR, Hoffacker MK, Field CB. 2014. Land-use efficiency of big solar. Environmental Science & Technology. 48:1315-23.

Karen Tanner

Karen Tanner | is a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, co-advised by Dr. Ingrid Parker (UCSC) and Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez (UCD).  She is continuing to work on a long-term research project that she started in 2011 with the support of a Jill Barrett Foundation grant from Mills College and is now funded by the California Energy Commission in the Aridlab. This project employs an experimental shading study to investigate the impact of changes in shading, water runoff, and soil temperature regimes on rare and common annual desert plants. Demographic response of study taxa and alterations in community composition under experimental panels may be linked to potential impacts of large-scale solar development in the Mojave Desert. Karen has a keen interest in conservation of California’s native flora, particularly within the context of human disturbance and biological invasions. An understanding of how and why invasions occur can be essential to effective conservation, and Karen plans to continue to contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms that control invasion success and promote development of effective mitigation strategies as a graduate student.



Moore‐O'Leary KA, Hernandez RR, Johnston DS, Abella SR, Tanner KE, Swanson AC, Kreitler J, Lovich JE. 2017. Sustainability of utility‐scale solar energy–critical ecological concepts. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15(7):385-94.

Tanner KE, Moore‐O'Leary KA, and Pavlik P. 2014. "Measuring impacts of solar development on desert plants." Fremontia 42: 15-16.