Maggie supports the public and private sectors in better understanding their vulnerabilities and preparing for and responding to climate change. Since 2003, Maggie has been working in project development and environmental management across public, non-profit, and private sectors. Her skills include participatory strategic planning, systems thinking, and applying environmental science to policy and implementation. Maggie has experience driving systems transformation toward sustainable and adaptive futures, including solutions analysis, design, and monitoring. She focuses on making climate information usable, useful, and actionable for clients. Maggie was a reviewer of the California Climate Adaptation Planning Guide 2.0 and a contributor to local and regional vulnerability assessments, for the City of San Diego and San Bernardino County. She also supports the climate adaptation efforts of major West Coast utilities.
Before joining us, Maggie led The Nature Conservancy’s work to apply nature-based solutions to urban environmental challenges in Phoenix, Arizona, such as extreme heat and water scarcity. Much of this work culminated in the Heat Action Planning Guide for Neighborhoods of Greater Phoenix. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras and Peru, she worked with regional non-governmental organizations and local and federal government on environmental education, forest management, and watershed management planning. Maggie has researched the efficacy of green infrastructure for water quality and water balance in Bloomington, Indiana, and Mexico City, Mexico.
Maggie is bilingual (Spanish and English), a skill she enjoys using to further climate adaptation whenever possible.
M.S.E.S., Environmental Science, Indiana University, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
M.P.A., Indiana University, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
B.A., Anthropology and Spanish, University of Kentucky
- Guardaro, Melissa, Messerschmidt Maggie, Hondula David M., Grimm Nancy B., Redman Charles L. (2020). “Building community heat action plans story by story: A three neighborhood case study.” Cities no.107, 102886, ISSN 0264-2751.
Rushforth, Richard R.; Messerschmidt, Maggie; Ruddell, Benjamin L. (2020). "A Systems Approach to Municipal Water Portfolio Security: A Case Study of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area." Water 12, no. 6: 1663.