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UA researcher Laura A. Bakkensen grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has long held a strong connection with the natural environment. As a scholar, Bakkensen studies how humans benefit from, and are harmed by, weather and climate. She has investigated the UA researcher Laura A. Bakkensen grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has long held a strong connection with the natural environment. As a scholar, Bakkensen studies how humans benefit from, and are harmed by, weather and climate. She has investigated the economic impact of flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes in the U.S. and abroad in South Korea, China, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.