2015/2016 First Cohort
2016/2017 Second Cohort

2016/2017 Second Cohort


Renata Barreto-Montenegro
I’m a second-year Ph.D. student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy department at Berkeley Law. My research focuses on international environmental law, technology, and social movements with an emphasis on quantitative methods. I’m interested in the effects of climate change on low socioeconomic status communities and historically disenfranchised groups. I graduated from Reed College with a B.A. in International and Comparative Policy Studies and wrote my thesis on urban and rural squatters in Peru and Brazil, examining the role of environmental impact in these regions. I’m looking forward to collaborating with fellow scholars from different fields and the rich conversations and projects that will come out of it.
JacobBukoskiJacob Bukoski
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Jacob is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management department at UCB. His research interests are broad and have formerly covered topics such as energy efficiency in buildings, sustainable urban design, snake ecology, and mangrove conservation in Southeast Asia. He is interested in learning how to develop data-driven tools that better-inform environmental decision-making, particularly through the lens of tropical forest conservation. Jacob completed his B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.S. at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. When he’s not turning cups of coffee into scripts, he enjoys complaining about cold weather and watching football (the real kind).
Betsabe Castro Escobar

Integrative Biology
I’m a second-year Ph.D. student in the Integrative Biology Department at UC Berkeley. My primary research focuses on the ethnobotany, ecology, and evolution of plants of cultural/ethnobotanical significance in the Caribbean Basin. Mainly, I am especially interested in how humans can promote evolutionary responses to culturally significant plants (ex. edible, medicinal, and others), how they vary phenotypically, how plastic can they be, where did these plants originate or came from, and how have they moved around and/or across islands in the Caribbean. As a scientist trained in both the natural and social sciences, I greatly value interdisciplinary training. Through DS421, I am looking forward to employ the use of both qualitative and quantitative data to address questions related to coupled human and natural systems. As a DS421 fellow, I am excited to work closely within interdisciplinary teams. I am excited by the prospect of designing an interdisciplinary career and conducting studies to explain the interactions among plants, ecosystems, and people across the Caribbean landscape.
Nathaniel Decker pic Nathaniel Decker
City and Regional Planning
I’m a second-year PhD student in the City and Regional Planning department. My interests are in the intersection housing policy and finance, climate change, and affordability. Before moving to California I was a senior associate at Forsyth Street Advisors, an advisory and asset management firm based in New York focused on affordable housing, real estate, and municipal and impact investment. While at Forsyth, I performed financial analysis for affordable housing developers and assisted nonprofit clients, governments, and quasi-governmental entities with program design and analysis. Prior to working at Forsyth, I held positions at LISC, the Center for Housing Policy, and Smart Growth America. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental History and Biology from Oberlin College and a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell.
GabeE2015Gabriel Englander
Agriculture and Resource Economics
I’m a second-year PhD student in Agricultural and Resources Economics. I am interested in using applied econometrics and spatial analysis to study biodiversity and forest conservation. I’m hoping to collaborate with natural scientists and other non-economists through DS421. I’d also like to become a better programmer.
Errickson_Frank_Photo Frank Errickson
Energy Resources Group
I am a first year PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group and a member of the Sustainable Climate Risk Management Network (SCRiM).  I grew up on the central New Jersey coast and studied international economic development and atmospheric science. My current research incorporates economics, Bayesian statistics, and scientific modeling to quantify uncertainty over the future impacts of a changing climate.  I am also interested in equity and distributional effects of climate change as well as the use of empirically derived damage functions to inform climate policy.  DS421 is an exciting program and I am thrilled to be a part of it.  I most look forward to the innovative work that will be accomplished by bringing together a team of dedicated individuals from multiple academic backgrounds that engage in research for the public good.  

ScottK2015 pic Scott Kaplan
Agriculture and Resource Economics
I am a second year PhD student in Agricultural and Resource Economics. I am very interested in the intersection between environmental and resource economics, specifically in relation to pollution and climate change. I am also interested in the impact of climate change on different types of supply chains. I did my undergraduate work in Environmental Science and Environmental Economics and Policy (also at Berkeley!), with research focusing on the economics of agricultural biotechnology, labeling of GMOs, biofuels, and recycled water. I am excited for the cross-department collaboration in DS421 and hope to gain both quantitative experience as well as feedback on research ideas.

ClarkeKnight Clarke Knight
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I’m starting a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, after spending two years studying ecology and environmental policy in Oxford, UK, on a Rhodes Scholarship. As an undergraduate at Smith College, my interest in the application of scientific research to environmental dilemmas crystallized, particularly as I tracked climate change effects on a polluted Massachusetts forested watershed for my senior thesis. I am now interested in climate change effects on forest health, present and future, and in learning how to use data science techniques to understand and predict complex ecological processes. I hope to apply my DS421 training to expand the scope of my research and, more broadly, to promote collective environmental responsibility and stewardship.
Eli Lazarus
Energy and Resources Group
As I begin the DS421 program, I’m entering the second year of my MS/PhD with the Energy and Resources Group. My research is in ecological economics, focused on the development of metrics which more comprehensively reflect and enable decision-making over the full range of economic priorities, including sustainability, social welfare, and efficiency. I’m currently working on development of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for California, data structures for standardizing and coordinating GPI research, and a subjective welfare metric data model. I graduated summa cum laude in economics from SFSU, and worked for several years maintaining and developing the Ecological Footprint with the non-profit think tank, Global Footprint Network. I’m Australian, I barrack for St Kilda in Aussie Rules football, I have a 6yo child, and 3 cheap but fun boats.
Niklas Lollo
Energy and Resources Group
I am a second year MS/PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group. I plan to examine social and environmental indicators as tools for global governance, weaving together sociology of quantification, legal studies and data science. I have particular interest in understanding the tension between high-level summaries and low-level, action-enabling statistics.

Evangeline McGlynn

I am a first year PhD student in Geography. I have recently completed a Master of Design Studies in Risk and Resilience from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, previous to which I was working as a GIS and IM specialist in the humanitarian sector, residing primarily in Central Asia and the Middle East. My current research interest involves interrogating the dominant narratives of response in complex disasters, specifically areas in which environmental crises and social conflicts are collocated. In looking at these special spaces of overlap, I hope to identify the impacts conflict and histories of violence might have on disaster response and environmental governance.
Rosanna Neulhausler

Rosanna Neuhausler

I graduated from Berkeley in May, 2016, with a B.A. and B.S. in Urban Studies and Conservation & Resource Studies, and am now continuing my education here as a PhD student in Geography. I am interested in aquatic systems, specifically the relationship between the hydrology of a system and its chemical composition in the light of global environmental change and urbanization. My research will be conducted under a larger multi-university initiative, the Moorea IDEA, which is working to advance the socio-ecological systems modeling process as well as drive policy on Moorea. I am looking forward to developing my technical skills in data science through the DS421 program and applying it to my studies.
Kari Norman pic Kari Norman
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I am a first year PhD student in the Environmental Science, Policy, and Management department. With undergraduate degrees in Ecology and Statistics, my research lies at the intersection of advanced quantitative approaches and broad-scale ecology. I am generally interested in global patterns of biodiversity and their drivers, and my past work has focused on developing methods for analyzing those patterns using novel data sources, in a conservation context. I plan to continue in that avenue, using data intensive approaches to assess the relevance of traditional conservation metrics.

Julieth Ortiz
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

I am a second-year dual master student in City Planning, and Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning (LAEP) at the College of Environmental Design, with concentrations in transportation and environmental planning. I am interested in integrating urban metabolisms, including greener infrastructure, transportation systems and healthier food production processes, to implement placed-based interventions that can build on environmental equity and reduce risks to flooding and other climate related challenges. My research with the Institute for Urban and Regional Development (IURD) links food accessibility and health disparities in the Bay Area to regional planning for sustainability, identifying potential food opportunity zones while also influencing the identification process of ‘disadvantaged communities’ under SB 535. I graduated from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and Environmental Sustainability. My undergraduate capstone thesis focused on the impact of Cuba’s dependence on imported basic food items. In my limited free time, I enjoy gardening and dancing.

Version 2Katherine Siegel
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I am a first year PhD student in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management. I am interested in understanding the causal relationships between conservation interventions and outcomes and evaluating the potential for effective conservation strategies beyond fortress-style wilderness reserves. I am particularly interested in interventions that conserve biodiversity and ecological functions in working landscapes. Before coming to Berkeley, I studied ecology and interdisciplinary conservation science at Brown University and Oxford University and worked for a research group focused on sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation at UC Santa Barbara. Through my participation in DS421, I hope to strengthen my skills in spatial analysis and ecological modelling and gain fluency in alternative approaches to environmental problem solving.
Anna Szendrenyi pic Ansel Klein
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I am a first year PhD student in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management. I am interested in applying systems thinking and data science to better understand and capture dynamics of coupled agro-ecological systems. In particular, I seek to understand agroecosystems through a transdisciplinary lens that investigates both soil processes at the micro-scale and landscape dynamics at the macro-scale, and draws upon complex data modelling as an underlying thread to the research. Through my previous work engaging with smallholder rice farmers in Thailand and the agriculture sector in Europe, I have recognized the central role of data science and technology in unlocking a new, synergistic approach to build more sustainable, efficient, and resilient agri-food systems. As a Fellow, I aim to further increase my fluency in spatial (ie remote sensing) data analysis and mathematical modelling, while also facilitating iterative uptake of ongoing research and development through on-the-ground partnerships with agricultural communities.
Carrie Tribble
Integrative Biology
I am a second year student in the Integrative Biology Department. I am interested in the evolution of traits that influence species’ ranges over altitudinal gradients and novel climatic environments, and in how complex biotic interactions may regulate species ranges. Specifically, I am studying the evolution of herbivory defense strategies in the underground storage organs of plants (i.e. bulbs and tubers). Through DS421, I am looking forward to integrating diverse data types with a phylogenetic framework, strengthening my background in modeling and bioinformatics, and learning from and working with this interdisciplinary team. I am originally from Honolulu, HI and have lived and worked in Massachusetts, Peru, and Panama before moving to the Bay Area in 2015.

2015/2016 First Cohort


Laura Alexander
Integrative Biology
I’m a first-year PhD student in Integrative Biology. I’m interested in using mathematical modeling to understand patterns and mechanisms behind disease transmission and emergence, particularly how evolutionary pressures can result in similar patterns in unrelated pathogens.
jenna_suitJenna Baughman
Integrative Biology
I’m a first year Integrative Biology PhD student interested in a broad range of topics and how they can interact constructively; from genomics and conservation ecology to ethics and citizen science. I aspire to serve the communities in which I live by working with leaders and policymakers to advance scientific literacy in our schools and government and, thereby, contribute to solving global environmental problems. DS421 will help me gain both data science technical and collaborative social skills to meet these goals and expand my career possibilities, as well as the possibilities in which I can make positive impacts in the world.
DSC_9846Daniel Blaustein-Rejto
Goldman School of Public Policy
I am a first-year MPP student at the Goldman School of Public Policy interested in climate change mitigation and adaptation in the agricultural sector. I studied Environmental Studies as an undergrad at Brown University, where I worked with community food non-profits and first became interested in the interactions between climate change, agricultural production, food security and sovereignty, and a variety of other issues. Through the NRT program, I aim to hone my data analysis skills and learn different perspectives from my interdisciplinary cohort.
erg_picIan Bolliger
Energy and Resources Group
I’m a second-year MS/PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG), a member of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab (RAEL), and program manager of an interdisciplinary team building an off-grid tiny house for a Sacramento Municipal Utility District competition. I studied Applied Math as an undergrad, with an emphasis on earth systems science, and after college modeled disease trends at the University of Washington. My current interests are in regional impacts of climate change – particularly extreme events – on energy and water availability; both ERG and the NRT provide a great platform to develop tools to study these relationships within data.
halpicHal Gordon
Agriculture and Resource Economics
Hal is currently a PhD student in the Agriculture and Resource Economics department at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2009 and a Masters in Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in 2012. Before attending Berkeley, he was a senior research assistant at Resources for the Future, an environmental economics think tank in Washington DC, where he researched the distributional incidence of a proposed carbon policy in the United States. He has also spent time as a research consultant at CATIE, a tropical agriculture research institution in Costa Rica, where he studied the adaptations to climate change made by small plot coffee growers.
family_beachAndrew Hultgren
Agriculture and Resource Economics
Andy holds a Master’s in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley and is currently a PhD student in Berkeley’s Agricultural and Resource Economics program. His research interests include both climate change impacts and energy markets. Andy’s current projects focus on advancing our understanding of international labor supply impacts associated with extreme temperatures, and on improving the valuation of distributed energy resources (such as rooftop solar PV) by U.S. energy market regulators. Before returning to school, Andy provided climate change analysis services for several federal agency regulatory proceedings and advised numerous local governments and private businesses on approaches to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Along with his wife and two kids, he also spent two years in the Argentine Patagonia studying sustainable construction techniques.
Yang - Photo
Yang Ju

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
I’m a first-year PhD student in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP). I got my masters at LAEP and bachelors in urban planning at Nanjing University, China. I’m generally interested in applying geospatial analysis to assist urban and regional planning. For my PhD, I would like to study the impact from sea level rise and storm surge on coastal development and population, as well as how to measure population’s resiliency. I think the interdisciplinary nature of the program can help me learn helpful data analysis skills and understand how to use data to inform decisions.
DSCF0439 - Version 3
Matthew Kling

Integrative Biology
I’m a first-year PhD student in Integrative Biology. My research focuses on understanding how climate change influences spatial patterns in ecology, and how that knowledge can feed into ecological forecasting and applied conservation management. I’m particularly interested in synthesizing big datasets representing landscape-, organismal-, and genomic-level processes to generate and test hypotheses about ecological change, and am excited to work on developing new data science approaches that facilitate theoretical and applied research.
Kate_PenningtonKate Pennington
Agriculture and Resource Economics
I’m a first-year PhD student in Agricultural and Resource Economics.  I’m interested in how climate change and adaptation impact income distributions, political voice, and policy decisions.  My research so far has focused on the impact of climate variability on rural to urban migration and participation in risky informal labor markets in India. I’m excited to broaden my knowledge of earth and data science through the NRT program so that I can connect climate science, social science, and a variety of analytical approaches to investigate the human impacts of climate change.
IMG_4750Dana Seidel
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I’m a second year PhD student in the department of Environmental Science Policy and Management. My research is focused on understanding the movement of large mammals and their diseases, specifically those vectored by environmental reservoirs. Before Berkeley, I completed my bachelors at Cornell University and a masters at the University of Alberta researching how foraging selection in elk shapes the development of their home ranges. For me, research questions are the most interesting when they rest at the intersection between movement, landscape and disease ecology and work hard to bridge the gap between applied and theoretical ecology.
Stoudt,SaraSara Stoudt
While an undergraduate at Smith College, my professors emphasized that statisticians did not work in a vacuum; we need to work with others and communicate results in an accessible way. During my summers I worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where I had the opportunity to collaborate with scientists who taught me about their fields while I helped them with their data. I was drawn to this program because I am interested in using statistics to answer problems in multiple fields as well as having interdisciplinary problems motivate new statistical methods.
Carmen photo for DS421Carmen Tubbesing
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I’m a PhD student studying forest fire ecology in the department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Under the guidance of Drs. John Battles and Scott Stephens, I am exploring how (and if) forests regenerate after high-severity fires. Because current forests are under novel stressors, it will take decades to determine whether they will come back after current catastrophic fires. In light of this delay, I hope to use process-based modeling to project forest conditions through time. I believe DS421 will be a crucial platform for me to exchange knowledge with experts in data science and social sciences, enabling me to enhance the rigor and scope of my research.
picture-DS421Valeri Vasquez
Energy and Resources Group
I am a first year Master’s/Ph.D. student with the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) inter­ested in sus­tain­able urban devel­op­ment and behavior in rapidly emerging economies. My background is largely in international and domestic climate policy, stemming from experience with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, U.S. Department of State, Center for American Progress, and White House Council on Environmental Quality. I came to ERG and the DS421 program to build my quantitative skills in the energy and data sciences.
christine picChristine Wilkinson
Environmental Science, Policy and Management
I’m a first year PhD student in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. In the past I’ve worked on behavioral and movement ecology, wildlife management, and ecology education in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. I’m interested in creating fine-scale spatial analysis of the intersections between landscape permeability, human and wildlife resource use, and human-wildlife conflict in southern Kenya. This work will inform how to empower communities in wildlife dispersal areas to create their own solutions to human-wildlife conflict, which will benefit human livelihoods while allowing wildlife to thrive.