2017/2018 Third Cohort

2016/2017 Second Cohort

2015/2016 First Cohort

2018/2019 Students

Arfa Aijazi
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
I am a PhD student in Architecture specializing in Building, Science, Technology, and Sustainability. I also work as a graduate student researcher at the Center for the Built Environment. My research evaluates how climate change impacts building performance by using future weather files in existing simulation tools in order to design more climate resilient buildings. Prior to Berkeley, I received my Masters in Building Technology and Bachelors in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.

Melissa (Millie) Chapman
Environmental Science Policy & Management

I am a first year PhD student in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management co-advised by Carl Boettiger and Justin Brashares.  Broadly I am interested in using quantitative approaches to understand the resilience, response, and recovery of ecological communities to anthropogenic disturbance and management decisions.  Prior to Berkeley, I worked at the Woods Hole Research Center where I researched socioeconomic and biophysical drivers of land use change in DRC, Brazil and Papua New Guinea.  I received her bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University.  In my free time you can find me rock climbing, surfing, or exploring the coast with friends.

Nancy Freitas
Energy & Resources Group

Nancy Freitas grew up in Tucson, Arizona and received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona (UA). She worked in environmental conservation with Peace Corps in South America and then helped run the Bio/Diversity Project, a STEM outreach and education program, at the UA. Nancy joined the Energy and Resources graduate program at UC Berkeley this fall, and her research will focus on how biogeochemical cycles in the Arctic will be affected by climate change. She is interested in using data science and modeling to develop a larger picture of climate change outcomes and also hopes to make connections between how to ask more inclusive research questions and how to translate the data in ways that affect people’s understanding of environmental change.

For fun, Nancy competes in club-level ultimate frisbee tournaments and was a head coach for the UA Women’s Ultimate team from 2016-2018. When she’s not chasing a piece of plastic around a field, she finds time to travel widely, drink good coffee, and be outdoors.

Benjamin Goldstein
Environmental Science Policy & Management

Ben Goldstein is a first-year Ph.D. student in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. His faculty advisor is Dr. Perry de Valpine. Ben‘s interests are in hierarchical statistical modeling in ecology. In particular, Ben hopes to work with citizen science databases such as eBird and iNaturalist to harness the power of volunteer effort for biodiversity study and to build links between academic and non-academic research.

Adam Hanbury-Brown
Energy & Resources Group

Adam Hanbury-Brown is a PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group. His research involves modeling vegetation dynamics and wildlife habitat selection. Adam is currently developing a regeneration module of a vegetation demographic model that represents post-disturbance forest recovery. He is also studying Roosevelt elk movements and habitat selection in northern California to support decision making in land and wildlife management. He hopes to bring these dual research interests together by using vegetation demographic models to predict future wildlife habitat suitability for a range of species in northern California.

Yiyi He
Center for Environment & Design

Yiyi He is a Ph.D. student from the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program. She received her bachelor’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Nanjing University and her master’s degree in Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley. She also works as a researcher for the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley.  Her research focuses on climate-induced weather impacts on complex infrastructure networks. Her previous work involves using 3D hydrodynamic flood models to simulate flooding in the Bay Area under different climate scenarios and analyze the impact of both coastal and inland flooding on a multi-modal fuel transportation network. She hopes to bring environmental studies and network science together and utilize tools in data science and modeling to help identify network vulnerabilities to climate impacts and to help inform the development of contingency plans for complex infrastructure networks.

Samantha Hing
Civil and Environmental Engineering

I’m a second-year PhD student in Environmental Engineering. My research focuses on understanding the barriers to adoption of improved biomass cookstoves in rural India–a global issue with large public health, social, and environmental implications. In my research, I am particularly interested in developing data-driven tools to explore the role that data science can play in assessing the impact of technologies, such as improved cookstoves, introduced in low-resource communities to combat effects of rapid environmental change—especially, air pollution. I aim to use long-term air-monitoring and technology-adoption sensor data to evaluate intervention programs and inform policymakers. I’m excited to join the DS421 Program and collaborate with students and faculty from other departments to develop data analysis skills and tackle complex, global issues.

Jennifer (Jenny) Rempel

Energy & Resources Group

I am a first-year Masters/PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group. At ERG and through DS421, I’m eager to explore how political participation affects access to safe drinking water in California. I have supported community-led environmental justice movements through work in private philanthropy, policy advocacy, community organizing, and research, most recently as Director of Education and Engagement at Community Water Center, a grassroots environmental justice organization rooted in California’s San Joaquin Valley. I hold a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and I enjoy exploring California’s beautiful topography by bike, foot, ski, and snowshoe.

Lisa Rennels
Energy Resources Group

I am a second year MS/PhD candidate in the Energy and Resources Group.  I am interested in using computer science to explore issues related to the economic impacts of climate change.  I have spent the past three years working at an environmental consulting firm called Industrial Economics Inc. where I leverage data analysis, computer programming, and GIS to work on projects related to the economic affects of climate change, specifically those related to water resources, and assist policy-makers in planning paths forward.  I have a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Environmental Studies, focused on environmental economics, and a Post-Baccalaureate Computer Science Minor from Tufts University.

Yvonne Socolar

Environmental Science Policy & Management

Yvonne is a PhD student in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management department at Berkeley. From farm labor on smallholder vegetable operations to food stamps outreach to baking professionally, Yvonne’s career before grad school traced food from healthy soils to healthy communities. Her research interests now lie at the agriculture-environment-health nexus, and she studies how agricultural practices that promote farms’ ecological health can be employed to improve crops’ nutritional quality, particularly in the face of climate change. Prior to Berkeley, Yvonne received a BA in Biology from Swarthmore College and an MS in Agriculture, Food and Environment from Tufts University.

Sam Stein

I am a first PhD Student in the Geography, and I am interested broadly in the intersections between wetland and water management. In particular, my research focuses on how wetland ecosystem services can be leveraged to improve things such as water quality, flood attenuation, etc. My Master’s research at San Francisco State focused on the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, where I tried to isolate drivers of water quality variability with the intent to inform ongoing adaptive management plans at the site. I hope to expand on this work during my PhD with more robust data collection and hydrologic modelling, and a greater focus on ecosystem services such as sediment capture.

Elif Tasar

Energy & Resources Group

Elif is interested in the relationship between energy infrastructure and economic growth in developing countries. She holds a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University and an MSc in Environmental Economics from the London School of Economics, where she studied as a Fulbright fellow.

Cristina Violante
Jurisprudence & Social Policy

I am a PhD student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy program at Berkeley Law, studying legal history with an emphasis in the development of water law. Ideally I want to understand water from both a scientific and legal perspective, hopefully bridging some of the gap between the two fields. I have researched water resource issues in the Middle East, and worked as a data reporter for a legal newswire. I received my B.A. in philosophy and religion from Boston University, and a M.A. in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University.

Rachel Ward
Energy & Resources Group

Rachel is interested in the social, ecological, and geophysical dynamics of agro-forestry coffee and cacao systems in the tropics.  Her aim is to couple participatory research of agro-forestry management choices with mathematical modeling and statistical analysis to understand how changes in management influence ecosystem function and regional climate. As a first year MS/PhD ERG student, she plans to explore the potential of agroforestry systems to conserve biodiversity, connect fragmented habitat, and support a wide range of ecosystem services that may also mitigate regional climate change.

Kate (Katie) Wetstone
Master of Development Practice

I am a Masters student in the Development Practice program at UC Berkeley. I am excited to be back in school three years after graduating with a B.A. in chemistry and a minor in English from Harvard University. After college I worked at a nonprofit in Washington D.C. devoted to K-8 science education, where I became fascinated with using data analysis to improve educational effectiveness. While at Berkeley, I hope to discover all the ways I can apply my love of computational problem solving to address sustainability issues. In particular, I am interested in poverty alleviation and climate change adaptation and mitigation. I am also passionate about science communication, and interned on the communications team at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2014.

Katherine Wolf

Environmental Science Policy & Management

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Division of Society and Environment in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, advised by Dr. Rachel Morello-Frosch.  My research focuses on issues of environmental health and environmental justice in the United States.  For example, some of my projects have looked at associations between air pollution concentrations and racial residential segregation and at the demographics of communities living near oil and gas waste disposal well sites.  At Berkeley I am particularly interested in moving toward collaborative research models in which scientists explicitly share power with members of communities seeking relief from exposures to environmental hazards.

Michelle Yu


I am a first year PhD student in Statistics. My research interests include statistical methods that can be fruitful for developing greater understanding of environmental phenomena and environmental issues. Previously, I worked on statistics projects applied to areas of biology, sustainable energy, and climate science. In participating in DS421, I hope to increase my engagement in interdisciplinary research. I look forward to connecting with experts and students in a wide range of fields who share my interest in tackling environmental and social issues from quantitative perspectives.

2017/2018 Students

Kendall Calhoun
Environmental Science, Policy & Management
I’m a first year PhD student in the department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management. Diversity, in all forms, is something I hold very close to my heart. Along this same vein, biodiversity has become a theme I’ve loved to explore. I’m interested in working to help create and maintain stable and resilient biologic communities that can preserve biodiversity in an adaptive way against pressures like climate change and extinction. I believe focusing on creating healthy wildlife communities is the key to ensuring healthy communities for people as well. I look forward to collaborating across disciplines within DS421 to accomplish our shared goals. In my free time I love cooking, video games, and anything outside!

Rafael Alberto Grillo Avila
Jurisprudence & Social Policy
I am a first-year Ph.D. student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Berkeley Law, aiming to focus in Law and Economics as it pertains to sustainable development. I am interested in exploring how domestic and international legal and political institutions can catalyze the financing of renewable energy technology and carbon offsetting programs, and ultimately a transition to a low-carbon economy that raises all boats and mitigates the worst effects of climate change. Before coming to UC Berkeley, I received an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University, and subsequently worked with Environmental Defense Fund, coordinating with NGOs, industry, and government to establish a global cap on international aviation emissions from the year 2020 onwards through the development and adoption of a market-based measure in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). I then worked as a software developer for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation before making the move to California. Having worked in teams of economists, lawyers, policymakers, programmers, and industry experts, I am a firm believer in multidisciplinary approaches to discovery and innovation, and look forward to producing actionable findings with my DS421 colleagues!

Anaya Hall
Energy & Resources Group

I am a first year Masters/PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining ERG, I attended the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University where I earned a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food and Environment and a Certificate in Water Systems through the Tufts Institute of the Environment.  My research uses quantitative spatial analysis to investigate multi-scale dynamics of critical environmental and resource concerns at the nexus of agriculture, water and energy. I am primarily interested in interdisciplinary approaches that link ecological and economic sciences to promote equitable, sustainable, and climate-resilient food systems. I also hold a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University, and enjoy hiking, gardening and sharing meals with friends.

Chester Harvey
City & Regional Planning
Chester is a doctoral student in City & Regional Planning with a background in geospatial analysis, transportation, and urban design. His research aims to improve performance indicators for walking and bicycling environments through behavioral models informed by environmental psychology and trained by innovative sources of urban data. Chester brings professional experience as a researcher and consultant in transportation, renewable energy, and cartography. He is passionate about collaboration between scientific and humanistic disciplines, having worked extensively at the intersection between social science, engineering, history, and design.
Christopher Hoover
Environmental Health Sciences
 Chris is an incoming doctoral student in the Environmental Health Sciences Division where he has worked as research associate for the past year and a half. Using geospatial methods, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling, Chris strives to better understand the dynamics of infectious disease transmission driven by environmental change. Prior to joining EHS at Berkeley, he conducted research on the influence of avian community ecology on West Nile virus transmission in urban Atlanta, GA as part of his MPH graduate program at Emory University . His current research examines the impact of agrochemical use on schistosomiasis transmission in West Africa using mathematical and statistical modeling to analyze and compare the range of human health, economic, and environmental consequences of coincident biological and chemical contamination of water. He is also engaged in the analysis of big surveillance and environmental data to identify drivers of disease in developing countries undergoing social and environmental change and hopes to expand on this line of work as part of the DS421 program.
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.
Miyabi Ishihara
My research experiences to date have involved the use of probability models and statistical methods to help address issues raised in biology, education, and health. Through these interdisciplinary research in Japan and at NYU, I realized that statistics is not merely about the capability to answer technical questions, but also about people working together, building positive relationships, and making sure that appropriate action follows. In DS421, I’m looking forward to connect with members from diverse disciplines and tackle problems together, in ways that are also novel to the field of statistics.
Sol Kim
I am a first year PhD student in Geography. After graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Geography and Society & Environment, I have had the opportunity to conduct research through UCB, Fulbright Finland, and the NASA DEVELOP program. My research interests include examining climate extremes in both paleoclimatology and projections into the future with my technical background. As extreme climatic events have serious human impacts, I hope to develop my research to be more applied and to integrate social sciences/policy.

Emily “Chippie” Kislik
Environmental Science Policy & Management

Chippie is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Science, Policy, and Management program at Berkeley. Her passions lie in coastal management of water resources, and the impact of humans on marine species. She has conducted several remote sensing and water resource projects, involving harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and Ecuador, and freshwater availability on the Colombian island of San Andrés. After receiving her B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies with a minor in Geospatial Information Science and Technology from UC Berkeley in 2013, she managed the DEVELOP Program at the NASA Ames Research Center, and conducted research on seasonal patterns of chlorophyll-a in the Galapagos with the Fulbright Commission of Ecuador and the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL). Chippie would like to strengthen her programming skills and incorporate environmental modeling into her future research. In her free time, she enjoys conversing in Spanish, whistling, hiking, and watching Wes Anderson films.

Catherine Ledna
Energy & Resources Group

I am a first year MS/PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group. I am interested in exploring the economic impacts of climate change, particularly in the agricultural sector. In addition, I am interested in exploring techniques to characterize these impacts in the context of integrated assessment modeling. Prior to coming to Berkeley, I received a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and worked on issues related to U.S. energy policy and integrated assessment modeling at the Joint Global Change Research Institute.

Dana Miller
Center for Environment & Design

I’m an engineer working with sensors and control systems to reduce costs, save energy, and improve comfort in buildings. As a first year student in the Building Science MS program in the College of Environmental Design, I’m currently working with field studies integrating smart thermostats and ceiling fans, and implementing new control sequences for radiant-cooled buildings.

Previously I completed an MS in Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley, served as a project manager at a national research center in Singapore, and worked on studies of airborne bacteria and fungi in the US, China, and Singapore.

I’m also interested in fault detection and open source software, and am excited to learn new tools and have more opportunities to change my mind through the DS421 classes and community.

James Sayre
Agriculture & Resource Economics
I’m entering my second year studying international trade and development in the Agriculture and Resource Economics Department. Previously, I studied Mathematics and Economics at the University of Minnesota and worked as a research assistant for professors at the University of Minnesota and Harvard University, where I became familiar with using data to inform and answer research questions. My interests are in adapting the tools and methodology developed by economists in trade, economic geography, and other fields to answer questions at the intersection of development, agriculture, and the environment. I hope to use DS421 as an opportunity to develop my skills as a researcher and to collaborate with others across disciplines.
Samira Siddique
Energy Resources Group
I am a first-year M.S./Ph.D. candidate in the Energy and Resources Group and my research focuses on the social, economic, and physical processes of urbanization and climate change in Asia. I was previously an international development researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, where my work included an evaluation of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions in cities worldwide. Prior to that, I was a researcher at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I have a B.A. from Wesleyan University in the College of Social Studies and the College of the Environment.

Molly Van Dop
Agriculture & Resource Economics

I am a second-year Ph.D. student in the department of Agriculture and Resource Economics at UCB. My research focuses on climate change in agriculture and policy, with an emphasis on water resource issues. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Environmental and Water Resource Economics and a B.S. in Environmental Science, and from Purdue University with an M.S. in Agriculture and Resource Economics. I wrote my thesis on irrigation adoption and groundwater use under climate change in the midwestern United States, but have dabbled in soil physics, hurricanes, and hydrology. I’m excited to collaborate with researchers in a variety of disciplines, expand my horizons in the world of climate science, and to hone my data analysis skills. ​

Xiaowei Wang

I am an incoming PhD student in Geography. My research interests include open source tools for collecting environmental data, open environmental data, tracking and visualizing environmental change in China especially in areas like Zhejiang that have transitioned from agricultural to industrial in short time spans. As part of the DS421 program, I’m especially excited to work with others across disciplines and sharpen my statistics skillset. After graduating from Harvard, I’ve worked in data visualization and design at Situ Research to most recently working as an engineer at Mapbox, a startup in the geospatial space.

2016/2017 Alumni


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).
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.
SailingOldBluey_square_EliLazarusEli Lazarus
Energy & 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.
NiklasLolloPictureNiklas Lollo
Energy & 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.
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Katherine 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.
CarrieTribblePhotoCarrie Tribble
Integrative Biology

I am a PhD candidate 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 human influence has shaped trait evolution in ethnobotanically relevant plants. Specifically, I am studying the evolution of underground storage organs of plants (i.e. bulbs and tubers) across different climatic conditions. 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 Alumni


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 & 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.
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 & 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.

2015/2016 First Cohort
2016/2017 Second Cohort
2017/2018 Third Cohort