Spring 2015 Newsletter


We hope that you have had a pleasant and productive spring and wish you the best as you prepare for summer adventures. We are excited to share these highlights of work being done by E-IPER students, past and present.


New Initiative

Building a Stronger Community for Greater Impact:  

E-IPER Launches PhD-Joint MS Collaboration Grants


E-IPER recently announced a unique funding opportunity to inspire and support collaborations between E-IPER PhD and Joint MS students to address significant issues around renewable energy and climate change. We were delighted to receive eight proposals, each with a unique lens toward addressing many of the most challenging environmental problems we face today.


Photo courtesy of Australian News Agency: coal seam gas field footprint


Two of these projects were selected to receive grant funding this year:


"Can Natural Gas Be a Bridge to a Low-Carbon, Sustainable Future? A Case Study of the Environmental and Social Implications of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Extraction in Queensland, Australia" proposed by Emily Grubert (PhD 2nd) and Whitney Skinner (MBA-MS 2nd).


This project will evaluate the climate impact of using CSG with tools like high-resolution life cycle assessment (LCA). Emily and Whitney will also study attitudes about the types of social and environmental outcomes that are most important to communities, aimed  at informing effective policy related to CSG development.  


"Adaptive Governance in a Changing Arctic: Dynamic Shipping Regulations in the Bering Strait" proposed by Anne Siders (PhD 2nd) and Rose Stanley 

(JD-MS 2nd).  


This project will combine legal, geo-political, and geographic analyses to develop and submit a proposal to the U.S. Coast Guard drawing on dynamic marine protected areas to develop a new legal concept: dynamic shipping lanes that are re-located on a pre-determined seasonal basis to accommodate both sea ice changes and ecosystem.


Photo courtesy of USGS: U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard ships in the Arctic


These two proposals made compelling cases for projects that will address significant climate change issues, have strong and robust research and implementation plans, and leverage the unique skill sets of E-IPER PhD and Joint MS students. We look forward to supporting these projects in the coming year through the generous support of the Anne and Reid Buckley Fund.

Student News

Cassandra Brooks (PhD 3rd) in Antarctica. Photo credit: John B. Weller


At the 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference in San Jose, CA, Cassandra Brooks (PhD 3rd) organized a symposium with E-IPER affiliated faculty Larry Crowder that addressed new ideas for marine conservation on the high seas. Fish and other marine species swim freely throughout the oceans with no regard for national and international borders. Cassandra addressed the success of dynamic marine protected areas in Antarctica and how these could serve as a model for high seas conservation in other parts of the world. More information may be found via the Stanford Press Release. 


Cassandra also presented part of her E-IPER research for the first time at the 2015 AAAS Conference at a talk titled "Can Our Ocean Commons Be Sustainably Managed? Innovative Strategies for the High Seas."   

Antarctic scenery. Photo credit: John B. Weller

Anne Siders (PhD 2nd) attended the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan, where delegates negotiated the Sendai Framework for Action 2015-2030. Her observations and research focus on the integration of climate change, sustainable development, and disaster risk reduction in the post-2015 international frameworks being developed this year. She presented preliminary findings at a Stanford Law School Conference on international environmental and disaster law this spring. E-IPER affiliated faculty Chris Field also attended WCDRR to present as part of the panel titled "Disaster and Climate Risk: Accelerating National and Local Initiatives."


Aaron Strong (PhD 4th) co-designed and co-led a new community-engaged learning course, the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) Practicum, for which ten students, including Anna Lee  (PhD 1st) and Becky Niemiec (PhD 1st), developed and executed quarter-long research projects with a local partner land trust organization. Anna and Becky sought to understand volunteer motivations for continued engagement in stewardship activities with POST. POST's stewardship program includes a dedicated group of volunteers committed to the removal of invasive plant species. This project examined why volunteers engage in the stewardship program with POST, and why they engage in the particular activities they do while volunteering with POST. This information can aid POST in their decision making about the future of the stewardship volunteer program. Anna and Becky, with other student groups in the Practicum class, presented their findings to POST staff in March.   


Alumni News

Marilyn Cornelius (PhD 2013) co-founded a new company, Alchemus Prime, which offers science-based tools to help individuals, team
s, and organizations achieve win-win solutions for people and the planet by integrating across the behavioral sciences, design thinking, biomimicry, and meditation. Alchemus Prime offers training programs, workshops, retreats, consulting, and coaching services. 


Kristen Honey (PhD 2012) received a 2015 Energy Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for her 2013-2015 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship work in open data, Green Button MyData, and open innovations. Kristen continues to work closely with the White House and DOE to advance Federal open data efforts, including:


Kristen Honey (right, PhD 2012) with her colleagues at the 2015 Energy Innovation Awards 


As part of her AAAS Fellowship, Kristen also supports DOE Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR) efforts. The QTR is a DOE-wide effort involving all offices and 17 National Labs; it is updated once every four years and due for 2015 release. The 2015 QTR uses data-driven technical assessments and systems science to evaluate the most promising research, development, demonstration, and deployment opportunities across energy technologies to effectively address the nation's energy needs and climate change realities. DOE's QTR efforts are led by the Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Dr. Lynn Orr, who was previously at Stanford University and Founding Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy.   

Kristen Honey (left, PhD 2012) with Dr. Lynn Orr at the Department of Energy Quadrennial Technology Review Capstone Workshop in Crystal City, VA


Adam Leising (PhD 2014) has been hired by DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd), the world's largest technical consultancy to onshore and offshore wind, wave, tidal, and solar industries, as well as the global oil and gas industry. As part of the Energy Unit, Adam works in analytics within the policy advisory and research group of the sustainable use and services division. He'll begin with program evaluation of PG&E's Home Energy Reports, a task similar to his recent work for Stanford University's Precourt Energy Efficiency Center


Noa Lincoln (PhD 2014) and his team formed a cooperative corporation, Mala Kalu'ulu, to engage in issues of food security in Hawaii. The team took 1st place in the 2nd annual Mahi'ai Matchup Competition  and received a free agricultural lease and a cash prize for start-up capital to enact their business plan. Mala Kalu'ulu is a hybrid venture focused on food production, research, and community education. It focuses on reviving and understanding traditional cropping systems, while simultaneously utilizing and adapting those systems to the modern food system and challenges. Their five-acre farm will utilize a traditional Hawaiian arboriculture system of breadfruit and mixed understory crops, and they will engage in value-added processing to make more accessible this healthy, traditional, and environmentally friendly crop.


Noa has also accepted a tenure track professorship at the University of Hawaii. His position, Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems, is situated within the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and represents the first of a series of hires focused on deliberately moving the college into a more interdisciplinary approach to solving food system challenges. Noa will start his position in July.


After six years working with leading scientists and policy experts from around the world, Michael Mastrandrea's (PhD 2004) role as Co-Director of Science for the IPCC Working Group II TSU is coming to a close as the end of the Fifth Assessment Cycle nears. Starting in July, Michael will be co-leading Near Zero, a start-up nonprofit focused on producing targeted scientific assessments of critical energy and climate issues. Near Zero projects engage leading energy and climate experts using an innovative set of online tools for structured expert dialogue and formal elicitation of expert judgment. Assessments integrate expert knowledge, meta-analytics, and quantitative modeling to inform policy and investment decisions. Michael will remain based at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.  


Awards & Honors

Emily Grubert (PhD 2nd) won the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Student Presenter Competition for her presentation titled "Evaluating Produced Water as a New Source in the United States" at the 2015 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference in Los Angeles, CA.


Justin Mankin (PhD 5th) has been awarded and accepted the Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship in a joint appointment between Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory  and the Center for Climate Systems Research at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


Fran Moore (PhD 5th) has been awarded and accepted the Cirriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley's Agriculture and Resource Economics Department. After her fellowship, Fran will be an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Department at UC Davis starting in 2016.


Aaron Strong (PhD 4th) was awarded 1st place for his Oral Presentation "Managing Coastal Blue Carbon: Current practices and future opportunities" at the 12th Annual Research Review hosted by Stanford's School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Science (SE3).  


Christine Su (MBA-MS 3rd) received a $75,000 grant from the New Zealand government's Maori Innovation Fund to pilot PastureMap, a sustainable grazing management software, with New Zealand Maori landowners and farmers.



Greg Bratman's (PhD 5th) paper "The Benefits of Nature Experience: Improved affect and cognition" was published in Landscape and Urban Planning.


Joanne Gaskell (PhD 2012) published the following manuscripts: a paper titled "Systems Integration for Global Sustainability" in Science and a paper titled "The Role of Markets, Technology, and Policy in Generating Palm-Oil Demand in Indonesia" in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economics Studies.


Joel Minor (JD-MS 2014), who won the Feigenbaum Nii Award for the Spring 2014 Capstone Symposium, had his Capstone paper "Completing the Bridge to Nowhere: Prioritizing Oil and Gas Emissions Regulations in Western States" published as a law review article in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal.


Fran Moore (PhD 5th) published her paper titled "The Fingerprint of Climate Trends on European Crop Yields" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More information may be found via the Stanford Press Release.


Kirsten Oleson (PhD 2007) published a paper titled "Opportunities and Strategies to Incorporate Ecosystem Services Knowledge and Decision Support Tools into Planning and Decision Making in Hawai'i" in Environmental Management. She also published two papers in Ecological Economics: a paper titled "Social Capital as an Ecosystem Service: Evidence from a locally managed marine area" and a paper titled "Cultural Bequest Values for Ecosystem Service Flows among Indigenous Fishers: A discrete choice experiment validated with mixed methods."    


Courses, Presentations & Invited Lectures

Joanne Gaskell (PhD 2012) presented her paper titled "The Role of Markets, Technology, and Policy in Generating Palm-Oil Demand in Indonesia" at the Green Growth for All: Sustainability and Agriculture in the Indonesian Economy event hosted by the University of British Columbia's Center for Southeast Asia Research.   



Joanne Gaskell (left, PhD 2012) with a colleague in Rwanda for a hillside irrigation project


In Winter quarter, Nik Sawe (PhD 5th) taught a course called "Environmental Decision-Making and Risk Perception" for undergraduate and graduate students. The course covered the factors that contribute to our perception of environmental risks; the behavioral economics behind how we make environmental decisions in daily life; and the tensions between private sector, government, and community actors in dealing with environmental hazards. 


Anne Siders (PhD 2nd) presented a poster titled "Mechanism-Based Model of Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Climate Change" at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in April.


Anne also co-taught a Law School Policy Lab on nature-based solutions to coastal flooding with Stanford University Senior Lecturers, Meg Caldwell and Jan Martinez. Students worked with FEMA Region IX and The Nature Conservancy to identify barriers and suggest solutions to encourage local coastal planners to use FEMA hazard mitigation funding to pursue nature-based approaches to flood protection. White papers will be published by the Policy Lab and students are coordinating with FEMA and TNC to disseminate their results.


Aaron Strong (PhD 4th) presented his research "Managing Coastal Blue Carbon: Current practices and future opportunities" at the 2015 Aquatic Sciences Meeting sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography in Granada, Spain.


Thank you for your continued  
support of E-IPER!

Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in 
Environment & Resources


School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

(please note new school name) 


473 Via Ortega, Y2E2 Suite 226
Stanford, California 94305