Winter 2018 Newsletter
Throughout the winter quarter, E-IPER students have been hard at work in their courses, and their own research. Alumni have also been busy addressing environment- and resource-related problems. In the midst of this busyness, they are also finding time to connect and create community. Those of us in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to the longer days of springtime, and on campus the rain and flowering plants are transforming the landscape. 

In this issue: 
News Features News
 DeanNew SE3 Dean, Stephan Graham

Dean Stephan Graham
-Photo by Steve Castillo 
Stephan Graham is getting to know E-IPER better than ever before. The new Dean of the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences has played key roles in the School's administration throughout E-IPER's history, serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1999 to 2007 and 2009 to 2014, followed by two years as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, from 2014 to 2016. While he has had some involvement with E-IPER over the years (he has, for example, reviewed many E-IPER research proposals), he is eager to learn more. Since he became Dean in November, he has held meetings with E-IPER students, staff and faculty affiliates, in an effort to get a full view of the program.

"E-IPER has been huge for Stanford," he says, "These students are conducting critical environmental research that spans traditional disciplinary boundaries."
Dean Graham, trained as a sedimentary geologist, has crossed numerous disciplinary boundaries in his own scholarship. His work has been published in journals ranging from the Annual Review of Marine Science to Organic Geochemistry to Tectonophysics to Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. He has supervised over 90 MS and PhD theses on a wide variety of topics, having continued to mentor students throughout his years as an administrator.
His interest in geology started early. When he was a young boy, he collected fossils from old strip mines in the Little Pigeon Creek watershed in southern Indiana, not far from the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln. As exciting as his finds were, he truly learned about the thrill of discovery from his great uncle, who, armed with a Master's degree in Geology and boundless confidence, set out to find oil; he was successful at his 7th site. These experiences, along with camping and hiking with the Boy Scouts, led Stephan Graham to study geology, a field that would allow him continue making discoveries and spending time outdoors.
Stephan Graham's Fall 2017 midterm exam 
- Photo by Zachary Sickmann
His work has also led him to understand the relationship between human activities and environmental quality. He came to recognize the abandoned strip mines where he had collected fossils as blights on the landscape and sources of pollution. Traveling around the world as a geologist, he has seen enormous environmental problems, some of them stemming from the way we use natural resources. And he sees solving these problems as an interdisciplinary challenge. In particular, he says, "assessing the impact of climate change on our ability to sustain well-being, and finding ways to distribute the burden of climate change more justly" are tasks that fall to interdisciplinary scholars. "The graduates of E-IPER have the opportunity to play an important role in finding solutions to these and many other environmental challenges."


PhD-MS Collaboration: Geothermal Electricity Expansion in East Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa over 650m people lack access to basic electricity - that is twice the population of the United States who can't click on a light switch in their home. East Africa has particularly high levels of energy poverty with less than a quarter of the population having access to electricity. Improving grid access and expanding cost-effective off-grid electricity have the potential to immediately improve quality of life, provide greater safety and public health and promote economic development for communities across the continent.
Fortunately, several countries in East Africa are uniquely situated atop one of the world's richest geothermal resources, the East African Rift. Yet, to date, Kenya is the only country that has successfully developed geothermal electricity. Due to long-term domestic commitment, smart policy development and sizeable international funding support, over 25% (650 MW) of their electricity comes from this clean, cost-effective, reliable resource. Their achievement served as the motivating question for our research - can neighboring countries replicate Kenya's geothermal success and accelerate clean energy access?
Before coming to Stanford, Tim Latimer (MS-MBA 2018) was a drilling engineer in the West Texas shale oil plays. As the industry rapidly developed new technology and became ever more efficient, he had a eureka moment - why can't oil and gas industrial knowhow be applied to clean energy? Given similarities in drilling and resource assessment, geothermal was a natural extension. Tim's ideas and interest in East Africa complemented the research interest of Nathan Ratledge (PhD 2), who, as a Kimmelman Family Fellow, studies clean energy deployment in least developed countries. When they met at the January 2017 E-IPER retreat, Nathan jumped at the idea of exploring energy production beyond the commonly researched topics of solar and wind, particularly given the dearth of high quality research on geothermal electricity in Africa.

Nathan with mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park, DRC. 
Clean energy development  can reduce dependence on natural resources, alleviating pressure on forests.
Aware of the complexities of developing utility scale energy projects in challenging political and economic environments, the research partners designed their project to be practical from both business and policy perspectives. They constructed a nuanced levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis for geothermal electricity in five regions across the four-country study area. 
Supported by an E-IPER Collaboration Grant through the Anne and Reid Buckley Fund, the two traveled to East Africa in the summer of 2017. They conducted interviews and site visits in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, as well as in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They met with domestic governments, aid agencies, non-profits, energy professionals and financiers in order to understand from each stakeholder's perspective the specific challenges facing geothermal development. The research trip also included visits to an active drilling site in Menangai in central Kenya and to the Geothermal Development Company's direct-use demonstration facility near Nakuru, Kenya.

Tim visits a Kenya Geothermal Development Company site near Nakuru Kenya

Back at Stanford, Nathan and Tim were encouraged by the results of their LCOE analysis. Based on the Department of Energy's intricate Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model, their revised model suggests that three of the four most likely plays in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania are actionable from a cost perspective.
The single biggest factor in the LCOE analysis was the assumed interest rate. In a region with exceptionally high lending rates, the interest on capital-heavy projects like geothermal can make or break a project. For example, Uganda's average lending rate in 2016 was over 23%; Kenya's assumed interest rate for the highly productive Olkaria geothermal region is a comparatively low 8%.  
In addition to more specific policy-based recommendations, Nathan and Tim conclude that meaningful action on the higher-risk stages of geothermal development-exploration and assessment-can be further catalyzed through increased funding from international aid agencies. For example, a comprehensive evaluation of one play in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania would cost only $30m. This relatively modest investment would have joint benefits of a quicker transition toward clean electricity and the production of information that domestic governments and private companies need to complete the lower-risk ventures of resource development and plant construction.

Esther Nyambura, an engineer with the Kenya Geothermal Development Company, shows Tim the GDC's direct-use demonstration facility, where geothermal energy heats a greenhouse and powers a laundry facility.
Connecting 650 million people to modern electricity is an overwhelming challenge that must be met by an equally significant and aggressive investment strategy. Developing a geothermal energy in East Africa should be a cornerstone solution for local governments and aid agencies alike.  The research team's white paper is slated to be published in spring 2018. 

E-IPER MS Autumn Capstone Symposium
The Autumn 2017 Capstone Symposium was held on December 7. Nine presentations from E-IPER/GSB students featured projects that covered wide-ranging global topics such as dairy supply chain in Nigeria, geothermal energy in Kenya, natural gas in Mexico, water treatment interventions in Kenya, and applying systems thinking to land management in Mexico. Featured projects also included smart city strategies for San Francisco, incorporation of ecosystem services into the U.S. Farm Bill, sustainable cannabis cultivation, and the future sustainability of flying cars.

Left: Capstone presenters Ryan Betka, Diego 
Arguelles Llausas, Shruthi Baskaran, Santiago Perez Teuffer Lopez, Pam Chirathivat, Tim Latimer, Lesley Thayer, Eric Olliff (not pictured: Aisha Bashir, Apoorv Bhargava, Wendy Hua, Cynthia McMurray, Stephanie Young)
Upper Right: Aisha Bashir, Alejandra Maguina, Wendy Hua
Lower Right: Faculty Director Peter Vitousek is surprised with a celebratory sabbatical cake

Generously funded by the Feigenbaum Nii Foundation, the Capstone Symposium is held twice each y
ear. The winners of the Autumn 2017 Feigenbaum Nii award are Pam Chirathivat and Tim Latimer for their project, "Impacts of Geothermal Development in East Africa," which they completed in partnership with Nathan Ratledge (PhD 2nd).
Videos of student presentations can be found on the E-IPER website.  
Use the password "viaortega" to access all presentations.

Erratum: An earlier version of this article did not include the name of Apoorv Bhargava among the Capstone presenters. We apologize to Apporv for this omission. 
E-IPER Joint MS Community Events
Winter is often a time when Joint MS alumni come back to campus to impart wisdom and spend time with current students. On January 25, graduates returned to campus for the annual E-IPER MS-MBA Alumni Panel. Participating alumni included: Jeff Barnes (MS-MBA 2016), Senior Manager, Proterra; Victoria Beasley (MS-MBA 2016), Senior Associate, Prelude Ventures Catherine Chang (MS-MBA 2013), Director of Operations, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Marc Manara (MS-MBA 2014), Co-Founder of Farm Hill; and Brenden Millstein (MS-MBA 2010), CEO, Carbon Lighthouse.
Left to right: Panel student facilitator, Natalie Bodington, with panelists Cat Chang, Brenden Millstein, Victoria Beasley, Jeff Barnes, and Marc Manara 

While the audience enjoyed dinner courtesy of Farm Hill, current student Natalie Bodington (MS-MBA 2nd) facilitated an intimate discussion including alumni perspectives on the value of the master's degree in their careers, the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship, and how to stay true to working toward positive environmental and social impact.
On February 13, Professor Barton "Buzz" Thompson and Holly Thompson once again hosted a dinner for students and alumni of the MS-JD and PhD-JD programs. Students had the opportunity to meet with E-IPER alumni  Danny Cullenward  (PhD-JD 2013), Research Associate, NearZero/Carnegie Institute for Science, and Laurel Mills (MS-JD 2017), Attorney with David, Polk, and Wardwell LLP, as well as with E-IPER Executive Committee members Nicole Ardoin, Charlie Kolstad, Eric Lambin and John Weyant. After dinner, the assembled group took time to reflect on the program and offer their suggestions about future directions for E-IPER.
Left to right: (top) Tom Miller, Adrien Duroc-Danner, John Weyant, Buzz Thompson, Ben DeGolia, Danny Cullenward, (bottom) Nicole Ardoin, Hajin Kim, Laurel Mills, Monica Molina, Donna Ni, Autumn Bordner, Sarah Rowan, and Eric Lambin  
Alumni Spotlight spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: Dave Weiskopf
Dave Weiskopf (MS-JD 2013) is the Climate Policy Director for NextGen Policy Center, where he is responsible for developing approaches to fully decarbonizing electricity and transportation systems. He focuses on clean energy policy, improvements to carbon market rules, effective approaches to a transition from fossil fuel production-based economies, and reducing negative impacts (environmental, health, and economic) on vulnerable communities.  "I use my interdisciplinary training every day to develop and advocate for solutions in law and policy to some of the thorniest energy and climate problems we currently face," says Dave.
Dave and his colleagues are working to mitigate climate change and its impacts through a transition to clean energy in the context of equality, inclusion, and a shared, sustainable prosperity. They provide analysis and advice to policymakers who want to act on climate issues.  Last year, for example, they worked on new air quality legislation and on getting California's landmark cap and trade system reauthorized. They also joined with a coalition of local concerned citizens, environmental justice advocates, clean energy experts, and others to help stop the construction in Oxnard of a natural gas power plant that they characterize as ill-conceived and obsolete.
Following his E-IPER MS-JD program, Dave was a Schneider Fellow with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Chicago. He recommends that kind of experience for students who are eager to learn about advancing policy for clean energy and energy efficiency. A key take-away from that fellowship, says Dave, was that "nothing is ever just about writing the best, most technically sound argument. You need to back it up with proof that you are not a lone voice in the wilderness, and that real people with a range of interests are on your side."
Whether he is writing short , easy-to understand summaries of complex policies or providing technical information to decision-makers or weaving together the language of policy and energy in a cogent and persuasive way, Dave says his E-IPER training has served him well. While a student, his coursework on electricity and energy systems and on coastal and ocean issues provided him with an important technical foundation; it was his work outside the classroom, however, at the Center for Ocean Solutions and with the Stanford  Environmental Law Clinic, that he cites as most valuable. In a partnership that predated E-IPER's collaboration grants, he developed his MS Capstone project with E-IPER PhD and Stanford Law JD, Danny Cullenward. Through the Environmental Law Clinic, and together with E-IPER faculty, they worked to defend California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard in a Federal Appellate Court Case. 
Dave lives in Sacramento with his wife, Suzi . They love being able to walk and bicycle in the city, and have a growing affection for its extensive tree canopy. Dave puts in very long work hours (easy, he says, with wonderful colleagues like his), but when he's not working, he enjoys the simplicity of walking in the city, growing vegetables and fruit in his yard, and making yogurt.

Career Forum: A few words from Dave

If I can take this space to just sort of make a plea to current students: please take our current political situation extremely seriously. I know that grad school can feel desperate and disempowering a lot of days, but, please take some time to zoom out from whatever academic crisis is most immediately at hand, and consider how you and your work fit into the broader ecosystem of our society at this critical moment. You are at an elite institution, and you have the opportunity to take risks and make bold stands in ways that almost no one else in the country does. Please, please get active in any way you are able --whether that is running for office or working on a campaign, marching, or just using the platform that your work affords you in a way that helps to defend people who are being targeted and harmed right now. Take some time off of school if you need to and are able to. Every act, every publication, every conference appearance provides you with choices and chances to amplify the voices of people who may not have access to those same platforms. Please use your privilege to help those who do not have the same opportunities.
Student News StudentNews
Soon-to-be alumna Anne Siders (PhD 5th) has accepted a post-doctoral appointment as an Environmental Scholar at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. Siders will be working with Jesse Keenan on managed retreat and coastal relocation as a climate adaptation strategy.
Alumni News AlumniNews
Kate Brauman (PhD 2010), Lead Scientist at the Global Water Initiative, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, was named AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow , in the cohort on water and food security.
Marilyn Cornelius (PhD 2013) has published her third cookbook, Flavor of Love: 
Recipes that Plant Harmony, Grow Wellness, and Feed the Soul,
available at many online sites.  
This summer, Joann de Zegher (PhD 2017) will be joining the faculty of the Operations Management Group at MIT Sloan School of Management.
Kristen Honey (PhD 2012) continues to work in the White House Office of Management and Budget as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer. From Washington, D.C., she leads the interagency  Data Cabinet (data science),  Federal Open Data , and  Federal
Open Government working groups.

Kristen and her colleagues in the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group
In December 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary appointed Kristen to serve as Vice Chair and one of 14 Voting Members of the newly formed HHS
Tick-Borne Disease Working Group
Tim Latimer (MS-MBA 2018) has started Fervo Energy, a geothermal energy company focused on developing new technology to unlock the 100 GW enhanced geothermal systems resource in the United States.  Fervo Energy, and Tim, are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Justin Mankin (PhD 2015) has started the Dartmouth Climate Modeling & Impact Group.
After five years, Kim Nicholas (PhD 2009) and her European colleagues, have wrapped up the OPERAs project ( Operational Potential of Ecosystem Research Applications ), a collaborative European research project with 27 partner institutions in 17 countries using ecosystem science for policy and practice.
Kim is an Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies in Lund, Sweden.    

Lauren Oakes
(PhD 2015) recently began working with the Wildlife Conservation Society as a Conservation Scientist and Adaptation Specialist. She is helping to build the organization's Climate Change Adaptation Program across the Americas. Her book, In Search of The Canary Tree (Basic Books, Hachette Book Group, Inc.), is scheduled to hit the shelves later this year. Lauren is an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Earth System Science, and is teaching the core writing seminar for E-IPER this winter.

Caroline Scruggs (PhD 2012) was featured in "Meet the Researcher" in the January 2018 edition of New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute's New Mexico Water eNews, and was an invited speaker on the Public Engagement and Potable Reuse panel at the American Water Works Association's 2018 International Symposium on Potable Reuse, Austin, Texas, January 2018.   A paper by Caroline and Bruce Thomson, " Opportunities and Challenges for Direct Potable Water Reuse in Arid Inland Communities , " was selected by The Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of  the American Society of Civil Engineers as the 2018 EWRI Best Policy-Oriented Paper. 

Awards & Honors AwardsANDHonors

Elinor Benami (PhD 5th), Miyuki Hino (PhD 3rd), Indira Phukan (MS-PhD, Ed) and Samy Sekar (PhD 3rd), and were accepted into the 2018 cohort of the Rising Environmental Leaders Program (RELP) of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Each year a group of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars learn to develop the leadership and communication skills they need to optimize the impact of their research.
A keynote speech by Kim Nicholas (PhD 2009), "How we solved climate change: A retrospective from 2050," was voted the best keynote speech at the Öredev conference. 
Charlotte Stanton (PhD 2015) and her colleagues have been announced as winners of the Ecological Society of America's Sustainability Science Award for their paper, " Cash for Carbon: A randomized trial of payments for ecosystem services to reduce deforestation ," published in Science. The Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of the scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.
Nicola Ulibarri (PhD 2015) received a Collaborative Research and Training Award from the UC Laboratory Fees Research Program on " Headwaters to Groundwater: Resources in a Changing Climate ."

Publications & Presentations PubsPresentations
David J.X. Gonzalez (PhD 2nd) had an article published in Yale Global on his work on mercury trade in Latin America, "Treaty Does Not Stop Illicit Mercury Trade in South America."    
Justin Mankin (PhD 2015) and colleagues have published two new papers: 
Fran Moore (PhD 2015) and colleagues have a new paper, "New science of climate change impacts on agriculture implies higher social cost of carbon," in Nature Communications, and Fran has a guest blog post on G-FEED.
Kim Nicholas (PhD 2009) had several notable publications in the past year. With Verena Hermelingmeier, she published " Identifying Five Different Perspectives on the Ecosystem Services Concept Using Q Methodology " in Ecological Economics. She and her colleagues published " From Pinot to Xinomavro in the world's future wine-growing regions "  in Nature Climate Change this year.   
Kim and Seth Wynes's article, " The climate mitigation gap: education and
government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions, "
published in Environmental Research Letters last July, was one of Carbon Brief's  Top 10 Climate Papers of 2017 . Kim had the opportunity to reflect on these actions (eating a plant-based diet, living car-free, skipping flights, and planning smaller families) in Scientific American , the Association for Women in Science and other media outlets.

Anne Siders (PhD 5th) visited  Austin Becker (PhD 2013) at University of Rhode Island in November and gave a talk on her dissertation research to the Department of Marine Affairs. Both Siders and Austin study climate adaptation and resilience. Siders is currently in Indonesia doing disaster risk reduction work. Austin is an Assistant Professor in Marine Affairs at  URI, where he continues to research climate resilience for maritime infrastructure.
Austin Becker (PhD 2013) and Anne Siders (PhD 5th) in the halls of URI's Department of Marine Affairs.

Tannis Thorlakson (PhD 4th) had three papers come out this quarter. With Joann de Zegher (PhD 2017) and Eric Lambin she published Companies' Contribution to Sustainability through Global Supply Chains  in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She and colleagues also published " Improving Environmental Practices in Agricultural Supply Chains: The role of company standards " in Global Environmental Change; and several authors, including E-IPER alumni Rachel Garrett (PhD 2013) and Robert Heilmayr (PhD 2016), published " The role of supply-chain initiatives in reducing deforestation " in Nature Climate Change.

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents 
Environmental Forum :  
E-IPER is joining with The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment to co-sponsor the Environmental Forum twice this spring:
Monday, April 23
12:00 pm
Y2E2 300
Eric Post, Department of  Wildlife, Fish and Conserv ati on Biology,
University of California, Davis
Tuesday, May 15
3:30 pm
Y2E2 299
Anne Beaudreau, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Thank you to our major contributors for this issue:
Susannah Barsom, Tim Latimer, Gabriela Magana, Nathan Ratledge and Anjana Richards

Edited by:
The E-IPER staff
Thanks to all of you for continuing to support E-IPER!