Winter 2019 Newsletter
E-IPER students and alumni continue to work on understanding and helping solve the world's most significant environmental and resource sustainability challenges.  It's been a rainy winter in Palo Alto, and students, faculty and staff are all looking forward to a warmer, dryer spring quarter.  
In this issue:
News Features News
New E-IPER Faculty Director
Dean Stephan Graham announced in December that Professor Nicole Ardoin has been named the Sykes Family Faculty Director of E-IPER, and the inaugural Emmett Family Faculty Scholar. She replaces Peter Vitousek, who stepped down from the role after 10 years of leading the program through significant change and expansion. 
Professor Ardoin said, "I am deeply honored and excited to take on this new role at a critical time for both the program and the university. Following in Peter's footsteps is humbling as he has been not only a visionary leader for the program, but also an inspiring, supportive mentor for me and many other E-IPER-affiliated faculty members over the past decade. He has certainly left his mark on E-IPER as a home of high-quality interdisciplinary environmental scholarship."  
Professor Ardoin has been involved with E-IPER since arriving at Stanford in 2008, having served as a dissertation co-advisor, core course instructor, and Admissions Committee member and chair. Her scholarship focuses on environmental behavior, environmental learning, and the nexus of social-ecological systems.
  E-IPER Students Launch the Climate,  
Business, and Innovation Conference

A year ago, E-IPER MS-MBA students Annie Baldwin, Jennifer Goldman, Ida Hempel, and Julia Osterman began to discuss ways to improve the climate change dialogue at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). Their discussions led to this year's Climate, Business, and Innovation Conference, held February 13 at the GSB. The conference focused on the risks and opportunities that climate change presents to businesses.
The organizers were overwhelmed by the response from the Stanford community and others. Over 250 students,  faculty members,   alumni and industry representatives registered for the event, with GSB alumni telling organizers that they had been waiting for years for an event like this. Dean Jonathan Levin joined the conference to share his excitement about beginning this important conversation in the same year that the William Nordhaus was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on carbon pricing.
Speakers included Bill McGlashan, co-founder and CEO of The Rise Fund and managing partner of TPG Growth; Rich Sorkin, CEO of Jupiter Intelligence; Peter Kelly, VP of investment management at Goldman Sachs; Sila Kiliccote, CEO of eIQ Mobility; and Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods. An Innovation Expo featured ten startups that are addressing climate change through levers in energy, finance, transportation and other arenas. Three break-out panels focused on opportunities in food and agriculture, sustainable cities, and climate finance and investing.
The conference organizers invite the E-IPER community to share their ideas about ways to engage the broader community of students and faculty in climate change discussions.
Dissertation Defenses:
Staci Lewis and Ronan Arthur
Celebrating Staci's thesis are (from left) Nicole Ardoin, Staci Lewis, Rob Dunbar and Meg Caldwell.  
This winter, Staci Lewis successfully defended her dissertation, Linking Socio-political Transformations to Environmental Change: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Assessing Adaptive Watershed Governance in the Republic of Palau.   
Ronan Arthur explained the intricacies of  Epidemics and Adaptive Behavior as a Coupled Human-Natu ra System: Trust and Response to the 2014-15 Ebola Epidemic in Liberia, on his way  to successfully defending his dissertation last fall.
Autumn Capstone Symposium
The Autumn 2018 Capstone Symposium featured five presentations from MS-MBA students, spanning a variety of sectors and global locations.  Topics included artisanal palm oil production in Ghana, sustainable industrialized construction for low- and middle-income households in South Africa, reduction of waste from food processing in India, biotechnology to improve crop yield and reduce environmental impacts, and digital solutions for reducing environmental impacts from oil production.
The Capstone Symposium, held twice a year, has been generously funded by the Feigenbaum Nii Foundation. The winner of the Autumn 2018 Feigenbaum Nii award is Rushil for her project, "Farm-level and Processing Food Waste Reduction in India: An Idea for Red Chillies."
Videos of all presentations are available on the E-IPER website .
Autumn 2018 Capstone Students (from left to right):  Tom Campbell (MS-MBA), Rushil (MS-MBA), Ruth Adu-Daako (MS-MBA), Rafael Nataf (MS-MBA), Dramene Meite (MS-MBA), Megan Welch (MS-MBA), Manuel Waenke (MS-MBA)


E-IPER and Law Student-Alumni Dinner
On February 21st, the Joint MS-JD community gathered at the home of Professor Buzz Thompson for an evening of delicious food, conversation, and celebration of how far the MS-JD program has come. This was the fourth annual event for this community and it was well attended by newly admitted and current MS-JD students, alumni, and faculty from Education, Earth System Science, and Management Science and Engineering. E-IPER is grateful to Buzz and Holly Thompson for opening their home, and for creating an opportunity for discussions about the program from multiple perspectives.


E-IPER Students Explore Sustainability  
Innovation in Scandinavia
  In December 2018, Valerie Shen and Carlotta Mathieu (both second-year MS-MBA students) led a Sustainable by Design trek to Scandinavia. A group of 11 students braved the Nordic winter and journeyed to Stockholm, and from there, across the Baltic Sea to Copenhagen. The group was attracted by Scandinavia's leadership in design and sustainability-Stockholm is second only to Silicon Valley in per capita number of social unicorns (startups that positively affect over one billion people). Their mission was to explore Scandinavian sustainability innovation, from the perspective of corporations, startups, investors, and government.    
Below, Valerie and Carlotta describe some of the themes they explored during their journey.
  • Big government, big entrepreneurs: We kicked off the week at Vinnova, the Swedish government innovation unit tasked with making Sweden a leading source of innovation for a more sustainable world. We were excited to learn about the role of the welfare state in encouraging entrepreneurial risk-taking.
  • Chasing social unicorns: We visited Norrsken House and Fund, an impact investing ecosystem and fund founded by Klarna founder Niklas Adalberth. Norrsken is focused on empowering social unicorns.
  • Fast fashion slows down: We met H&M, the world's second-largest (by sales) fashion retailer. The company is striving to be an industry leader in the transition to a circular economy, and is investing in new materials, technology and business models to cut the environmental impact of its supply chain.
  • Sustainability gets a punk makeover: We also visited Deadwood, a slow-fashion company that creates punk leather jackets out of offcuts. We discussed the sustainability implications of online shopping (shipping emissions, return logistics), and making sustainability cool.
  • For the planet, and the many people: We then travelled by train to the birthplace of IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer. We learned about the company's history of revolutionizing furniture design and sales, and home life more broadly. We explored the synergies and tensions between sustainability and IKEA's democratic design principles (affordable design for the many people), and learned about waste reduction through materials and design innovation.
  • Absolutely green: We donned hard hats and visited Absolut Vodka, a premium vodka brand acquired in 2008 from the Swedish government by Pernod Ricard. During an early morning factory tour, we learned about designing circular supply chains, and how the stillage from one vodka factory can feed 290,000 cows and pigs every day!
  • House-in-a-box: We finished our meetings with a visit to BoKlok, a leader in industrialized construction of sustainable and affordable housing. The company was founded as a partnership between IKEA and Skanska, and we were hosted by Jerker Lessing, BoKlok's Director of Research & Development.
We are extremely grateful for the support of E-IPER, and thank our in-country hosts for shining light on their fascinating sustainability innovation.
Visiting BoKlok housing in Malmö.
Alumni Spotlight Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight:  
Jason Funk

Jason Funk (PhD 2009) recently launched the Land Use & Climate Knowledge Initiative (LUCKI), with the aim of cultivating more informed, cooperative, and charitable decisions about the future of land resources as they relate to a changing climate. To support sensible, well-informed land-sector solutions that contribute to international climate goals, the organization will curate and disseminate information, promote cooperation, and work to build shared understanding and common ground among stakeholders.
After graduating from E-IPER, Jason worked for ten years in the international climate policy arena at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He has worked at the Environmental Defense Fund, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and most recently at Carbon180. Over the years he has been a resource for developing countries that are in need of technical capacity related to land use, and has worked with numerous stakeholder groups and environmental NGOs. This work taught him how to make connections and find solutions to a wide range of resource challenges related to land use and climate change, and has given him an understanding of how different resource challenges play out in the real world. 

Before applying to E-IPER, Jason knew that he wanted to work in some way at the intersection of climate change and land use; he says he "will be forever grateful to the late Steve Schneider for seeing how the nascent program would be a good fit for me."  His dissertation research did find him at that intersection: he worked with indigenous landowners in New Zealand, helping them take advantage of New Zealand's carbon market through native reforestation. This work taught him how to apply different disciplines and research tools to the complex issues of land use and climate change. Alternating between fieldwork and on-campus work, he ended up spending nearly two years in New Zealand. This long path equipped him with a "Swiss Army knife" approach that he now realizes is quite valuable to environmental advocacy groups.

While his interdisciplinary training was important in understanding the complex dimensions of environmental issues, and made him a valuable member of an advocacy team, Jason says that it also "...actually shaped the way I think and operate. By that, I mean that I have a much sharper understanding of the limits of my own knowledge across various fields--yet I don't see those limits as boundaries, so much as points of connection with other experts, stakeholders, and disciplines. Rather than living within my comfortable zone of expertise, I prefer to live at the boundaries, where I can continue to learn, engage others, and make new connections. I think others can sense this openness intuitively, and as a result they tend to reciprocate.  I trace that approach directly back to E-IPER." 

When Jason returned to New Zealand a few months ago, after an absence of several years, he was happily surprised to find that his work continues to be relevant for his old colleagues, and that it had initiated some positive changes there. "It was just the kind of gratifying experience that I had dreamed about as a grad student," he says.  

Jason has lived with his family in Oak Park, Illinois, for four years. Having grown up in the Midwest, he quickly felt at home there. He is involved with the environmental community in Chicago, and has found it much more robust and active than he expected.  Oak Park, in particular, is a sort of "bastion for environmentalists" and it's not unusual for Jason and his neighbors to come up with new initiatives while sitting around his kitchen table.  When he's not working on environmental issues for work or pleasure, he enjoys gardening and cooking, and has recently combined those interests by pickling "everything I could get my hands on." He also does carpentry and woodworking for fun, and, with his father and brother, built a small cabin near his hometown.

Jason declares that his greatest achievement at Stanford was wooing his wife, Amy Rosenthal, whose own career has been in conservation--currently she is focused on the Andes-Amazon region, and leads a team of researchers at Chicago's Field Museum.  The couple has two young children who regularly amaze and delight them.  

Jason's advice to E-IPER students: 
Stanford graduate students have access to opportunities that are quite rare, such as international projects and connections. Take advantage of them. Build good relationships with your fellow students: among other benefits, they are going to end up in your professional network, and it's fun to work with your friends. Finally, E-IPER is a unique program, in which you can cultivate a distinct interdisciplinary mindset that is going to be invaluable in solving the daunting environmental problems the world now faces. Work intentionally to foster and develop that mindset while you have the chance, because it is still rare and unsupported in the outside world. It can serve you very well--in fact, if you tend it carefully, it can help you thrive. 
Student News StudentNews

On March 7, Autumn Bordner (MS-JD 3rd) and Caroline Ferguson (PhD 2nd) attended Bikini Day on Kili Island, the Marshall Islands. This is the 73rd year that Bikinians have lived in exile, following their removal by the US government in preparation for nuclear weapons testing by the US.
While Bikinians were relocated to several different islands, today, most of them call Kili home. Kili is a low-lying island with no lagoon, and is highly vulnerable to storm surges and floods. The Marshallese continue to fight for their future in the face of climate change. As Bikinian Alson Kelen sees it, "If we can survive the atomic bomb, we can survive climate change."
Since last summer, Caroline and Autumn have conducted three rounds of  interviews with Bikinians living on Kili. These interviews provide the basis for two forthcoming academic papers, and will also be part of the researchers'  Hot Spot Podcast .

Cody Evans (MS-MBA 2nd) was featured in GTM for his views on Opportunity Zones and renewable energy.              

Miyuki Hino (PhD 4th), Samanthe Belanger
(MS-MBA 2018) and Chris Field gave a 
press briefing at the AAAS annual meeting on the high-tide flooding paper that they wrote with colleagues (see Publications & Presentations section, below). Press links are compiled here, including Washington PostThe Guardian, and Science Friday. 

This winter, Abhay Jain (MS-MBA 2nd) hosted a welcome dinner for new Joint MS students in his home. The event was appreciated by old hands and new students alike, and all are hopeful that this will be the first of many such events.

Shannon Switzer Swanson (PhD 4th) was in Bali in February to meet with a film crew producing a 3D film about her research with fishing families in Toropot, Indonesia. The short film will be part of a series called "Into Water." Made in partnership with Google and National Geographic, the series features women whose research involves glaciers, rivers, coastal waters, and the deep sea.

Alumni News AlumniNews
Joanne Gaskell (PhD 2012) has a new position as Senior Agriculture Economist at the World Bank.
Megan Guy (MS-MBA 2010) has launched a new technology venture capital fund, King River Capital . King River is investing in high-growth businesses in the US and Australia that are leveraging AI and software to transform industries.
Fran Moore (PhD 2015) was interviewed on the Resources podcast, Future Resources: Radio: Agriculture and Climate Change .
The research of Kim Nicholas (PhD 2009) and colleagues, on high-impact individual actions for climate mitigation (meat-, car-, flight-free, for example), has been featured in a BBC broadcast, and on WNYC ("Your carbon footprint, explained").
On a personal note, Kim shared that last May, she and Simon Rose celebrated their recent wedding with a month-long train trip through North America--or what Kim refers to as her "low-carbon adventure and quality time with our loved ones."  Friends and family hosted their 14 regional parties across Canada and North America.

Veena Srinivasan (PhD 2008) was invited to be a Union Lecturer at the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics Centennial conference in Montreal in July, 2019. She hopes to see some of you at the conference.

Emma Wendt (MS-MBA 2009) has a new position as a Community Development Officer at the Island Institute in Rockland, Maine. She is leading their energy and climate work to support Maine's island and coastal communities in their efforts to thrive sustainably. Emma is particularly interested in connecting with people who are working on microgrids or other energy and climate projects in remote and rural areas.
Awards & Honors AwardsANDHonors
Kristen Green (PhD 3rd) was awarded second place for a student talk at the North Pacific Research Board's Alaska Marine Science Symposium.

Apoorv Bhargava (MS-MBA 2017), co-founder of Weave Grid, and Tim Latimer (MS-MBA 2018) co-founder of Fervo Energy have been named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list of people fueling a more sustainable future.

Publications & Presentations publicationsANDpresentations

Christa Anderson (PhD 2018) and colleagues published " Natural Climate Solutions are Not Enough " as a Policy Forum in Science.

Cassandra Brooks  (PhD 2017) attended the  Futures Congress in Chile to give a talk entitled "Antarctic marine protected areas: Biodiversity and diplomacy in the last great global commons." She gave the talk in both  Punta Arenas and Santiago.

Joanne Gaskell  (PhD 2012) was invited to Bates College in November to give a lecture on food security, "Can Africa Feed Africa?" and she recently was lead on a World Bank report, " Breaking Down the Barriers to Agricultural Trade in Central Africa ."

Miyuki Hino (PhD 4th ), Samanthe Belanger (MS-MBA 2018) and colleagues published " High-tide flooding disrupts local economic activity ," in Science Advances. Miyuki and Katharine Mach had a short research review focused on the role of managed retreat in climate change adaptation; "The role of managed retreat in adapting to sea level rise" was published in December 2018 Quarterly Research Review of the Aspen Global Change Institute.
Michael Hooper  (PhD 2010) recently published an article, "When diverse norms meet weak plans: The organizational dynamics of urban rubble clearance in post-earthquake Haiti," in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. The article draws on a case study of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Noa Lincoln (PhD 2014), Peter Vitousek and colleagues published "Prehistoric agricultural activities inferred from soil phosphorus distribution in the leeward Kohala field system, Island of Hawai'i" in Pacific Archaeology.
Justin Mankin (PhD 2015) and Kenneth Schultz have an article, "Is Temperature Exogenous? The Impact of Civil Conflict on the Instrumental Climate Record in Sub-Saharan Africa, in press with  in the American Journal of Political Science.    
Fran Moore (PhD 2015) published a paper, " Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change ," in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and wrote an op-ed about it in the Washington Post Capitol Weather Gang blog . Her work was covered by the New York Times ,  The Atlantic , and  Wired .

I n January, Ranjitha Shivaram (PhD 1 st ) presented her work with colleagues on "Data-driven Urban Energy Analytics (DUE-A)" at the Earth Week conference on Stanford's campus.

Nicola Ulibarri (PhD 2015) and colleagues have the following publications:
The tensions of transparency in urban and environmental planning in the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents 
Dissertation Defense

Jenna Forsyth
Wednesday, April 11, 2019
1:00 PM
Y2E2 299

Commencement Ceremonies

Stanford University 2018 Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, June 16, 2019 
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM 
Stanford Stadium
School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
2018 Diploma Ceremony and Reception
Sunday, June 16, 2019 
12:30 PM 
Mitchell North Patio

Contributors to this issue include:
Annie Baldwin, Susannah Barsom, Autumn Bordner, Caroline Ferguson, Jennifer Goldman, Ida Hempel, Gabriela Magana, Carlotta Mathieu, Julia Osterman, Ann Marie Pettigrew, Anjana Richards, Valerie Shen and Maile Yee.

Edited by:
The E-IPER Staff

Thank you for continuing to support E-IPER!