Dr David Ciplet is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, and co-founder of the CDL. He is a sociologist focused on global governance, environmental inequality, and climate justice. He is lead author of Power in a Warming World: The New Global Politics of Climate Change and the Remaking of Environmental Inequality (MIT Press, 2015). He has published articles in journals such as Global Environmental Change, Global Governance, Review of International Political Economy and Global Environmental Politics. With a commitment to broadening the public conversation on climate change and social justice, his work has been featured in media outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Bloomberg Businessweek, Reuters, Radio Australia, and The International Herald Tribune. Ciplet is co-founder and Co-Director of the CU Boulder Just Transition Collaborative (JTC). The JTC’s mission is to support more just energy, climate, environmental and labor practices that foster the inclusion of underrepresented peoples and values. The JTC is currently working to advance environmental justice in the transition to a sustainable economy in Boulder County.
Dr Romain Weikmans is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.-FNRS) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles / Free University of Brussels (Belgium). In 2015-16, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the CDL and a Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation. His main research interests lie in the interface between climate change and development co-operation. He is the author of several academic articles on climate finance and of a book on climate change adaptation (L’adaptation au changement climatique, Editions La Découverte, with V. van Gameren and E. Zaccai). Romain Weikmans earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Management from the Université Libre de Bruxelles / Free University of Brussels in 2015. During his Ph.D., he was a Visiting Researcher at the Environmental Change Institute (Oxford University) and at the Institute for Environment and Human Security (United Nations University).
Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @rweikmans
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @rweikmans
Kailani Acosta is a research assistant in the University of Miami Department of Biology, as well as a Climate Resilience Intern at the nonprofit Catalyst Miami. At Catalyst Miami, Kailani works to educate Miami-Dade residents about the local impacts of climate change, connect climate change to other social justice initiatives, implement programs that strengthen the resilience of communities, and advocate for policies that call for climate action. She graduated from Brown in 2016 with a concentration in Environmental Science. She is currently applying for various PhD programs.
Harry August is a junior at Brown University concentrating in Environmental Science with a focus on Conservation Science and Policy. He spent the past few summers working on environmental issues in Central America, first with la Escuela de Bici-Tecnología Apropiada and more recently with la Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente. At Brown, Harry works for the Office of Energy and Environment, helps run the campus bicycling organization, Bikes at Brown, and leads environmental justice discussions at local high schools with Moving Mountains. When not in the Lab, Harry can be found spending quality time with his housemates.
Crystal Avila is a senior at Brown University concentrating in Public Policy and Economics. She is interested in addressing the needs of underrepresented, vulnerable populations. In the past her focus has centered on working with homeless individuals and disadvantaged students. A recipient of the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award and the White Internship, she has been able to do both direct service and policy work. After taking a course on the Economics of Natural Resources, she became interested in climate justice and ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable (but least responsible) countries are met through increased transparency and accountability in climate finance.
Jeff Baum graduated Brown in 2015 with a degree in Geology. While at Brown, he was interested in applying his studies in geology to issues surrounding climate change, particularly geothermal energy development. He also interned for two years as a sustainability analyst for Brown's Office of Energy and the Environment, and took those skills with him to his current job at Northstar Recycling, where he develops and manages recycling programs for large North American manufacturing companies. He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Cassidy Bennett graduated in Environmental Studies with a focus on Environmental Justice. Currently, she is working on a thesis with Professor VanWey on the climate change vulnerability of farmers in Uganda and their adaptation potential. Her area of focus is on improving access to high quality, culturally appropriate, affordable food and protecting the rights of food workers in local communities and developing countries. She is a four year member of Brown's women's ultimate frisbee team and enjoys spending time in the ocean and mountains. After finishing her time at Brown she hopes to travel and eventually return to the West Coast to continue to work on issues of environmental and food justice at home and abroad. In the past she has worked with a non-profit on food justice and policy in the Bay Area in California as well as with the Real Food Program through Dining Services at Brown.
Maria Camila Bustos works as a researcher at Colombian think-do tank Dejusticia. She works in the International Area where she focuses on issues regarding business and human rights, climate induced displacement, and the human rights movement. Camila Bustos graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University with honors in Environmental Studies and International Relations. Her thesis focused on the international politics of climate change, looking at Colombia as a case study to explore climate politics in the Global South and the UN climate negotiations. Before joining Dejusticia, Camila was lead researcher at Nivela, a new Global South think-tank focused on challenging conventional debates around development, politics, and environment.
Ximena Carranza Risco is a sophomore at Brown University concentrating in Environmental Science with a focus on Sustainable Development. She was born and raised in Peru, where she became interested in studying the intersection between politics, economics and the environment to understand the social conflicts and inequalities that stem from environmental issues. Ximena is also particularly interested in the ways in which civic activism influences and shapes policy, both at the domestic and international level. She currently volunteers as a Democracy Coach for the NGO Generation Citizen, teaching project-based civic engagement classes to high school and middle school students in Providence in collaboration with local school teachers. Ximena’s work with the CDL focuses on Latin American civil society mapping.
Sohum Chokshi is a senior at Brown University, concentrating in Environmental Studies: Environment and Inequality and Visual Arts. Sohum's interests lie in environmental social justice and climate injustice, focusing on how systems of colonization and exploitation have contributed to the current environmental crisis, and how decolonization is the path to healing. Sohum focuses on story-sharing literature, the arts, political systems, and movements to achieve this goal.
Alex Durand is a junior at Brown pursuing a degree in environmental studies. After working for years on local grassroots environmental action campaigns, she became involved in the Climate and Development Lab to tackle climate change on an international level. After working with the RI Department of Health's climate change program and the Secretariat of the Pacific's public health program, Alex has developed an interest in the intersection of public health and climate change. Her work with the CDL focuses on loss and damage.
Eliza Drury is a senior at Brown concentrating in Environmental Studies with a focus in sustainability and development. Eliza is currently working on a technical paper about mapping vulnerability in the Least Developed Countries with Joseph Holler, a professor at Middlebury College. She worked this past summer as an intern for the Climate Development Lab with Joe Holler reading and coding all of the English NAPA documents, as well as other climate change vulnerability and adaptation research. Beyond her work with the CDL, Eliza has worked as a youth outdoor educator, and has a passion for sustainable food systems.
Spencer Fields is a Research Associate at Synapse Energy Economics, where he researches a number of topics within the electricity industry and produces reports for a range of clients. After graduating with a dual B.A. in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown in 2012, Spencer went on to intern for the Climate and Energy program at the Worldwatch Institute and eventually the U.S. Senate, where he focused on renewable energy and natural resource policy. As a member of the CDL, Spencer attended COP17 in Durban, and contributed to several policy briefs examining climate finance for the Least Developed Countries. His undergraduate thesis, Capturing the Riches of Bolivia: Utilizing Historical and Contemporary Experience in Bolivian Mining to Inform Future Resource Policy, explores the cyclical nature of natural resource policy in Bolivia with an eye towards improving extractive policies in the future.
Jon Gewirtzman is a junior concentrating in Environmental Science with a focus on Conservation Science & Policy. He is interested in how climate change is impacting ecosystems, and how science and policy can work together to protect them. Before joining the CDL, Jon assisted with research at Drexel University regarding the structure of the climate change denial movement, and interned on a grassroots fracking campaign at PennEnvironment. In the summer of 2015, he began working at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, where he is studying nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas production in terrestrial ecosystems. Jon is also a member of the Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition and a SustainPVD Ambassador for the City of Providence.
Sonya Gurwitt graduated from Brown in 2017 after studying Environmental Studies (with a focus on Sustainable Development) and creative writing. She is most interested in the intersection of these two subject areas, and during her time with the CDL, she focused on media coverage of climate change. Along with two other CDL alumni, she co-authored an article that recently appeared in the journal Climatic Change about international media coverage of COP21. Inspired by her findings during the research for this article, she also created the website Rhode Island Climate Stories (www.riclimatestories.com) as a way to take a closer look at climate change in RI. The website comprises a collection of interviews with people in RI about their experiences and thoughts on local climate change. Since graduating from Brown, Sonya has been touring the Northeast performing with a small circus company in a show she helped create.
Tory Hoffmeister is a junior double concentrating in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Her interests lie at the intersection of these two disciplines, especially in U.S. environmental policy. Since joining the CDL, Tory has researched loss and damage, Latin American civil society organizations, and how national statements made during the final days of COP 20 negotiations factored into revisions leading up to the adoption of the decision text. Last summer, she worked as an intern at the environmental justice NGO West Harlem Environmental Action, researching NYC environmental policy in support of a community resiliency planning process. She also worked as a research assistant for Columbia political science Professor Don Green. At Brown, Tory is part of the Engaged Scholars Program and a teaching assistant for Environmental Science in a Changing World.
Meghan Holloway is a senior at Brown University double concentrating in Health & Human Biology and Economics. She is interested in how negotiation, lobbying and advocacy processes on the national and international stages is more attentive to certain strategies and voices. She is particularly fascinated by how these dynamics impact the type of climate change polices adopted by world actors. Before joining the CDL, Meghan interned for the Department of Justice and the White House. She also is Chief of Staff of the Brown Political Review and formerly President of the Brown University Democrats.
Zihao Jiang is a junior concentrating in International Relations. His interests include the intersection of energy security and climate change, corporate strategy in adjusting to the global agenda of climate change policy and the social/political consequences of China's investments overseas. As a summer research analyst at McK CKC in 2014, he inspected cases about energy company M&A, particularly their impact on the makeup of generation capacity and long-term economic and environmental consequences. He also worked as a undergraduate researcher at African Studies Center at UCLA and did research on the social and environmental effect of utility constructions by Chinese SOEs on SubSaharan Africa.
Caroline Jones is a sophomore at Brown University concentrating in Philosophy and Environmental Studies, with an emphasis on sustainable development. She is particularly interested in sustainable agriculture and the future of the global food economy, as well as the influence of political identities and organizations on climate policy. Caroline is also a Section Manager at the Brown Political Review, where she focuses on climate policy and environmental justice.
Maris Jones is the Digital Community Manager for ISeeChange, a community weather and climate journal. Since graduating from Brown University in 2015 with a dual B.A. in Anthropology and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies, Maris has worked as an experiential environmental educator in Hawai'i, Alaska, and Portugal. She has also served as the Community Engagement and Outreach Fellow at the Gulf Restoration Network where she created "Comments from the Coast," a blog series amplifying voices from frontline communities in coastal Louisiana. During her time in the CDL, Maris co-created the "COP 20-Somethings" photography project focusing on youth presence and voice at the 2014 UN climate change negotiations in Lima. In the fall of 2018, Maris intends to begin graduate study in anthropology and hopes to focus her future research on adaptation strategies for vulnerable communities in coastal regions and small island states of the African diaspora.
Jessica Kenny graduated from Brown in 2017 after studying Development Studies with a focus on Sustainability Education in Latin America. While in the CDL, she researched the Inter-American Development Bank's financing for climate-related capacity building projects, participated in COP22 in Marrakech, and worked with youth climate activists from around the world, remaining involved with EngajaMundo, the youth climate network of her home country, Brazil. In August 2017, Jessica became a certified Ecovillage Design Educator through the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and dreams of cultivating an urban ecovillage in her hometown of Curitiba. Currently, she is collecting seeds of hope, researching ecovillages in the Mediterranean and around south and central Brazil, in order to learn how we can fruitfully communicate about climate change across differences in age, class, gender, race, culture, species, and disciplines.
Graciela Kincaid graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in International Relations. While in the CDL, she designed an UTRA with Prof Timmons Roberts to study international climate finance policy, and traveled to Durban for COP17. After two years of research, she co-authored with Prof Timmons Roberts: "No Talk, Some Walk: Obama Administration Rhetoric on Climate Change and its International Climate Budget Commitments," published in Global Environmental Politics in 2013. Currently, Graciela is a Product Manager at Dropbox, based in San Francisco.
Alison Kirsch graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. While in the CDL, her research focused on climate change policy in Latin America, and she worked as a Communications Intern at Climate Action Network - Latin America. Currently, Alison works in San Francisco at the nonprofit Rainforest Action Network (RAN), where she is the Program and Research Coordinator for the climate and energy team, researching the flow of private finance into fossil fuels.
Adam Kotin is a Policy Associate at the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), where he focuses on clean energy policy and climate adaptation in California’s agricultural sector. Prior to this, he worked as a Consultant and Research Analyst for the United Nations Development Program, as well as at numerous San Francisco area environmental non-profits in research and communications roles. Adam was a member of the CDL from 2010 until 2012, when he received his M.A. from Brown’s Center for Environmental Studies.
Spencer Lawrence graduated from Brown in 2011 with a degree in political science and a focus on sustainability strategies and tactics. Spencer joined the CDL for the UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico. After graduating from Brown, Spencer sent three years as an energy and sustainability consultant for EBI Consulting, helping building owners across the US improve their sustainability performance. Spencer is currently is the Founder and CEO of LightsOut, a crowd-soured sustainability reporting app.
Michelle Levinson joined the CDL in 2010 and attended the UNFCCC COP16 in Cancun. After graduating from Brown University in 2011, she worked in political, legal, and policy advocacy at the Natural Resources Defense Council and NextGen Climate. Currently she is pursuing dual masters degrees at the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Energy Resources Group at the University of California Berkeley. Michelle's research focuses on the financial impacts of climate change and policy levers to promote economy-wide decarbonization.
Keith Madden graduated from Brown in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Studies and International Relations and participated in the CDL from 2011-2014. He attended UNFCCC COP 19 in Warsaw and wrote his undergraduate thesis on the rights of nature. He is now pursuing a master's degree in the Department of Development, Environment and Territory at FLACSO (The Latin American School of Social Sciences) in Quito, Ecuador.
Kari Malkki is a senior at Brown concentrating in Development Studies with a focus in Latin America. Early in her time at Brown, Kari became fascinated by the intersection of ecological conservation, socioeconomic development, and human rights. She spent the last summer working as a research assistant to Prof. Leah VanWey, exploring the sociology of land use and conservation in the Atlantic Forest of Bahia, Brazil. Outside of CDL, Kari works as a Sustainability Intern at Brown's Office of Energy and Environment, teaches English at an immigrant rights association in Rhode Island, and attempts to be in the sunshine as much as possible.
Mili Mitra is a sophomore at Brown University double concentrating in Public Policy and Economics. She was born in India and raised in Singapore, where she became fascinated by Asian politics and the mechanics of international public policy. She is particularly interested in the role of developing countries in climate negotiations. Before joining the CDL, Mili worked as a Press Intern for the Energize RI Coalition, a group campaigning to pass a carbon pricing bill in Rhode Island. She also serves as President of Brown Amnesty International and participates in national human rights campaigns.
Michael Warren Murphy is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. His main interests fall under the broad categories of Environment, Development, Political Economy, Inequality, and Sociological Theory. As an NSF-IGERT Fellow in the Graduate Program of Development, run through the Watson Institute, Michael is interested in issues of environmental inequality at the global, national, and subnational level, particularly in the Global South. He received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of San Diego, where he also studied Philosophy and Peace and Justice Studies.
Sujay Natson is a 2016 graduate from Brown University in Political Science and Geology. After graduation, he worked in Washington DC with an INGO that uses local public justice systems to protect the poor from violence. In the 2017-2018 academic year, he will be a student at the University of Oxford pursuing his MSc in Environmental Change and Management. His interests are in the intersection of international law, human rights and environmental policies. As a researcher in the CDL, he co-authored three publications on UN Climate finance. During his free time, he loves running and being in the outdoors.
Cherise Pabia is a junior at Brown University concentrating in Environmental Science with a focus on Sustainable Development. She addresses campus-wide issues of food sustainability as a consultant for Brown Dining Services, and she leads BruNotes, a program providing free music instruction to low-income youth at four schools in the Providence area. Outside of Brown, Cherise works for Pfizer Inc. as a records management analyst. Her research interests include the roles of faith groups and city governments in promoting community resilience and securing climate justice.
Cecilia Pineda works as the Resiliency Training and Policy Coordinator at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES). At GOLES, Ceci advances community-determined resiliency to climate change by developing and coordinating trainings for community members and LESReady!, the Lower East Side’s disaster response coalition; and also by working alongside the Energy Democracy Alliance, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, NY Renews, and other ad hoc groups to address city and state policies to strengthen community resilience to climate change. Since 2012, they have worked with community organizations, schools, and community groups around climate justice. Ceci is an Advisory Board member of BK ROT (a youth-powered and community-supported compost project), a core member of the Audre Lorde Project’s Safe OUTside the System Collective; a Soul Fire Farm BLFI alum; and a NYC Master Composter. At Brown, Ceci studied climate injustices at the global level and researched negotiating dynamics between the global south and north within the climate negotiations.
Sophie Purdom is a junior at Brown University pursuing a B.Sc. in Environmental Economics and Policy. She believes that strong economic growth is complementary with strong action on climate change. Since joining the CDL in 2013, she has focused her research on economic and political risks and opportunities associated with adapting to our changing climate. Sophie has previously worked at Ceres, the Providence Office of Sustainability, and on the Rhode Island Climate Change Act. Sophie is a Henry David Thoreau Scholar.
Allie Reilly graduated from Brown in 2015 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. With the CDL she attended COP21 in Lima, Peru and researched climate adaptation finance in support of the Least Developed Countries negotiating bloc. Directly following her graduation, Allie served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the United Way of Rhode Island, where she worked to increase access to high-quality STEM after-school programs for youth across the State. Afterwards, Allie pursued an MSc at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, which she completed in September 2017. Through a case study in Brooklyn, New York City, her dissertation focused on the central role that modern mobility plays in reinforcing and reshaping historically uneven urban communities. Allie plans to move back to the U.S. to pursue a career at the nexus of climate change, social justice, and transportation.
Kara Roanhorse is a senior at Brown concentrating in Ethnic Studies with a broad focus in critical indigenous studies and politics, specifically environmental justice, social media activism, and tribal-federal policy as it pertains to Native youth. Before and after joining the CDL, Kara interned in Washington, D.C. twice and has crafted policies on tribal governance strategies, treaty rights, and educational necessities in Indian Country. Originally from New Mexico, Kara is particularly passionate about practicing and strengthening understandings of Diné (Navajo) sovereignty and culture.
Marguerite Suozzo-Golé graduated from Brown in 2016 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. She currently works for Indivisible as the Organizer for MA, RI, CT, NJ, and PA, supporting 800 local volunteer chapters formed to resist the Trump agenda. Prior to that, she was a Field Organizer for the Democratic Party of Virginia during the 2016 election. At Brown, she focused on climate and renewable energy policy. Outside of class, she organized around environmental issues locally, nationally and -- as part of the CDL -- internationally. Her proudest moment came in the summer of 2014, working alongside Prof. Timmons Roberts to build the Resilient RI Coalition. The Coalition brought together environmental activists, small businesses, and average citizens, leading to the successful passage of the Resilient RI Act, the State's first climate legislation.
Olivia Santiago (Los Altos, California) is a third year student concentrating in Environmental Sciences: Conservation Biology. She is interested in the rights and policies regarding climate-displaced peoples in small island nations at the UNFCCC. She currently works on the Seychelles delegation at the UNFCCC, researching loss and damage issues for the Ambassador of the Seychelles, HRE Ronald Jumeau. At Brown, she was Royce Fellow for Sport and Society and traveled to Trinidad and Tobago during the summer of 2013 to work on sport for development projects. Olivia is also a member of the Brown women’s water polo team.
Stephen Stahr is a senior concentrating in Applied Mathematics-Economics. His primary research interests relate to sustainable economic growth, technology transfer mechanisms and climate finance. At Brown, Stephen has written on these topics for the Brown Political Review and the Intercollegiate Finance Journal. During his junior year, he studied abroad in the Geography and Environment Department of the London School of Economics. Stephen has also worked for the CDL on the Resilient Rhode Island project.
Sarah Stillman graduated from Brown in 2017 with a degree in International Relations and an emphasis on development. She is particularly interested in the role that global governance and international negotiations can have in facilitating action on climate change. Sarah is currently living in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, working with the United Nations Capital Development Fund as a program developer. In her role as program developer, Sarah is helping pilot two programs focusing on women’s economic empowerment: one targeting Congolese and Burundian refugees and the other on improving livelihoods through climate-resilient agriculture.
Andrea Zhu graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Development Studies. She joined the CDL at COP22 in Marrakech, supported the UNDP pavilion, and did research on transparency of climate finance and China's climate leadership. Andrea is now on an NYC Urban Fellowship at the NYCEDC, where she works on public outreach, research, and implementation for large-scale urban planning and development projects across the five boroughs.