About the Lab
The Climate Impact Lab is a unique collaboration of 30 climate scientists, economists, computational experts, researchers, analysts, and students from some of the nation’s leading research institutions.
Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School, as well as the Director of the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). His other current positions and affiliations include Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Editor of the Journal of Political Economy, Faculty Director of the E2e Project, Head of the JPAL Environment and Energy Program, co‐Director of the International Growth Centre’s Energy Research Programme, and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. Prior to rejoining the faculty at Chicago, Professor Greenstone was the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at MIT.
Trevor Houser is a partner with the Rhodium Group (RHG) and leads the firm’s energy and natural resources practice. RHG combines policy experience, quantitative economic tools and on-the-ground research to analyze disruptive global trends. Trevor’s work supports the investment management, strategic planning and policy analysis needs of RHG clients in the financial, corporate, philanthropic and government sectors. During 2009, Trevor left RHG temporarily to serve as a senior advisor at the US State Department where he worked on international energy, natural resource and environmental policy issues. He serves on the finance committee of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, his alma mater. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on US-China Relations and serves on the Advisory Board of Center for US-China Relations at the Asia Society.
Solomon Hsiang combines data with mathematical models to understand how society and the environment influence one another. In particular, he focuses on how policy can encourage economic development while managing the global climate. His research has been published in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Hsiang was Lead Economist for the 2014 analysis Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus, the scientific analysis behind the Risky Business report published by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, Thomas Steyer and colleagues. Hsiang earned a BS in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science and a BS in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he received a PhD in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Applied Econometrics at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at Princeton University. Hsiang is currently the Chancellor’s Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER. In 2013, Hsiang became the inaugural recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s Science for Solutions Award for “significant contributions in the application and use of Earth and space sciences to solve societal problems”. In 2014, Hsiang was named in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Law and Policy.
Robert Kopp is Director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. He also serves as co-director of Rutgers’ transdisciplinary Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience (C2R2) initiative, a training program which brings graduate students in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and urban planning together with coastal stakeholders to tackle the challenges that climate change poses to the world’s coastlines.
Prof. Kopp’s research focuses on understanding uncertainty in past and future climate change, with major emphases on sea-level change and on the interactions between physical climate change and the economy. He is a lead author of Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus (Columbia University Press, 2015) and of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 2017 Climate Science Special Report, a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon, and a contributing author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 Fifth Assessment Report. He has authored over sixty scientific papers and several popular articles in venues including the New York Times.
Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 2011, Prof. Kopp served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he worked on the U.S. government’s efforts to incorporate climate change into benefit-cost analysis and on the development and launch of the Clean Energy Ministerial. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow in geosciences and public policy at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in geobiology from Caltech and his undergraduate degree in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago. Prof. Kopp is a Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor’s Scholar and a past Leopold Leadership Fellow. He is a recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s James B. Macelwane and William Gilbert Medals and the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)’s Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal.
Tamma is a PhD candidate in Agricultural & Resource Economics at UC Berkeley, an EPA STAR Fellow, and a Doctoral Fellow in the Global Policy Lab at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Tamma studies environmental and resource economics, focusing on problems at the intersection of environment and development.
Trinetta is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). She works primarily on the Social Cost of Carbon project which calculates the economic impacts of climate change. Her interests are focused on environment policy and international development, particularly on issues pertaining to agriculture, nutrition and poverty. Prior to joining EPIC, she worked with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to examine the effects of early-life rainfall on child nutrition in Bangladesh. She also worked for several years at Singapore’s national water agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), under the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. Trinetta graduated with a Masters of Public Policy from the Goldman School at the University of California, Berkeley.
Michael Delgado is a Research Analyst at RHG focusing on energy and environmental markets and policy. Mike develops and deploys a range of quantitative tools to assess the macroeconomic impact of energy and environmental trends, and the market impact of energy and environmental policy proposals. Prior to RHG, Mike worked with John Weyant at Stanford University as an energy modeler and for the NIF/LIFE team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s from Stanford.
Greg is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with EPIC working on the Social Cost of Carbon project, which looks to better understand the global impacts of climate change. His research interests center on markets for agriculture, energy, and natural resources in developing economies. Prior to joining EPIC, Greg worked with Innovations for Poverty Action as a Research Associate on multiple development economics studies in Uganda and as a Policy Associate working on issues of financial inclusion in New Haven, CT. Previously, he worked with a USAID funded export promotion project in Ghana. Greg holds a BA in Economics and Government from Cornell University.
Radhika is a predoctoral fellow at the Energy Policy Institute of Chicago (EPIC) working on the Social Cost of Carbon project which is aimed at providing a global assessment of climate change impacts. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Radhika was a research analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC where she conducted research on fiscal policy, agriculture, and political economy for Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, she worked for the International Growth Centre (directed by London School of Economics and University of Oxford) in the Rwanda and Oxford offices where her research focused on a range of themes including public finance, education, poverty, urbanization and agriculture. She has also consulted for the World Bank and Oxford Policy Management and engaged in fieldwork across Africa and Southeast Asia. Radhika holds an MSc in Economics for Development and a BA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and was a Ministry of Education (Singapore) Agency for Science, Technology and Research scholar.
Hannah Hess is a Communications Manager at RHG. Before joining the team, Hannah worked for five years as a journalist in Washington, D.C., reporting on Capitol Hill and federal agencies. Hannah wrote on a wide range of topics that included climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation strategies, the legal and legislative challenges to federal regulations, and politics surrounding climate change. Now, she helps researchers communicate their work to the press and public. Hannah earned two degrees from the University of Illinois, a Bachelor’s in Media Studies and a Master’s in Public Affairs Reporting.
Andy is currently a PhD student in Berkeley’s Agricultural and Resource Economics program, where he is a fellow with the National Science Foundation’s Data Sciences for the 21st Century initiative. 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.
Andy holds a Master’s in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley and a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.
Azhar is a Pre-Doctoral fellow with EPIC at the University of Chicago. He is interested in energy and environment economics research, and has already worked on a study named Light Up Bihar in India with J-PAL for over two years. The study focuses on improving the revenue parameters and checking commercial losses incurred by the Power Distribution Companies in Bihar. It also tries to reinstate the fact that electricity service delivery in India is a collective-action problem; and to make it sustainable, we need not only well-functioning power markets, but also people’s understanding of the fact that electricity is a private good, and not a free commodity. Azhar received his undergraduate degree in Mining Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi.
Amir Jina is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Economics Department of University of Chicago and a Senior Fellow at the Energy Policy Institute of Chicago (EPIC). An environmental and development economist, his research focuses on the role of the environment and environmental change in the shaping how societies develop. He uses applied economic techniques combined with methods from climate science and remote sensing to understand the impacts of climate in both rich and poor countries, and has conducted fieldwork related to climate change adaptation with communities in India, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Uganda. Prior to University of Chicago, Amir was a visiting scholar at the Goldman School of Public Policy in University of California, Berkeley where he worked on the economic analysis of the Risky Business initiative, an independent assessment of the economic risks posed by a changing climate in the U.S commissioned by co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer. Amir received his Ph.D. in Sustainable Development and M.A. in Climate and Society both from Columbia University, B.A.s in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Trinity College, Dublin, and previously worked with the Red Cross/Red Crescent in South Asia.
Theo is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with EPIC. When it comes to his research, Theo’s interested in making the representation of energy systems and energy use in Integrated Assessment Models more realistic and useful. Before coming to EPIC, Theo completed his Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (MSESP) degree at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
Megan was project manager for the Climate Impact Lab in 2016. She received her Masters in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Previously, Megan was the Assistant Director of Global and Executive Programs at the Goldman School where she developed leadership and management programs for governments and institutions from around the world. Megan earned a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kate Larsen is a Director at RHG and manages the firm’s work on US and global climate change issues. Previously, Kate worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality where she was Deputy Director for Energy and Climate Change under President Obama. From 2007 to 2013, Kate worked in the Office of Climate Change at the US Department of State, serving as lead US negotiator on mitigation commitments and compliance in the UN climate negotiations. Prior to the State Department, Kate worked at the International Energy Agency in Paris, the World Resources Institute in Washington, and the Environmental Defense Fund in California. She received a Bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Texas, Austin.
Terin Mayer is a project manager for the Climate Impact Lab and a Masters candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Before graduate school, he worked with community-based nonprofits and labor unions in Minnesota to build organizational capacity, drive civic engagement and foster grassroots participation in state budgeting and workplace policy making. Terin received his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy (magna cum laude) from Carleton College. He spent ten years of his childhood in Bolivia, Spain, and Chile with his sister and parents, an elementary school educator and a US Air Force officer.
Kelly McCusker is a Climate Scientist at Rhodium Group lending climate science expertise to a range of projects and software development support to the Climate Impact Lab. Previously, Kelly was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate at the University of Washington and the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada where she studied the role of the changing Arctic sea ice cover on global circulation, weather, and climate using a hierarchy of numerical global climate models. She received a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Providence College and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences with a concentration in Climate Science from the University of Washington, and in between worked as a software developer in defense, finance, and astrophysics.
Shashank Mohan leads the development and management of RHG’s suite of economic models and other quantitative tools. He works across RHG’s practice areas to analyze the impact of policy proposals and structural developments on specific markets and broader economic trends. Prior to RHG, Shashank worked with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the World Bank to design an electricity expansion model for Kenya and Senegal and was a program assistant at the South Asia Institute. His background is in information technology, with a previous career in software engineering at Microsoft. Shashank holds an MPA from School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.
Ishan Nath is an Economics PhD student at the University of Chicago interested in growth, development, the economic impact of climate change, and the ways in which these topics interact. Prior to beginning his PhD, Ishan earned an MPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He also holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Earth Systems, with honors and distinction, from Stanford University, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Udall Scholar. In addition to his studies, Ishan has policy experience as an intern at the White House, U.S. Treasury, and The Carter Center, and as a consultant for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Sam Ori is the Executive Director at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). From 2013 to 2015, he served as Executive Vice President at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to reducing American oil dependence in order to enhance economic and national security. From 2007 to 2013, Sam led SAFE’s policy work on a variety of topics, ranging from global oil and natural gas markets to transportation technology. Prior to joining SAFE, Sam spent four years working in the federal government at the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Department of State, including at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
Sébastien is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with EPIC. His research explores the impact of global warming on the economy, including labor productivity, mortality rate, and agriculture yields, among other economic factors. Sébastien received his B.A. in Economics from Ecole Normale Supérieure, in his home country of France, and an M.A. in Energy and Environmental Economics from Université Paris-Dauphine. Prior to joining EPIC, he worked on assessing the impact of intermittent renewable energies on electricity prices as a research assistant at the Chaire European Electricity Markets.
DJ is a PhD student at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University. His interests lie at the intersection of Earth’s atmosphere, public affairs, and the economy. He uses numerical models and large data sets to study financial risks related to climate change impacts and extreme weather events. After graduating from UW-Madison with a BS in atmospheric science, DJ was a research fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). He received an MS in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California-Davis.
James Rising is an interdisciplinary modeler, studying the feedback between environmental and human systems, and focusing on the impacts of climate change and the water-energy-food nexus. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Energy & Resources Group at UC Berkeley after receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia University’s program in Sustainable Development. He previously taught within MIT’s Experimental Study Group and at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and worked as a software developer, working with over a dozen companies on audio and video processing, social networks, and artificial intelligence.
Ashwin Rode is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. At EPIC, he is working on the Global Climate Prospectus, a multidisciplinary endeavor that will assess climate change impacts around the world. His other research areas include the political economy of environmental and climate policy and natural resource management. Ashwin received an A.B. in Economics from the University of Chicago, an M.S. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Justin Simcock has a background in international affairs and defense. Justin worked as a Cryptologic Technician in the Navy, a Foreign Service Officer at State, and a defense contractor. He is a graduate of Boston University and the Defense Language Institute. He has also taken advanced graduate training in Chinese Studies at the University of Hawaii and data science and data engineering courses at Galvanize in San Francisc
Yuqi is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at EPIC working on the Social Cost of Carbon project. Her area of interest is inter-disciplinary research including economics of climate change and pollution. Prior to joining EPIC, she studied at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a focus on finance and received an MBA. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from MIT.
Jingyuan is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at EPIC and works on the Social Cost of Carbon project with Michael Greenstone. She is interested in the economics of environmental degradation and climate change. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, she worked as a research assistant at Cornell Institute for China Economic Research. Jingyuan holds an MS in Applied Economics from Cornell University and a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science and Economics from Peking University.
Jiacan Yuan is a climatologist who is interested in understanding the fundamental dynamical processes in the atmosphere and improving climate models, which could give us better predictive power and risk assessment of the changing climate. Her research apparatus is built with a fusion of advanced statistical methods, idealized general circulation models (GCM), and state of the art climate models. At present, her research is focused on assessing economic risks from the projection of future climate. Jiacan has worked on several projects on climate dynamics, including the response of large-scale circulations in the warming climate, its effects on regional weather patterns and extreme events, tropical influence on mid-latitude weather, and dynamical mechanisms of sub-seasonal variability of mid-latitude jet streams.