My research is on the impact of various energy policies on air quality, climate, health and equity; I focus on multiple spatial scales, from community science, to national and global assessments. My research informs tools and solutions that can aid in policy-making and solutions to improve environmental equity, reduce the impacts of climate change, and incorporate sustainable development goals at the local and global scale.

Core Themes

Interdisciplinary Modeling

I use systems modeling, including chemical transport models, energy models, and climate model data to analyze air quality and climate impacts of energy systems.

Policy Oriented

My work answers questions that are policy relevant, informing local, national and global regulatory bodies of important sustainability considerations.

Community Informed

I work with communities to root my work in local contexts, particularly focusing on equity and justice of the energy transition.

Current Projects

  1. Energy Decisions and their Impacts on Air Quality and Climate in the United States This work merges energy grid models, often found in the social and energy research space, with chemical transport models, used in the earth sciences, to understand the impact of energy policy on air quality and climate. I’ve assisted in the development of US-EGO, an EGU specific energy grid optimization tool that allows for construction of policy scenarios in the United States, and subsequent chemical transport modelling of the emission changes and their impact on air quality. This framework is an improvement on the typical format of linear regressions that are used to assess changes after they occur, and allows us to think about future energy policy and its impacts at a local scale. An example of this work is investigating the impact of coal and nuclear power plant closures on air quality, climate and health in the United States.

  2. Reduced form Modeling of Black Carbon, CO$_2$ and Mercury and Ensembles of Policy Scenarios Climate science often makes use of ensembles of models, perturbing the starting conditions to get a range of possible responses. However, policy scenarios rarely do the same, particularly when we apply them in climate models. This work aims to improve our ability to analyze ensembles of policy scenarios and their impact on Black Carbon, CO$_2$, and Mercury. Making use of mathematical tools (specifically, Green’s Functions), I simplify our ability to understand the earth system responses to Black Carbon, CO$_2$, and Mercury. This work creates a methodology that can be used to assess the impact of a given emission source on local, regional, and global areas over varying lifetimes of the source of emissions. This method allows us to think about the intersection of temporal variation in the earth and social systems, where the lifetime of an emission source, the lifetime of its pollutants, and the timeline of the pollutant’s impacts are all varying and important to consider. This work is currently being applied to a databases of coal powerplants globally, where I assess the importance of their emissions, location, source of funding, amongst other sustainable development issues such as proximity to protected lands.

  3. Community Science Led Air Quality Monitoring As a scientist for the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange, I have the opportunity to work with a community group based in Ohio, where they are monitoring and quantifying the impacts of unconventional oil and gas development on the air quality in the region. All of our work is guided by Concerned Ohio River Residents priorities. This has led to the creation of a local network of air quality monitors for VOC’s and PM$_{2.5}$. We work alongside a number of other organizations in the region, including Fractracker, the Environmental Health Project, and the Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE lab. Our group was recently selected as a recipient of the American Rescue Plan’s Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring Competitive Grant (press release)