Earth Institute Student Research Showcase 2019
The Earth Institute, Columbia University is committed to showcasing student research in the areas of environment and sustainable development. The Earth Institute brings together undergraduate, graduate and PhD students at the annual Earth Institute Student Research Conference. Students discuss their unique research experiences of working to understand and solve pressing environmental and sustainable development issues.
All of the projects are conducted by students who have received support, guidance or funding through an Earth Institute affiliated education or student program including a travel grant, internship, or research assistantship from the Institute.
Montana AireyAs a small girl, I was entranced with the ocean and its mysterious, vast, depths. By the age of 10, I had decided on my career path and have never strayed from it. I attended Boston University as an undergraduate to study Marine Science and Environmental Science. Currently, I attend Columbia University where I am pursuing a MA in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology and conducting my thesis research on invasive lionfish. I’ve spent time researching the seabirds of the Gulf of Maine, the coral reefs of Belize, invasive lionfish in Florida, and the tropical ecosystems of Ecuador. When I’m not in the field, or bent over my computer reading scientific papers, I return to my home in Massachusetts where I help manage and conserve a flock of heritage sheep.
Ellen AltEllen is a sophomore at Barnard College studying Biology and sociology. Her interest in the intersection of public health and environmental justice stems from her First Year Seminar on Sustainability, as well as her time as a trainer and canvasser with the non-profit Clean Water Action in Philadelphia. After graduation, Ellen plans to continue research or policy in public health or go to medical school. Outside of academics, Ellen assists the board of CU Democrats and has performed with the Barnard Dance Department every semester since her time on campus.
Raimundo AtalRaimundo is currently in his 4th year of the PhD in Sustainable Development. He holds a BA and MA in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC), Chile. He worked at the Central Bank of Chile during the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis in the International Economics Department. Later, he joined the Economics Department at PUC as a research assistant, where he worked on the design of optimal rules for organ allocations and in the estimation of transport policies in air quality in Santiago, Chile. He is currently working on the relationship between fish farming and water pollution using remote sensing information, with a focus on Chile and Indonesia, two of the world’s largest farmed fish producers in the world. In addition, he is working on the potential benefits of storage technology in the deployment of intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar.
Annie BlockAnnie Block is an undergraduate senior at Columbia University studying sustainable development and environmental science. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Annie is interested in urban development with a focus on water management and the built environment. In the summer of 2018, she participated in a REU program titled the Urban Water Innovation Network in which she examined the effects of green infrastructure on water quality. In 2017, she was the sustainability and energy analyst intern at Sealed Inc., an energy startup company. She is currently writing her senior thesis on green infrastructure and storm water infiltration rates. Annie is also a teaching assistant for the class Challenges of Sustainable Development. In addition to her academic studies, she is a trained and active dancer in both on and off campus productions.
Awa Bousso DrameAwa Bousso Drame is a hydrogeomorphologist and GIS Analyst with more than three years of research experience in coastal risks assessment (erosion, flooding) in Senegal (Dakar, Saint-Louis). She is conducting research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and previously worked at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development in Senegal, the Institute of Geomorphology and Soils of Malaga, and the Senegalese Ministry of Environment (West African Coastal Observation Mission). Awa holds a bachelor’s of geography and MPhil in environment from La Sorbonne and attended its Abu-Dhabi campus in 2017. She received the 2nd National Prize of Geography from the Senegalese Ministry of Education, an IDEX-Excellence fellowship from La Sorbonne University and the French Ministry of Higher Education, a travel grant from the Francophone University Association, and a research stipend from Columbia. For her work on coastal erosion and flooding in Saint-Louis, she has been awarded the Emerging Scholar Award at the 11th International Conference on Climate Change (Washington, DC, April 2019).
Maggie CalcioMaggie Calcio is a junior at Barnard College studying environmental science and chemistry. She is interested in geochemistry and the ways in which human society and the environment interact. Currently, she is working to quantify soil lead in New York City and understand the history of the contamination.
Elizabeth CaseElizabeth Case is a PhD student at Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory investigating glacier and ice sheet deformation through field surveys and modelling. She rode her bike across the country in 2015 as a co-founder of Cycle for Science, and continues to advocate for adventure-based science education. You can find her @elizabeth_case.
R. Daniel BresslerR. Daniel Bressler is a second year PhD candidate at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs in the Sustainable Development PhD program. His research interests include environmental economics, international relations, collective action, catastrophic risks, and emerging technologies. He is also a Global Priorities Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute at Oxford University. Prior to beginning doctoral studies, he worked from 2015-2017 as a Research Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, where he did academic and consulting work. From 2012-2014, he worked as a strategy consultant for Altman Vilandrie & Company. He has also held internship positions at Goldman Sachs and The Onion (America’s Finest News Source). He graduated from Brown University in 2012 magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in economics and history. Outside of research, Danny enjoys jazz, weightlifting, rugby, backcountry backpacking, and competitive stair climbing.
Yoonie ChoiYoonie is a MS candidate for Sustainability Management Program, co-sponsored by The Earth Institute and the School of Professional Studies. She also currently works as a Research Analyst at UNICEF New York headquarters, where she focuses on designing a number of innovative, large-scale public goods for young people’s education, employability and empowerment. In so doing, she works closely with partners encompassing business management consulting firms, multinational corporations, governments, NGOs, academic institutes, global thought leaders and philanthropic funders. Having worked for public-private partnerships from both sectors, Yoonie is keenly interested in promoting shared-value partnerships by building on the emerging global trends in political, economic and social domains. She holds a BA in Media Studies and Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.
Theodore ChrittonTheodore “Ted” Chritton is a second year student at Columbia’s School of General Studies. He is currently undecided but pursuing a special concentration in Public Health. Before attending Columbia, Ted was a Navy Hospital Corpsman for 5 years, working as a Deep Sea Diving Medical Technician. He was stationed at the Navy’s Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU), where he practiced diving medicine and assisted in the conduct of human-subject research.
Denyse DookieDenyse S. Dookie is a doctoral candidate in the Sustainable Development programme, with expected graduation in May 2019. She is from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, and is interested in interdisciplinary solutions to reduce local vulnerability and enhance resilience in the wake of natural disasters and climate change challenges within the region and other small island developing states. In her doctoral research, she combines economic, development, disaster, and scientific data and methods to specifically focus on the potential role of climate information for climate and disaster risk management. She is also interested in the practical challenges of incorporating climate information into the connected development and resilience-building processes, the validation of remotely sensed data in data-scarce regions, and improving the science-policy dialogue.
Sophia FoppaSophia, a sophomore at Barnard College, is majoring in environment and sustainability. Her passion for the environment was kindled by the summers she spent at camps in the wilderness of the South and volunteering at the local nature center in her hometown of Marietta, Georgia. Sophia’s passions include learning languages, reading, and, though she loves admiring the architecture of New York City, running in New York’s many parks. In the future, she hopes to play a role in increasing global sustainability and awareness of environmental issues through education and public policy, and she looks forward to working with a sustainability-focused start-up this summer in Israel.
Emily ClarkEmily Clark earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Tampa, where she developed an interest in water science and urban environmental systems. Prior to beginning the MPA Environmental Science and Policy Program at Columbia, she worked as the Community Services Manager for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Incorporated (CUAHSI), a non-profit organization that develops education and outreach programs and collaborative data resources for water scientists. During her time at CUAHSI, Emily managed several programs, including one that used film to draw attention to environmental issues by making complex science topics more understandable and locally relevant. Through the MPA-ESP program, Emily intends to build upon her previous academic and professional experiences to apply science as a tool in the policy sector to address critical water and environmental issues.
Hannah FriedmanFinishing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sustainable Development and Visual Arts, Hannah is interested in the intersection of business and sustainability. She conducted her senior thesis research on an evolving topic in this nexus: carbon pricing. Specifically, she analyzed models and challenges for implementing an internal carbon pricing scheme at Columbia University by working with Columbia’s Office of Environmental Stewardship. Outside of academics, Hannah is an Investment Intern at Closed Loop Ventures and is the co-founder and Director of Finance for TEDxColumbiaUniversity. In her free time, she serves as a Crew Chief for CUEMS and seeks out as many backpacking adventures as possible. Next, Hannah will pursue the Master’s of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University.
Marion GibsonMarion is a senior at Barnard studying environmental policy and economics. Her research interests include climate change, natural disasters, and environmental justice. A native Houstonian, Marion is conducting her senior thesis on Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Hispanic immigrant communities and the factors that influence access to recovery resources. Supported by Columbia’s Earth Institute, she interviewed individuals affected by the hurricane and met with local policymakers. On campus, she is involved with a public policy group called the Roosevelt Institute and spearheaded the student voter turnout initiative ColumbiaVotes.
Elise GoutElise Gout is a senior in Columbia College, completing her BA in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Economics. Her primary research interests are in climate adaptation, particularly with how it relates to the resiliency of low-lying coastal communities. Outside of her studies, Elise works as an intern with the Earth Institute’s Climate Adaptation Initiative.
Erin GregoireErin is an undergraduate senior in Columbia College, studying sustainable development. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Erin has always been passionate about conserving the environment through sustainability. She enjoyed paleoclimatological research to better understand the progression of climate change and the direction it is headed. Outside of her studies, she runs for Columbia’s cross country and track and field teams and enjoys exploring the city.
Cyrus HadaviCyrus Hadavi is a junior at Columbia College. He is studying Sustainable Development and on a Pre-Medical track. He found this project working on the spread of Lyme disease because it is a perfect overlap between his two fields of study. On his free time, Cyrus likes to play any sports he can get his hands on, especially soccer.
Tara HeidgerTara Heidger is a dual degree graduate student at Columbia University studying International Urban Planning and International Affairs. This past year, Tara traveled to East Africa several times to conduct research on Rwanda’s rural development program with the hope to better understand how rural and urban planning can be used in post-conflict refugee resettlement. As an Iraq War Veteran, Tara uses her experiences of war to drive her desire to understand what happens after war, specifically with the resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as they return home.
Naomi HoffmanNaomi Hoffman is a junior Sustainable Development major from Israel. She is particularly interested in public health and environmental law and hopes to gain some experience in the non-profit sector before attending law school. Outside of classes, she edits for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, and is on the executive board of Amnesty International’s Columbia chapter.
Grace HwangGrace is currently a junior within Columbia College studying sustainable development. Her academic and personal interests lie at the intersection of food access, environmental sustainability, and social equity.
Chelsea Jean-MichelChelsea is a senior in Columbia College majoring in Sustainable Development and concentrating in French & Francophone Studies. She is a Global Fellow in Sustainable Development, which allowed her to pursue a research program in Iceland during the summer of 2018. She takes an interest in renewable energy technologies and has explored the subject through her work in Iceland and the Senior Thesis Seminar. Outside of her coursework, she works at the Office of Global Programs, interns at Urban Green Council, and choreographs for the dance group Orchesis.
Sarah Louise JohnsonSarah Louise Johnson was born in Inverness in Scotland. She received a BA in International Management from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK in 2005, and a BScM in Management from Montpellier Business School in France in 2004. Sarah became a qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in 2009, and worked for over a decade for EY in the UK, UAE, and US. She also worked as a volunteer in Tanzania, a volunteer accountant in India, a consultant for EY’s not-for-profit Enterprise Growth Services program in West Africa, and on secondment with Acumen, a leading impact investor. Sarah is currently pursuing her MPA in Development Practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Last summer, Sarah spent three months in Bangladesh, researching climate threats to food security for a Columbia University project called “Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow.”
Adelaide JonesI am a third-year undergraduate student studying Sustainable Development. Throughout my studies, I’ve been fascinated in a variety of sustainable development challenges including food waste, wildfire management, and renewable energy policy. My coursework and the Earth Institute enabled me to conduct extensive policy research on a variety of climate change issue areas including state and federal renewable and nonrenewable energy and land use policies at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. I’m looking forward to continuing to explore this field and emerging solutions.
Pallavi KachePallavi is a PhD student conducting research on the ecology and epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases. She holds a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in Public Health from the University of Texas at Austin. Pallavi has experience working at public health agencies at the national, state, and local levels on a range of disease systems. She was an ORISE fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for two years, where she conducted surveillance and health communications for diseases such as leptospirosis, anthrax, and Ebola. During her MPH she collaborated with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct a spatial analysis of pneumonia-associated hospitalizations, emphasizing how racial/socio-economic disparities drive patterns of hospitalization in NYC. For her PhD, Pallavi is examining the role of urbanization, climate change, and socio-behavioral factors in driving mosquito-borne diseases across cities in Colombia.
Beryl KahnBeryl Kahn is finishing up her second year as a Master’s student at Columbia University’s department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, or E3B. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, she has over the last decade explored and embraced the ecology of New York City: prior to starting grad school, she worked as an educator and restoration tech at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. She plans to continue studying the genetics behind adaptation to climate change in oysters in order to harness their potential to build more resilient coastal cities, and maintains a deep commitment to science communication and outreach.
Franziska LandesFranziska Landes is a Ph.D. candidate in the Earth and Environmental Science program at Columbia University. She is interested in applying geochemistry to address environmental health. She is particularly excited about the potential for community-based participatory research (or citizen science) to engage community members to reduce exposure to environmental hazards and to improve science education. Her current work involves developing a field test kit for hazardous lead (Pb) in soil and studying the impact of soil-lead contamination in New York and Peru. Before starting graduate school, Franziska worked at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality in the Brownfields Program. In 2011 she received her B.Sc. in Earth and Space Science from Jacobs University in Germany.
Anna LarssonAnna is a final-semester Master of International Affairs student at SIPA specializing in conflict resolution and gender policy under the human rights concentration. From her work in Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and Timor-Leste, Anna has gained a deep interest in better understanding the crucial, and often complementary, relationship between conflict and gender issues. Anna is convinced that if this relationship is paid greater attention, conflict resolution can be made more inclusive and gender advocacy more effective.
Iris LiaoIris is a sophomore in Columbia College planning to study Economics and Environmental Biology. She is from the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, where she enjoyed frequent hiking trips and developed her interest in environmental science. On campus, she is an editor for Consilience, the journal on sustainable development, and a volunteer for 180 Degrees Consulting, an international organization that provides consulting services to nonprofits that focus on sustainability, healthcare, and education. She hopes in the future to combine her fields of study and work at the intersection of economics, policy, and the environment.
Nicolas LocatelliNicolas is a second-year master’s student researching the population genetics of corals out of the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program at Columbia University. Since he was a child, Nicolas has been fascinated by the natural world. He gained his first formal experience in research during his undergraduate education at UC Berkeley. During his time as an undergrad, he attended the UC Forestry Field Camp in Meadow Valley, California and subsequently attended the Gump South Pacific Research Station in Moorea, French Polynesia. At the Gump Station, Nicolas performed observational studies on the coral reefs that line the island. Ever since, Nicolas has wanted to pursue research and is looking forward to expanding his research on corals in the future.
Alex LoznakAlex Loznak is a senior at Columbia College, with a major in Sustainable Development and a concentration in Political Science. He grew up on his family’s organic hazelnut farm in Oregon. He is interested in climate change policy, politics, and law. His senior thesis explores the relationship between climate change and the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, by scoring Congressional candidates’ positions on climate change and then comparing their scores to election outcomes. In his role as a research intern at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, he is studying environmental impact statements issued during the Trump Administration to determine how they consider climate change. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental policy and/or attend law school after graduation.
Mairead MilánMairead Milán is a senior at Columbia College, completing her bachelor’s studies in Sustainable Development. Mairead is passionate about decarbonization and strategies for clean energy transitions. She’s thrilled to explore her interest in applied geospatial science through her internship at SEDAC. In her free time, she enjoys jogging, reading, and climate/energy research.
Jacob NaimarkJacob Naimark is a junior in Columbia College studying Environmental Science. He was born and raised in New Hampshire with an upbringing that instilled an appreciation and sense of responsibility surrounding the outdoors and the natural Earth. As such, he serves as Vice President of the Columbia Outdoors Club, volunteers at the local environmental and food justice non-profit Harlem Grown, and conducts two environmental science research projects at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/Earth Institute under the supervision of Dr. Jason Smerdon and Dr. Arlene Fiore, respectively.
Sarah OrtizSarah Ortiz is a junior at Barnard College, Columbia University studying environmental science. She is interested in the intersection between environmental science and public health. Sarah has conducted research on a number of topics including air and water pollution and agro ecology. In her free time Sarah enjoys swimming, rock climbing, and being outdoors.
Fernando Ortiz BaezFernando Ortiz Baez is a graduate student in the Sustainability Management program. He currently holds a Master of Design Studies in Sustainable Design and works as a Climate Preparedness and Resiliency Organizer for a non-profit organization in the South Bronx. Ortiz has conducted previous research in environmental justice issues in the South Bronx and how urban planning can work to build more sustainable and equitable communities and on sustainable development in the Dominican Republic. Fernando has studied abroad to the Dominican Republic, Malta, Jordan, and Israel studying sustainable development and design issues in these countries.
Hannah ParkHannah is a senior at Barnard College majoring in Human Rights and English and minoring in Psychology. Her love for editing has led her to work as an Associate Copy Editor for the Columbia Daily Spectator and join the editorial board of 4x4 Magazine, where she handles both news pieces and creative writing submissions. She is also a Junior Editor for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, a position that allows her interests in sustainability and language to intersect. During the school year, Hannah worked as a research and editorial assistant to a New York-based author and during her summers in the city, she interned at Poetry Society of America and worked with therapists at Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center. Although she hails from sunny Los Angeles, she has fallen in love with the city and plans on staying in the heart of New York after she graduates this May.
Anika PetachAnika is a third-year PhD student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental science department studying ecosystem ecology with Duncan Menge. Growing up in Colorado Anika became interested in forest dynamics. Her current research investigates the role of nitrogen-fixing trees on forest demographics and the impact that these trees may have on the nutrients available to neighbors.
John RichardsonJohn is a junior at Columbia College studying Environmental Science and Sustainable Development. He first developed his passion for environmental science while studying the estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay in his home state of Virginia. His interests lie in helping to improve public knowledge on climate change and in developing science-based solutions to environmental challenges that it entails. Outside of classes, John is a member of Columbia EcoReps and the Columbia University chapter of SproutUp, and also enjoys cooking healthy meals with produce from the NYC Greenmarket.
Sofía Sánchez-ZárateSofía is a freshman undergraduate in the Engineering School at Columbia. She hopes to major in Computer Science and then go to graduate school for Marine Ecology in order to incorporate data visualization with environmental conservation. Sofía is originally from Mexico, but has lived in New York, Texas, and North Carolina. She discovered her passion for marine biology after spending a summer in Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean, getting her SCUBA certification, volunteering with the Coral Restoration Foundation, and taking classes about ocean biodiversity. In high school, Sofia was a research assistant at NC State working on a project about mangroves in The Bahamas. This past summer, she volunteered as a field and lab assistant at Florida State on a project about the meiofauna on the carapaces of Loggerheads. This upcoming summer, she is headed to Bali to get her Scientific SCUBA certification and learn more about marine conservation.
Yiran WangYiran is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia. Her major research interests including water issues and climate change. Yiran has researched on air pollution program at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for investigating microPEM gravimetric correction factor for outdoor NYC traffic. As an intern at the Center for Sustainable Development, she is working on Environment in Action program for translating the environmental knowledge into digestible formats and presentation for various school and community audiences, focusing on global environmental issues such as water pollution, climate change and air pollution, and applying them to developing countries such as India, Myanmar, Ghana and Rwanda.
Midori SangioloMidori is a member of the class of 2021 studying Electrical Engineering in SEAS. She is interested in the intersection between sustainability and tech, especially in regards to urban environments. On campus, she is an Events Coordinator for Columbia EcoReps and a member of Columbia University Road Runners and Mixed Heritage Society. She also teaches computer science to NYC high schoolers for the Columbia chapter of Girls Who Code.
Alena ZhangAlena is a sophomore at Columbia College studying Sustainable Development and Creative Writing. She’s a big fan of educational equity, environmental ethics, and Blue Planet II (in that order).
Elisha ZhaoElisha Zhao is a first-year SEAS student from New Jersey studying Earth & Environmental Engineering. Her research interests span green infrastructure, climate modeling, and carbon sequestration; her commitment to the environment first developed while researching the effects of atmospheric processing on iron in mineral dust and its resulting bio-availability for marine phytoplankton. Elisha also worked for New York City Council this past winter and hopes to pursue a career at the intersection of her interests in public policy and engineering.
Advancing Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Quality Education in the Dominican RepublicOur field research project explores Early Childhood Education, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), and Teacher Training in the Dominican Republic. World Foundation for Democracy and Development would like our team to focus on these three key areas to improve SDG #4 in the Dominican Republic. SDG #4 specifically addresses inclusive and equitable quality education, and lifelong learning opportunities for all students. We traveled to the Dominican Republic to learn from cultural context and leaders in the field to recommend an appropriate policy for stakeholders that furthers this SDG. Team members include Natasha Goel, Victoria Rodriguez, and Claire Thibault.
EVery City Electric BusesThe EVery City team is led by SIPA Masters of Public Administration candidates concentrating in Energy and Environment: Andrew Catania, Lauren Kastner, Eugene Tseng, and Michael Woods. EVery City is a student-led practical research effort supported by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs to be completed by May 2019. This project aims to chart a path for the future of passenger transportation in New York City (NYC) in order to help the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) achieve its stated goal to electrify the more than 5,700 buses operating in NYC by 2040. The output of this project will include policy, financial, operational, and technology recommendations for vehicle and charging infrastructure deployment.
Increasing Low-Income Senior Participation in Energy Efficiency and Assistance Programs in New York StateOur group is working with NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, to improve the participation rate of low-income seniors across New York State in energy efficiency and assistance programs. For over 15 years, energy assistance advocates across the country have gathered annually in Washington, DC for a day of collective lobbying in support of LIHEAP, the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. As part of our research/work, our group participated in Action Day to learn first-hand from advocates as to what is and is not working in this area. Group members include Miranda Alquist, Luke Cook-Griffin, Rosario Giufre, and Zachary Rosenblatt.
Israel Delegation – Sustainability & PolicyThe SIPA Israel delegation provided a unique opportunity for students interested in learning about region-specific sustainability and environmental issues and how these issues may create, sustain, and escalate challenges related to political conflicts. Students got to experience and understand firsthand the environmental, social, and political challenges that policymakers and environmental scientists must face when seeking to address sustainable development, natural resources, and environmental issues in such a dynamic region. Through case studies review and the analysis of current events, students learned about the framework and application of environmental policy and how to analyze complex sustainability issues using this toolset. Beyond the scholarly exposure to theories and skills, they got the chance to travel to this part of the world and experience the challenges of managing regional natural resources which span national boundaries firsthand from high-level practitioners, while learning how to apply them on the ground.
Menstruation, Boys, and Stigma: Evidence from TanzaniaFemale empowerment policies almost exclusively target women. This project explores the potential role of boys in empowerment programs in developing countries. Our focus is menstrual hygiene management in secondary schools in Tanzania. Girls often face fear, stigma and hardship when managing their periods. In this project, we explore the effect of social stigma and teasing from boys and girls and how stigmas can be sustained when the stigmatized topic is plausibly universal. In addition, we explore the role of including boys in menstrual health curriculum in determining girls’ welfare. Sandra Aguilar Gomez studies gender disparities in the context of natural resources, as well as women’s health in developing countries. Naomi Heller Batzer’s work focuses on the roles of health and gender in development economics.
Solar Tan(Sun)iaSolar Tan(Sun)ia’s goal is to develop a survey study with stakeholders from Tanzania (schools’ administrators, Rural Energy Agency, Ministry of Education as well as Multilaterals and NGOs) to lay the ground for a potential Randomized Control Trial study. They intend to identify the main challenges to finance solar products (exploring public budget allocations dynamics) and perceived direct benefits and externalities from having solar panels in rural schools. With the final insights from the project they expect to present initial policy recommendations and outline of implementation plan to scale the electrification for rural schools. The team was comprised by five students at SIPA doing the Energy & Environment concentration: Ben Gionet, Alberto Morales, Will Xia Han, Even Kvelland, and Hiroyuki Yamagata.