2011-2012 sustainability fellows-Environment at CMU - Carnegie Mellon University

The 2011-2014 Steinbrenner U.S. Environmental Sustainability Fellows

The Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research at Carnegie Mellon is pleased to an­nounce the first recipients of the Steinbrenner Institute U.S. Environmental Sustainability Fellowships. The Fellowship program, which is supported by the Colcom Foundation, offers competitive three-year awards to PhD students for the study of interdisciplinary topics related to U.S. environmental sustainability.

With support from the Colcom Foundation, the Steinbrenner Institute has been exploring the dimensions of environmental carrying capacity with a focus on the United States. Environmental carrying capacity is an ecological concept defined generally as the population of organisms that can be sustained at a steady state considering the resources available in the ecosystem in which they reside. The Colcom Foundation has provided the opportunity to engage in scholarly exploration of the ways in which changes in the population might impact the availability of natu­ral resources; and how those natural resources might be limiting factors to quality of life standards.

rachel

  

Ms. Rachel M. Hoesly, BS Civil Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, 2010, MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2011, Carnegie Mellon University. Rachel completed her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in September 2014. She is interested in the sustainability of large-scale energy, environmental, and infrastructure systems. Her research interests were stimulated in part by her involvement with the EPP project course on U.S. environmental carrying capacity in Spring 2009. She was supervised by Professors Scott Matthews, Chris Hendrickson, and Paul Fischbeck.

The topic for Rachel’s PhD research was “Implications of Mobility, Population Shifts, and Growth for Metropolitan Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Planning.” Rachel explored the hypothesis that living and existing in different areas has different environmental impacts, and the continued mobility of the U.S. population contributes to changes and flows of energy and emissions in both the long and short term. Her research objectives were to (i) evaluate the energy and emissions impact of interstate mobility in the U.S. and intrastate mobility in Pennsylvania; (ii) estimate the long-term emissions trends of the Pittsburgh Region from 1900-2000 and highlight how mobility to and from the area over the century significantly contributed to its changing emissions landscape; and (iii) explore how the lessons from Pittsburgh's past, the impacts of mobility now, and impacts of the continuation of migration trends in the future may affect and inform U.S. and regional GHG mitigation efforts.

  

Hui

Ms. Hui Wang, BE, Environmental Engineering, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, 2002; MS, Environmental Science, Tongji University, 2006, and Master of Science and Technology of the Environment, Institut National Agronomique Paris, 2006 (joint MS program); MS, Civil Engineering, 2008, University of Toledo; MS, Statistics, 2011, University of Toledo. Hui completed her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in September 2014. Hui has a broad academic background in environmental engineering and science, and in statistics. Her masters degree studies in Paris included a six-month internship in the drinking water laboratory of Veolia Water, the largest water company in the world. She is interested in the interrelationship of population growth, economic growth, and water resource demand. Hui was supervised by Professors Mitchell Small and David Dzombak.

The topic for Hui’s PhD research was “Scenario-Based Prediction of U.S. Water Withdrawal and Consumptive Water Use.” Hui investigated the relative contributions of population growth, economic growth, technology development, water use efficiency, and consumption patterns to U.S total water withdrawal. She developed different scenarios for population growth, GDP per capita growth, technology development, water use intensity, and consumption patterns based upon reported projections, and historical economic and water use data. Using these scenarios, she projected future total water withdrawal and consumptive water use for U.S. industrial sectors across the various scenarios for 2013-2030. In addition, water consumption for power generation and irrigation were projected for 2013-2030 under various scenarios for cooling technology and irrigation technology, respectively. The effects of changes in water consumption for power generation and irrigation on changes in water consumption for other industrial sectors were estimated for the same period.

  

Russell

Mr. Russell Meyer, BS, Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University, 2003; Master of Public Policy, Georgetown University, 2006. Russell completed his PhD in Engineering and Public Policy in September 2014. Prior to his PhD studies, Russell was with ICF International/Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. from 2006 to July 2011 as a Senior Associate, working on fuel economy regulatory analysis and other topics. In 2010 and 2011 Russell was also engaged by the Pew Center for Global Climate Change as a Senior Fellow for Economics and Policy, working on the economics of climate change. Russell is interested in U.S. energy and environment policies, their inter-connection, and analysis to inform decisionmaking in this arena. He was supervised by Professors Ines Azevedo, Scott Matthews, and Granger Morgan.

The topic for Russell’s PhD research was “Analysis of Selected Regulatory

Interventions to Improve Energy Efficiency.” In this work he produced three related lines of analysis. The first resulted in a paper “Understanding the Uncertainties Associated with Demand-Side Efficiency Program Reporting in the US Electricity Sector” in which state-level efficiency policies were compared to assess if those policies are likely delivering the energy savings that they claim to be. The second part of his work focused on assessment of energy impact of appliance rebate programs using a unique dataset of energy observations from 30,000 households participating in an efficiency rebate program in PG&E’s California service territory. The third part of his work focused on a demographic projection of the US population and of light-duty vehicles to identify likely future trends in aggregate US gasoline consumption. Together, Russell’s research aims to improve policy decision making for long term US energy efficiency and sustainability.