EPPSA Graduate Energy Poverty Dissertation Completion Fellows

Graduate Energy Poverty Fellows

Logan Richardson is pursing a graduate degree in Natural Resources with a focus in economics from North Carolina State University and serves as a Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Furman University in 2018 with a double major in Sustainability Science and Economics. During her undergraduate career, she enjoyed serving as an Assessment Fellow for her campus sustainability center, interning in Croatia and Singapore, and completing sustainability-related research.
Kate Brandt is a Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow entering her first year as a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill in the fall of 2018. She recently graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in Geography and Environmental Planning and Design. During her undergraduate studies, she took part in a variety of projects which utilized GIS as a key tool, including watershed management, investigating urban food deserts in New Jersey, and community based flood and disaster management in Belize. In her studies as an Energy Poverty Fellow, she is interested in continuing to use GIS as a means to study the intersection between health and place in energy and data poor regions.
Daniel Han is a first-year Public Policy Ph.D student from Kansas at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Coming directly from his undergraduate studies, he graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Economics, a BA in Mathematics, and a minor in statistics. Interested in energy and environmental policy, Daniel’s research interests include: biofuel implementation in mitigating climate change e.g. biochar; water, soil, and crop residue usage within agricultural policy; policy solutions to help transition from fossil fuels; energy poverty and how to facilitate energy access to poorer regions of the world that face a greater opportunity cost with regards to cheaper biomass and fossil fuels. He is also a Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow.
Cyrus Sinai is a Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow beginning his first year of doctoral studies at UNC Chapel Hill in Fall 2018. He graduate from UCLA in 2015, where he studied International Development, GIS, and Public Health. As an undergraduate, he conducted research in the rainforests of southeast Cameroon, assisting with a health impact assessment of the Dja Bioreserve REDD+ project and later continuing his thesis research and fieldwork, examining the links between HIV prevalence and the logging and mining industries operating in the region. After graduating, Cyrus spend 3 years working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the UCLA-DRC Health Research & Training Program, assisting the DRC Ministry of Health with infectious disease surveillance and research. His work focused on working with local health zone staff to use mapping and microcensus methods to improve disease surveillance and operational activities in remote areas of the country, namely for African sleeping sickness, Ebola, and polio. He has also had the opportunity to work with other organizations such as Moabi, which uses an open-source mapping platform to help monitor natural resource use in the DRC, as well as Intellectual Ventures on a field evaluation of an iceless vaccine carrier to improve vaccination coverage in remote, logistically-complicated areas of the DRC. At UNC, Cyrus is looking forward to studying the relationships between health and environment in energy-poor settings, and collaborating on data-driven solutions for energy-grid challenges in southern Africa.
Stephanie Parsons is a Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow entering her first year as a doctoral student in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University. She recently graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During her undergraduate career, she was heavily involved in Auburn University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, traveling to Bolivia and Rwanda to install potable water distribution systems. Stephanie is looking forward to combining her passions of engineering and overseas work in order to better understand the health and environmental issues in energy-poor southern Africa.
Emily Floess is a Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow entering her first year as a doctoral student in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After her Bachelor’s, Emily was a 5 year Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, teaching math, science, and adult education. After the Peace Corps, she worked for a water treatment nonprofit in Liberia, which helped provide clean drinking water to hospitals, clinics and communities affected by the Ebola outbreak. While getting her master’s degree at Illinois, she measured emissions from improved and traditional stoves in China and brick kilns in Colombia and Nepal, and measured household energy usage in Nepal and China. Her master’s thesis project was developing a global solar resource map for a stored solar cooker. Her research interests are energy access and transitions in developing countries, and emissions from household energy sources.
Mark Radin is a Ph.D. student at UNC-Chapel Hill at the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering. He received an MA in International Development at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the FUEL Lab in 2018 and has been working on numerous projects focused on energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is interested in studying policies and interventions promoting environmental health, which includes water, sanitation, and clean cooking.

Undergraduate Energy Poverty Fellows

Valerie Lundeen is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Economics and Public Policy and a minor in Journalism. Her studies focus on poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on issues relating to food systems. As a UEPF, Valerie will join the field team in Zambia, where she will work with interdisciplinary researchers to collect and analyze data on fuel-saving cookstoves. She is interested broadly in the economic implications of energy-related poverty, including barriers faced by some households to adopting clean technologies. After she graduates in May 2020, Valerie hopes to continue working in the realm of evidence-based poverty alleviation before pursuing a graduate degree.
Wesley Hayes is an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University majoring in Environmental Engineering. He enjoys working on international projects and is a member of NCSU’s Engineer’s Without Borders chapter, working on a water resources project in Guatemala. As an Undergraduate Energy Poverty Fellow, Wesley travelled to Zambia and assisted in the collection of personal exposure data. He plans on graduating in May 2020.

RTI Confronting Energy Poverty Interns

EPPSA Alumni

Dissertation Completion Fellows

Averi Chakrabarti received her PhD from the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2019. Her research focuses on poverty alleviation programs, human capital attainment and gender issues. Through her dissertation, she seeks to identify factors that engender severe harms for children and adolescents—infant mortality, physical violence and school dropout—and point to ways in which they might be addressed. The chapter that focuses specifically on energy poverty examines how a cash transfer program in Zambia impacted youth school participation by reducing household dependence on collected firewood. For this research, Averi received the 2018-2019 EPPSA Graduate Energy Poverty Dissertation Fellowship.


Undergraduate Energy Poverty Fellows

Louise Lindegaard is a 2019 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Geography and Biochemistry. She is interested broadly in energy related challenges and hopes to continue her studies in graduate school. As a Undergraduate Energy Poverty Fellow, Louise assisted in the data collection by developing survey features, and facilitating field work. She will continue working with and analyzing the data collected in the field in order to write a senior honors thesis.

RTI International Interns

Maggie Abbott has contributed to the Household Air Pollution and Perinatal and Neonatal mortality project led by the University of Sydney. Her primary focus is processing household air pollution (HAP) exposure data from the pilot study conducted in 2016. She consolidated the HAP exposure data collected with the MicroPEM and surveys into a validated database. She will continue with the data analysis and write a draft manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. She also revised and clarified procedures for downloading MicroPEM data and processing the data for our Bangladeshi collaborators. Lastly, she is assisting in laboratory experiments to improve the quality of the MicroPEM data collected in HAP exposure studies.

Charlie Garnett is a 2019 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Environmental Science concentrated in smart cities. His research focuses on Sub-Saharan energy production and electrification options. More specifically, he has been gathering data on different energy sources and their relative mix in the overall energy supply for Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This includes off-grid electricity options, mainly in the form of solar energy, and looking at what options are best suited for each area based on government, population, education, and income. He has also looked into current sources of funding, current electricity goals for these nations, and potential areas of improvement to further electrify Southern Africa.
Andrew has been working in RTI’s Environmental, Technology, and Energy Economics division over the summer. He has been involved in various projects within the division including analyzing the results of the FASOMGHG model, researching and helping to construct an economic model on supply elasticities, and evaluating written reports for federal agencies like the EPA. In every case Andrew has been a part of a multi-disciplined team where he has brought his own specific skills to use while learning from those around him.