Adrien Salazar

Adrien Salazar is a political ecologist, organizational strategist, advocate, and poet. He holds his Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is committed to community engagement in resource management and policy to achieve resilience and empowerment of historically marginalized populations.

Adrien’s work and research focuses on engagement of frontline and marginalized communities, in issues of land and resource rights, landscape conservation, food systems, and cultural conservation. He connects communities to development and policy processes through stakeholder engagement strategy, outreach, and participatory research and programs. He currently studies policy mechanisms to fulfill land and resource rights for communities and the conservation of traditional knowledge and practices.

Adrien has studied the transformation of the Cordillera Rice Terraces landscape of the northern Philippines. He has worked with indigenous rice farmers in this region to develop community-based project evaluation indicators for the Heirloom Rice Project of the International Rice Research Institute. He supported farmers' conservation of traditional rice varieties, capacity-building, and research into traditional rice market opportunities. Adrien has coordinated transnational climate justice campaigns with the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity.

He has served with the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, managing a campaign for sustainable land-use and transportation policy for a three-county region of the San Francisco Bay Area. He has served on the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee of the Yale School of Forestry, creating dialogue on diversity and equity in the environmental field. Most recently he has worked with the Sustainable Economies Law Center in Oakland, California, developing engagement strategies around community-owned energy and researching the seed needs of farmers of color and immigrant farmers.

He hails from San Jose, California and Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. Prior to his MEM program, he received his BA in Sociology with Honors from University of California, Berkeley.

Title: 
Junior Fellow, Fall 2015
Research Focus: 
Indigenous and Traditional Land Management
Specialties: 
landscape management, diversified agricultural systems, climate change adaptation, community-based management and governance,
Email address: 
adrien.salazar@drawdown.org
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Salazar
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Abby Rubinson

Abby Rubinson is a consultant on international, environmental, and human rights law and has taught International Environmental Law as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Abby works internationally and domestically to advance government, business, and the public’s understanding of climate change’s effects and response measures, and to promote climate-smart policies, actions, and mitigation/adaptation measures. Abby has defended land, water, and food security rights, collaborating with governments, businesses, scientists, NGOs, and local communities. 

In December 2015, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP21 treaty negotiations, Abby helped secure human rights language in the Paris Agreement, marking the strongest language on human rights in a global environmental treaty. As an attorney at Earthjustice from 2010 to 2015, she submitted briefs and formal communications on climate change and other international environmental issues to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, US federal courts, and United Nations treaty bodies and special rapporteurs.

Prior to her work at Earthjustice, Abby was one of the plaintiffs’ counsel in three international human rights cases brought under the Alien Tort Statute, Bowoto v. Chevron and Wiwa v. Shell, both related to oil operations in Nigeria, and another related to apartheid-era abuses in South Africa. She also worked with Human Rights Watch as a post-graduate fellow and consultant, based primarily in Brazil. 

She received a JD from University of Michigan Law School, and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Indigenous Land Management
Agricultural Intensification
Specialties: 
international environmental law, human rights law, climate policy
Email address: 
abby.rubinson@drawdown.org
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Rubinson
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George Randolph

George Randolph is an energy policy analyst with over five years of experience, working most recently in electric utility regulatory affairs. As a consultant, George has coauthored expert witness testimony for energy efficiency and rooftop solar proceedings before public utility commissions in California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. He is currently working as an Associate at MRW & Associates, where he develops analyses and statistical and economic models pertaining to electric utility revenue requirements, rate design issues, power generation, energy financing, and natural gas projects.

George also worked on the University of California, Berkeley's American Jobs Project (AJP). Spearheaded by former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the AJP intends to spur cleantech job creation in response to the EPA's Clean Power Plan. George earned his Master of Science in Atmospheric Science from the University of Wyoming, where his research foused on improving numerical weather model prediction of lower level winds. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University. 

Title: 
Research Fellow 2016 and Junior Fellow Summer 2015
Research Focus: 
In-Stream Hydro
Rooftop Solar
Micro Wind
Wave and Tidal Energy
Specialties: 
renewable energy
Email address: 
george.randolph@drawdown.org
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Randolph
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Noorie Rajvanshi

Noorie Rajvanshi is a sustainability engineer with more than seven years of experience in the field of environmental impact quantification using life cycle assessment methodology. She holds expertise in sustainability assessments in the fields of energy and manufacturing for existing and emerging technologies.

Following the completion of her PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Noorie was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Life Cycle Analysis (CLCA) at Columbia University, studying the impact of crystalline silicone photovoltaics. Her past research interests also include quantitative evaluation methods for assessment of bioethanol production using energy, exergy, consumptive water, and energy and life cycle assessment methods.

Noorie graduated from the University of Florida with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Environmental Engineering. During her time in graduate school, Noorie was able to learn and experience adaptive management of water, wetlands, and watersheds in the Okavango Delta in Africa and the Everglades in the US through an interdisciplinary NSF-IGERT fellowship program. She received her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, and her Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Clean Cookstoves
Perennial Bioenergy Crops
Specialties: 
life cycle assessment, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, corporate sustainability assessments, water management
Email address: 
noorie.rajvanshi@drawdown.org
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Rajvanshi
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Chelsea Petrenko

Chelsea Petrenko is an ecosystem ecologist with a focus on forest resources and soil carbon storage. Chelsea’s interests range from understanding the micro-scale dynamics of nutrient cycling in soils, to predicting shifts in ecosystem carbon storage globally.  Her PhD research measured changes in soil carbon storage after clear-cutting forests in the northeastern United States.

Chelsea earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College, where she was also a National Science Foundation Trainee in interdisciplinary science. Her work as a trainee in Polar Environmental Change brought her to Greenland and Antarctica, where she studied carbon cycling in cold environments. Prior to graduate school, Chelsea worked on Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) experiments at Harvard Forest, and completed a BS in Environmental Science and Soil and Watershed Management at the University of New Hampshire.

Title: 
Research Fellow, Fall 2015
Research Focus: 
Afforestation
Forest Protection
Biofuels
Specialties: 
ecosystem ecology, soil carbon storage, forest resources, nutrient cycling in soils, polar environmental change
Email address: 
chelsea.petrenko@drawdown.org
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Petrenko
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Michelle Pedraza

Michelle Pedraza began her career providing business and strategy analysis for global markets, and corporate and investment banking in New York. She did this for five years before traveling around the world and volunteering at a variety of places, including organic farms in France and a vegetarian kitchen in London.  Following her travels, Michelle served as a director for a beverage distribution microenterprise in Bogotá, Colombia.

After learning first hand about the challenges that microenterprises face in scaling their business, Michelle became interested in entrepreneurial studies and completed a Master’s program at the University of Luxembourg. During her program, she wrote a business plan on an e-bike food delivery service that focused on using healthy ingredients, and she completed a thesis on a solar energy project focused on social benefits for the University’s main campus.

Upon graduation, she researched the circular economy in Luxembourg, and completed the spring internship for the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, where she reviewed and developed commitments for the Market Based Approaches and Food Systems tracks.

Michelle obtained a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the University of Luxembourg, and a Bachelor's in Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Boston University.

Title: 
Junior Fellow, Fall 2015
Research Focus: 
Financial analysis
Specialties: 
microenterprises, entrepreneurship, circular economy
Email address: 
michelle.pedraza@drawdown.org
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Pedraza
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Demetrios Papaioannou

Demetrios is a Civil Engineer in the transportation field who specializes in mass transit, demand modeling, user satisfaction, and sustainability. 

Following school, Demetrios joined the MIT Portugal Program as a PhD Student in Transportation Systems. His PhD studies focused on mass transit and the relation between transit quality, user satisfaction, and mode choice. During his PhD program, Demetrios also spent a year at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he had the opportunity to work alongside leading professors and researchers in the transportation field. 

Demetrios has presented his research at international conferences and published peer-reviewed research papers. Prior to his PhD, Demetrios received an MSc in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Transportation from Democritus University of Thrace. 

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Mass Transit
Specialties: 
transportation systems, mass transit, civil engineering
Email address: 
demetrios.aapaioannou@drawdown.org
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Papaioannou
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Kapil Narula

Kapil is an electrical engineer, development economist, and an energy and sustainability professional with 15 years of experience in the maritime domain. He has worked onboard ships, as a faculty at academic institutes, and as a researcher. Kapil’s career goal is to to provide a leadership role to the world, onto a path of sustainable development. Kapil currently works as a Research Fellow at a maritime think tank and is a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project hosted by Lund University in Sweden. Energy security and sustainability, climate change, its linkages with maritime emissions and ocean governance are some of the areas on which he is currently working.

Kapil has participated in various international programs organized by reputed institutes such as IIASA, Vienna (2011); UKERC, Coventry (2013); Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico (2015), IEA, Paris (2016), IASS, Potsdam (2016) and as a Commonwealth Professional Fellow at UCL, London (2016). As an emerging leader in the field of energy and sustainability, he aims to contribute with new ideas for furthering the concept of sustainable development and intends to move beyond academic research to put his ideas into practice.

Kapil is the co-editor of four books and his latest book titled Asia and the Arctic was published by Springer. Kapil’s papers have appeared in Energy, Energy Policy, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Applied Energy (Elsevier), Strategic Analysis (Routledge), Oxford Energy Forum, and in other international and online forums. Kapil has a PhD in Development Studies with a focus on energy economics and energy policy. His PhD studies were interdisciplinary in nature and integrated the subjects of engineering, economics, social sciences, earth sciences, and statistics in a system of systems approach. He also has an advanced university degree in Electrical Engineering and a fist level degree in Engineering and Science.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Oceanic Freight Efficiency
Wave and Tidal Energy
Refrigerant Management
Specialties: 
electrical engineering, energy systems analysis, environmental economics, maritime domain, energy modeling
Email address: 
kapil.narula@drawdown.org
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Narula
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S. Karthik Mukkavilli

Karthik Mukkavilli is a computational scientist and engineer whose research focuses on solar energy forecasting, dust and smoke aerosol-cloud interactions. He is the Founder and Director of an early-stage tech-start up at the intersection of satellite observations and computer vision, supported through a European Space Agency innovation contract and the Rutherford Appleton Labs, Oxfordshire.

Karthik’s multidisciplinary research methods include radiative transfer physics, machine learning, and satellite remote sensing. His research is affiliated with the University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering and the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). At CSIRO he works in the Ocean and Atmosphere division on their flagship Earth assessment and complex systems unit. Here he serves as an Office of Chief Executive Scholar, and is funded through the Australian federal government. Some of his research collaborators include NASA, NREL and NCAR.

Karthik has also worked in energy and software sectors, with experience including projects on off-grid island photovoltaics, Alcatel-Lucent on Transpower’s HVDC inter-island link, hybrid PV/thermal systems for UK building heating and electricity, nanoporous supercapacitors at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering & Nanotechnology, and mining, oil, and gas risk factor analysis at the Sustainable Minerals Institute. He has also worked at CSIRO in the Autonomous Systems Robotics lab on simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) decomposition algorithms, and at Orion Health in bioinformatics.

Karthik serves on the technical advisory group of the World Energy & Meteorology Council and the American Meteorological Society Committee on Artificial Intelligence Applications to Environmental Science. He is a visiting research scientist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics investigating dust in planetary atmospheres. He received a master’s in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London’s Centre for Process Systems Engineering, and received his bachelor’s in Engineering from the University of Auckland’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Plant-Rich Diet
Carbon Cycle
Specialties: 
energy meteorology, computational science and engineering, radiative transfer physics, machine learning, satellite remote sensing, solar technologies
Email address: 
karthik.mukkavilli@drawdown.org
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Mukkavilli
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Ida Midzic

Ida Midzic specializes in mechanical engineering and product development with over six years of experience in research and teaching. She is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, and is also currently working as a product development engineer for a leading European manufacturer of professional road maintenance machinery.

Ida has worked on projects dealing with global product realization, traceability of engineering information, product lifecycle management for the automotive industry, and development of models and methods for innovation management in complex engineering systems. She also specialized in the development of software solutions for computer-aided design in product development, robot vision, and automatization in manufacturing. Her work on computational design synthesis was awarded University of Zagreb’s Rector’s Award.

As a part of her doctoral research, Ida developed a method for eco-evaluation of technical systems in the conceptual phase of product development. She aims to highlight the importance of sustainability for mechanical engineers and develop solutions towards making sustainability a more intuitive and integrated part of engineering design process.

In the past, Ida has worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, from where she also received bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Her research is supported by the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, and the Croatian Science Foundation.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Commercial Recycling
Household Recycling
Recycled Paper
Specialties: 
engineering design, sustainable product development, designing for the environment, eco-evaluation of technical systems, mechanical engineering, lifecycle assessment
Email address: 
ida.midzic@drawdown.org
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Midzic
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