Assistant Research Engineer
Transportation Sustainability Research Center
Institute of Transportation Studies
UC Berkeley

Research Interests

My overarching interests relate to the use--and limitations--of computer models to inform or implement environmental policy. I am particularly interested in ways to incorporate uncertainty and scenario analysis into transportation fuels policy.

Much of my work has involved Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of biofuels, using both the standard "attributional" approach, and techniques to estimate market-mediated effects such as biofuel-induced indirect land use change and price effects in global petroleum markets.

Fuel regulations and certification standards are sprouting up worldwide that plan to measure and regulate the climate effects of transportation fuels using a life cycle approach. A better understanding of the uncertainties--and therefore the limits in our abilities to distinguish meaningfully between alternatives--will provide a basis for improved policy design.

My PhD dissertation examined the uncertainties inherent in the LCA of transportation fuels, and considered the implications of these uncertainties on policy design.

Current Projects

  • I recently co-developed an emission factor model for use with the GTAP economic computable general equilibrium model to estimate emissions from biofuel-induced land use change. I am currently developing a stochastic version of this model for use in a Monte Carlo simulation involving both GTAP and the emission factor model to estimate the (parametric) uncertainty in ILUC emissions.

  • With colleagues in the Goldman School for Public Policy and at UC Davis, I am examining possible GHG effects of a low-carbon fuel standard given scenario uncertainty affecting compliance strategies and parametric and model uncertainty in our estimates of actual net global GHG emissions from these strategies.

Education

PhD (2010), Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley
MS (2006), Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley
MS (1982), Computer Science, Yale University
BS (1981), Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, SUNY Albany

Awards

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2006-2009)

Biography

I was a software engineer in my first career, working on Wall Street in the eighties, in Silicon Valley in the early nineties, and in the non-profit sector in the late nineties through 2003. I started at ERG in 2004, focusing on sustainable uses of bioenergy.