I am an engineer, climate scientist, and policy scholar. My research focuses on coastal floods, sea-level rise, and public works strategies for managing their economic and social costs. I am currently completing my PhD in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) Program at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Coastlines around the world are becoming increasingly crowded with both people and economic assets. At the same time, global sea-level rise is expected to increase the frequency and severity of costly coastal flood events. Managing the collision course between rising oceans, population increases, and economic development is a grand challenge that society must address now.
In one area of my research, I use projections of sea level change to inform real-world policy and investment decisions that seek to manage the economic and social costs of coastal flooding. I also study the political and social conflicts that inevitably result when designing and implementing flood risk reduction strategies (for example, a multi-billion dollar storm surge barrier or levee system). In most democracies, coastal flood risk reduction decisions occur at every level of government and involve input from a diverse set of stakeholders, including elected officials, technical experts, and citizens that may be affected by a particular decision.
My career goals are 1) to better allocate scarce government resources to coastal risk reduction efforts by encouraging public works proposals that are less likely to result in political deadlocks, delays, or failures and 2) to produce coastal flood projections using the latest climate science (it's always changing!) to help city officials, homeowners, lenders, and real-estate developers make more informed long-lived decisions under uncertain future sea-level rise. My hope is that these efforts will save lives, money, and improve overall human well-being along the coasts.
In addition to belonging to the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE) at Princeton University, I am a member of the Rutgers Earth System Science & Policy Lab and Climate Impact Lab.
I am a contributing author of American Climate Prospectus: Economic Risks in the United States. I previously was a research fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). I also served as an air pollution engineer at both the California Air Resources Board and Ramboll.