I am an engineer, climate scientist, and policy scholar. My research focuses on coastal floods, sea-level rise, and 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 Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University.

DJ Princeton

My most recent project explores the political process that precedes breaking ground on a coastal flood defense megaproject. For example, New York City has been examining multiple flood defense options in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (2012), including multi-billion dollar storm surge barriers. But after nearly eight years of deliberation, no credible project has broken ground, even in the presence of substantial federal funding. To better understand this outcome, I am examining historical experiences with coastal flood protection megaprojects, as well as other types of large infrastructure built along the coastline (e.g., the Westway Highway project in New York City).

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My career goals are 1) to enable coastal flood protection efforts by articulating political lessons learned from experiences with other coastal megaprojects and 2) to continue to produce coastal flood risk information using the latest science (it's always changing!) to help city officials, homeowners, lenders, and real-estate developers make more informed decisions under uncertain future sea-level rise. My hope is that these efforts will lead to choices that save money and protect human lives.


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.

I received a BS in atmospheric science from UW-Madison and an MS in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California-Davis.