I am an engineer, policy analyst, and environmental scientist. I study cities and their effects on surrounding environmental systems. My background is highly interdisciplinary, with over 10 years of experience in applied research and teaching.
I work as the Director of the California Institute for Water Resources and Associate Cooperative Extension Specialist within the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Most recently, I was a Research Engineer in the Office of Water Programs at California State University, Sacramento, an Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and a Lecturer in Sacramento State’s Department of Environmental Studies. My focus areas include water and energy systems analysis, resource management, and utility operations. Research with collaborators has examined the potential for Los Angeles County to significantly reduce its use of imported water, which included development of a systems model for LA’s complex urban water management.
Some current projects include analyzing statewide urban water conservation actions in California, evaluating net solar generation potential from urban rooftops in Los Angeles, and optimizing urban water management for conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources.
Through travels, I have visited many hip, beautiful, and grimy places throughout the globe. From 2005-07, I worked as a counterintelligence analyst for the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). From 2007-09, I worked as a systems engineer for the U.N. in Austria, organizing the installation of nuclear weapons monitoring stations in East Asia and Africa. In 2009, I co-organized and led the Earlham East Africa study abroad program, an experiential education program focused on urban development, rural sustainability, and ecology.
I also enjoy entrepreneurial ventures. I am a co-founder of the Philadelphia-based non-profit, the Sustainability Nexus, and Philly’s CityCoho coworking space. Sustainability involves changing economies and the way people work and make connections.
In spare time, I am a runner, hiker, home winemaker, and aspiring geek of California native plants.
California Institute for Water Resources: Director. University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (January 2023 to present)
Office of Water Programs at Sacramento State, U.S. EPA Region 9 Environmental Finance Center: Research Engineer. (Oct. 2017 to January 2023)
UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability: Assistant Adjunct Professor. (Nov. 2020 to January 2023)
Sacramento State University, Department of Environmental Studies: Lecturer. (Nov. 2020 to present)
UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability: Visiting Assistant Researcher. (Oct. 2017 to Oct. 2020)
UCLA California Center for Sustainable Communities: Postdoctoral Scholar. (Sept. 2014 – Sept. 2016)
Technical University of Denmark: PhD Fellow (Aug. 2014 – Sept. 2014)
Earlham College: Adjunct Professor. (June 2009 – January 2010)
George Mason University: Adjunct Professor. (Sept. 2005 – May 2007)
My PhD is from the University of California, Davis, in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Water Resources). I was also an NSF IGERT Trainee in the Responding to Rapid Environmental Change (REACH) IGERT at UC DAVIS. My Master’s degree comes from George Mason University in Science and Technology Public Policy, and my Bachelor’s degree comes from the University of Hartford in Acoustical Engineering and Music.
Other Past Affiliations
Engineers Without Borders @ UC Davis: Project manager for a project to upgrade water and energy infrastructure at DQ University, a local tribal college in Winters, CA.
Davis Energy Group: Technical writer who assembled really big documents.
Sustainable Cities International: Affiliate Researcher doing watershed-scale flood analysis for urban development planning in Los Cabos, Mexico. The research helped inform a master plan for the El Zacatal arroyo.
TechVision 21: Policy Analyst for federal science, technology, and innovation related to renewable energy and biofuels.
U.N. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization: Systems Engineer coordinating the installation of seismic monitoring stations as part of the international nuclear weapons monitoring network.
U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Intelligence Analyst working on issues of international relations and technology transfer.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory: Research Engineer
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