James (Principal, Founding Member) received his doctorate in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz with a focus on environmental economics and resource management. James has extensive experience in greenhouse gas emissions quantification, climate action strategy, and supply chain sustainability. He has developed sustainability rating systems, methodologies to quantify GHG emissions, and multiple client-specific tools for GHG emissions, energy usage, and financial analysis. James has provided expert witness testimony in multiple cases on energy and climate policy and speaks frequently in both academic and corporate sustainability venues on sustainability measurement, life cycle analysis, and environmental policy. He also teaches in the Electrical Engineering and Environmental Studies Departments at UCSC.
Alexander Gershenson, PhD
Alexander Gershenson, PhD
Alexander (Principal, Founding Member) received his PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz with a focus on carbon dynamics and climate change policy. His expertise is in the fields of biological carbon sequestration in agricultural and forest systems, as well as U.S. and international environmental law and climate change policy implementation. He has worked on multiple carbon modeling projects, and has developed carbon offset calculation methodologies for the Climate Action Reserve. Alex is a co-PI on a $2.6 million grant from USDA focusing, in part, on LCA analysis of organic strawberry production on the California Central Coast. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications on carbon dynamics and he holds an Assistant Professor position of Policy and Science at San Jose State University.
Tiffany Wise-West, PE, LEED AP, PhD
Tiffany Wise-West, P.E., LEED A.P., PhD
Tiffany (Principal) is a licensed professional civil engineer with 20 years of experience in municipal infrastructure planning, design and project management. Dr. Wise-West received her BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Purdue University specializing in water, wastewater and solid waste systems. She earned her MA and PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz where her academic research focused on the techno-economic and policy elements of sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy and issues at the water and energy nexus. Dr. Wise-West specializes in negotiating and managing public-private-academic partnerships aimed at advancing green infrastructure, policy and programming. For five years, she led the award-winning Santa Cruz GreenWharf initiative and currently works on national, state and regional climate and energy issues in her roles at EcoShift Consulting and the District 2 Commissioner on the Santa Cruz County Commission on the Environment.
Rick Betita, MS
Senior Climate & Energy Consultant
Rick Betita, M.Sc.
received his M.S. and B.S. in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University, with a concentration in Sustainable Energy and Materials. He focuses the intersections of life cycle assessment (LCA), data science, and data communication. At Columbia, he worked as a research assistant at the Center for Life Cycle Analysis, where he modeled the life cycle impacts of various energy systems. In his previous position as Director of Technology at Climate Earth, he oversaw the development of data-driven LCA methodology, calculated the impacts of over 30,000 manufactured products based on client-submitted data, and delivered results to a wide range of audiences via reports, presentations, and online dashboards. He specializes in effective data visualization as a way to communicate complex, multi-dimensional data to both technical and nontechnical audiences.
Ben Weil, PhD
Senior Energy Consultant
Ben Weil, PhD
Ben received an M.A. from Syracuse University and a doctoral degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz where his research focused on renewable energy technology, policy, and economics. He is a building scientist and energy analyst with training from the Building Performance Institute and is a member of the Northeast Home Energy Rating System Alliance. Until recently he held the position of Advanced Diagnostic Auditor with the Center for Ecological Technology where he worked on utility energy conservation programs and private consulting. As an independent energy analyst, he has conducted research for the World Future Council, Earth Action, and several other environmental non-profit organizations. Currently, Benjamin holds the position of Extension Assistant Professor at UMass Amherst, where he teaches and conducts research on commercial and residential energy efficiency and building science.
Maxwell T. Boykoff, PhD
Senior Climate Change Consultant
Maxwell T. Boykoff, PhD
Maxwell is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Science and Technology Policy, which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He teaches in the Environmental Studies program and is Adjunct faculty in the Geography Department. In addition, Max is a Senior Visiting Research Associate in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. He holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from The Ohio State University. Max has ongoing interests in climate adaptation, cultural politics and environmental governance, science-policy interactions, and political economy and the environment, and he has experience working in North America, Central America, South Asia and Europe. Among his writing, he has authored the book ‘Who Speaks for Climate? Making sense of media reporting on climate change’ (to be released in November 2011 with Cambridge University Press), as well as the co-edited and edited volumes ‘Contentious Geographies: Environmental Knowledge, Meaning, Scale’ (2008), ‘The Politics of Climate Change: A Survey’ (2009), ‘The New Carbon Economy: Constitution, Governance and Contestation’ (forthcoming in 2012) and ‘Successful Adaptation: Linking Science and Practice in Managing Climate Change Impacts’ (forthcoming in 2012). Max’s research has been mentioned in a range of outlets such as Science, Nature, Financial Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review, the Los Angeles Times, BBC Worldservice and (US) National Public Radio. He has also appeared on CNN International and France24 television.
Duran Fiack, MS
Water Resources Specialist
Duran Fiack, M.Sc.
is a currently a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has expertise in economic and policy analysis and extensive experience with multiagency and stakeholder collaboration, particularly in the areas of resource management and environmental governance. Prior to attending UCSC, Duran spent a number of years working for California administrative and regulatory agencies, including the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Environmental Protection Agency, where he served under the Deputy Secretary for Policy and Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Secretary. He earned a M.Sc. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis, and B.A. from the California State University, Sacramento where he majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Economics and Biology.
Hanjiro Ambrose, MS
Climate Change Consultant
Hanjiro is a skilled communicator with a diverse background spanning science, art, and education. Hanjiro’s early private sector experience lead him to return to graduate school at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis where he studies Industrial Ecology and Life Cycle Analysis in the College of Civil Engineering. His research aims to identify and avoid unintended environmental outcomes from vehicle emissions policies for light duty vehicles and on-road freight. Current projects and case studies focus on dynamic life cycle assessment of critical energy materials and transformative technologies. These include cascading use of energy storage devices, such as traction batteries in second-life or repurposing applications, future material criticality (e.g. supply risks, constraints, and environmental burdens), as well as consequential system boundary expansion. This work integrates stochastic life cycle inventory and assessment modeling with systems dynamics and econometrics to examine life cycle metrics in a policy context.