Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Departments & Programs


Global Reach: Crossing Boundaries

E-IPER students disperse to tackle world problems.

Things quiet down around Stanford during the warm days of summer, when E-IPER's PhD students are dispersed far and wide like seeds in the wind. This summer our students could be found on nearly every continent, with several far south in Chile and our web intern, Haley Smith Kingsland,an Earth Systems Masters student, way up north blogging from NASA's Arctic Voyage 2010. Below is a quick sampling of E-IPER's global reach.

Several students headed due south for their summer research. Rodrigo Pizarro (PhD 4th)spent time in both Costa Rica and Panama interviewing policy makers and studying archival materials for his work on national-scale environmental policy diffusion in Latin America. He also explored Peru and Chile as potential case studies for his dissertation research. Chile is popular among E-IPER students: Andy Gerhart (PhD 5th) continuedhis studies on the effects of salmon farming on the local community on the southern island of Chiloé while Robert Heilmayr (PhD 2nd) initiated his investigation into the policies, economics, and other drivers of the recent re-forestation trend in Chile, one of only two South American countries not currently losing forest cover. Rachael Garrett(PhD 3rd) was in Brazil this summer conducting interviews for her research on thesoybean industry in the Santarém region of the Amazon.

NikitAbhyankar (PhD 4th) was in India, where he trained a group of energy regulators and power utility companies to undertake load research and helped design their energy efficiency policies. Michael Ovadia (PhD 2nd) also traveled to Indiato begin investigating sustainable agriculture practices, while AndrewPerlstein (PhD 6th) continued his work on China's environmental policyimplementation in Beijing.

Florian Weidinger (Joint MBA-MS 2nd)spent the summer working in Manila, Philippines at the Asian Development Bank's private sector infrastructure financing group, focusing on three clean energy and agriculture projects in Thailand and Cambodia.

On the African continent, Amy J. Pickering (PhD 4th is launching a new project implementing school-based hand hygiene interventions in primary schools in Kibera, Kenya. In collaboration with CDC-Kenya, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and the University at Buffalo, Amy and her colleagues are evaluating the behavioral impacts of providing waterless hand sanitizer in schools by monitoring teachers' and students' hand hygiene behavior.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Austin Becker (PhD 3rd)conducted fieldwork to identify ports to use as case studies for his research on climate change impacts and seaport resilience. He toured port facilities and interviewed key decision makers in Providence, RI, Gulfport, MS, and Kingston, Jamaica to gather preliminary data on hurricane planning and response, risk assessment, and vulnerability analysis that will shape his future dissertation work.

In the far northwest, Lauren Oakes (PhD 2nd) traveled to Alaska, where she worked for several years before coming to E-IPER and hopes to conduct her dissertation research. After connecting with many locals, policymakers, and researchers, Lauren gained a better understanding of critical land and water management issues in Alaska to help define her thesis project. 

Back at Stanford, several students spent time catching up on the literature, writing articles, analyzing data, and preparing for their next field studies. Come September, most students find their way back to campus armed with stories, data, pictures, new experiences, and renewed motivation for the upcoming academic year.