Climate Blue Leadership

For the past several years, the University of Michigan (UM) has sent a delegation of students to the various COPs to increase transparency of the negotiations toward civil society. In response, an on-campus group called Climate Blue has been organized to build a more resilient platform for the delegations and the broader UM community to engage in relevant climate change issues. The founding focuses of Climate Blue are to open connections to stakeholders, and bridge the activities of the delegation with our home community in Ann Arbor. The team performs critical work in researching the various policy topics being discussed at COP 22, brainstorming activities and other events for delegates and Climate Blue members to learn from, and identifying ways to communicate and engage more students and community members on these important issues.

Climate Blue Leadership 2018-2019

Tim Arvan, Director

Tim is a junior in the College of LSA and studies Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Program in the Environment (PitE). His research explores the role of environmental NGOs in shaping climate change mitigation policy in the European Union. Tim is also interested in the integration of climate science and policy and looks forward to interdisciplinary problem-solving with Climate Blue. When not thinking about climate, Tim enjoys frisbee, crossword puzzles, and smooth jazz.

Akash Prafulchandra Shah,  Outreach Coordinator

Akash is an Applied Physics doctoral student in Rackham Graduate School. His research revolves around nuclear fusion and pulsed power technologies within the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences department. His interests in climate blue and climate policy in general stems from his attendance of the UNEP sponsored International Children’s Conference. In his free time, Akash enjoy reading and sports.

Zachary Fair, Co-Treasurer

Zach is a Ph.D. candidate in the Climate and Space Science and Engineering department, and he will be starting his third year in the fall. His work focuses on the Greenland Ice Sheet, and currently he is assessing how sediment and algae can affect the development of melt ponds and drainage channels in the ice. He joined Climate Blue to get a better understanding of the political process and of how he can advocate for his work. He grew up near the ocean, so He is a big fan of water sports. Some of his favorites include swimming, kayaking, and sailing.

Maanya Umashaanker, Co-Treasurer

Maanya is a master’s student from the School of Environment and Sustainability. She studies climate adaptation and mitigation strategies and their influence on agricultural production among farming communities in India, using field-based surveys and remote sensing techniques. She intends to increase awareness on climate change and its cascading impact by engaging in various projects at climate blue. In her free time, she loves to go on hikes or binge watch The Office.

Jaclynn Spryshak, Communications Coordinator

Jackie is in the Ross School of Business studying Business Administration and Spanish. She is interested in the role climate policy plays in economies and social justice, and loves the negotiation involved with international climate policy. The opportunity to attend UNFCCC also drew her to Climate Blue. Outside of Climate Blue, Jackie loves to learn new languages and does a killer Shakira impression.

Mitchell Mead, Media Coordinator

Mitch is a junior in the College of LSA studying Economics and Environmental Science. He is interested in the relationship between behavioral economics and public policy engaging environmental stewardship. His previous research investigated the impact of wholesale electricity prices on consumption of residential photovoltaics. Mitch joined Climate Blue because he wanted to explore how the decisions made at the COP can relate to university decision making. Mitch enjoys hiking, waterskiing, reading, and tea.

Zach Berquist, Events Coordinator

Zach is in the College of Engineering pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering. He thinks policy and research are heavily intertwined, and researchers can have an immense impact on policy. This is why he is so interested in policy because as a researcher, he feels that he can help guide policy and have productive conversations about the direction of energy use in this country. A fun quirk about Zach is the hair on the right side of his head grows backwards and he loves the video game God of War.