Past Contributors


Matthew Bishop is a graduate student at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. His current academic area of focus is science and technology policy, with a focus on climate and energy policy. At COP21, he hopes to identify meaningful ways for future Michigan delegations to get involved. He is a Dow Sustainability Fellow and works at the University of Michigan Climate Center. He will be at the Paris climate conference from Dec. 6-12.

Paul Edwards is a professor in the UM School of Information and Dept. of History. His research concerns the history and politics of knowledge and information infrastructures, especially the ones surrounding climate science and climate change. He wrote A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010) and co-edited Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2001). Most of his writing is available at his website,

Roxana Galusca holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Currently, she is a graduate student in the School of Information. Roxana is interested in approaches to environmental justice that are inclusive of race and gender justice.

Brian La Shier is a graduate student at the School of Natural Resources & Environment. His studies focus on the intersection of public policy and environmental issues, particularly governmental approaches to climate change. His interests at the COP include the roles adaptation and energy technologies will play during the negotiation process, as well as the debate surrounding country-specific commitments.

Benjamin Morse is a dual-degree graduate student (MS/MPP) in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Benjamin’s current academic area of focus is behavior, education and communication within the context of natural resources as well as environmental and energy policy. He is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ethiopia 2011-2013).

Nicole Ryan is a second year duel-degree student studying Mechanical Engineering and Natural Resources. Her research is relates to modeling the emissions produced from electricity consumption to improve emissions accounting measures. She is interested in energy related climate policy and during the COP21 she will be following talks on technology transfer and other mechanisms countries intend to use to integrate the Paris agreement into their domestic policies.

Mayank Vikas is a second year graduate student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He is a Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellow. His research focuses on non-exclusionary conservation practices, and protection of biodiversity through multi-use landscapes. At COP21, he will be tracking how climate and justice issues in the Global South are addressed, in particular technology transfer, climate finance for both mitigation and adaptation, and loss and damage.

COP 16

Priyanka Bandyopadhyay Priyanka Bandyopadhyay is an independent consultant based in Seattle, and works with cleantech startups and social ventures to help them design actionable business plans and devise strategies to get their products or services to the right markets. Raised in India, and with an eclectic professional background, Priyanka is an on-going student of topics ranging from sustainable economic development to childhood education. She taps into these interests to write about socio-econo-political factors around energy and climate issues, with a focus on India. Priyanka has an MBA and an MS in Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan.

Eric Chu Eric Chu is a doctoral student in the Environmental Policy and Planning Group at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His primary research interest is in the sociopolitics of climate change adaptation planning. His current research looks at the intersection of adaptation and development in local government planning and policymaking. Eric currently lives in Cambridge, MA and works extensively in cities in Asia and Africa.

Dan Miller Daniel C. Miller is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on environmental politics and policy. He is currently conducting dissertation fieldwork in the “W” region of West Africa, where the Niger River makes a large double bend at the intersection of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. His dissertation explores the legacy of externally-funded conservation in this region, particularly as it affects the ability of local communities to adapt in the face of climatic variability and change. More information about his work is located here.

Nate Engle Nathan Engle recently completed his doctoral degree at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment. He researches domestic and international adaptation to climate variability and change, water management and governance, and drought preparedness. He and his family currently reside in Maryland, where Nathan is a postdoctoral researcher.

Doug Glancy Doug Glancy has more than a decade of experience working on sustainability, climate, and energy issues on Capitol Hill, in the academic sphere, and in the private sector including companies such as Swiss RE and Pratt and Whitney. A Senate staffer for Carl Levin from 2000-2004, Doug returned to Michigan to complete his graduate studies. In 2007, Doug was one of the contributing authors on a report for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change entiled “Corporate Stratigies that Address Climate Change.” That same year, he received his masters from the Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources & Environment as part of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He is currently a a senior consultant to The Carbon Trust and serves on the board of the Michigan League.

Talitha Haller Talitha Haller received her Bachelor of Business Administration and her Master of Accounting from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Her interests focus on for-profit approaches to sustainable development, specifically related to forest protection, and the potential limits of new technologies to lessen climate change. Talitha’s diverse background includes extensive community development experience throughout Latin America. She most recently worked for an environmental non-profit organization in Brazil specializing in climate change mitigation.

Mason Inman Mason Inman is a journalist who writes for New Scientist, National Geographic News, Science, and other publications, with a new-fired interest in climate change and energy technologies.

Nick Parker Nick Parker received his PhD from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment. His research was concerned with social vulnerability to environmental change and resource scarcity, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Nick lives in Charlottesville, VA and studies the national security risks of climate change.

Kevin Reed is a PhD student at the University of Michigan in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences. His research focuses on evaluating the the ability of climate models to simulate tropical cyclones and the impact that global warming may have on future hurricanes. This research involves the development of a systematic approach to understanding the role that different model components play in the intensification of an idealized tropical cyclone. In addition, Kevin is interested in climate change policy and the role that scientific funding plays in the direction of federally funded scientific research.

Ricky Rood Professor Ricky Rood’s current research is focused on bridging the study of weather and climate. He is funded by NASA to study dynamical features as objects and to develop new methods for analyzing climate models. He is funded by the Department of Energy to study sub-scale mixing processes in climate models. At the University of Michigan, he teaches a class on climate change and the interface of climate change with all aspects of society. This has evolved into a class on problem solving in climate change. This is a graduate class, taught in concert with the School of Natural Resources & Environment. The class includes business students, policy students, as well as students from several science departments. In addition, Ricky has funding to study urban heat waves, human heat health warning systems, and how to govern open source / open innovation communities.

Merry Walker Merry Walker, University of Michigan College of Engineering alum, currently works as a consultant for the Department of Energy, and is based in Washington DC. Her primary interests are understanding and influencing the nexus of politics, science, and engineering, particularly in the energy realm. She attended COP 15 and continues to follow climate change legislation and supporting scientific research. In her free time, she leads a start-up non profit, Vort Port International, which facilitates the development of international grassroots enterprises utilizing technology and business.

whitefoot_katie Katie Whitefoot is a University of Michigan doctoral student in the Design Science program, joint between Mechanical Engineering and Economics. Her research focuses on how climate change policies affect the diffusion of energy-saving technologies and product-design strategies, primarily focused on the automotive market. She was also a part of the UM delegation to the COP15 UN Climate Summit. More information about her work is located here.