UM Delegation

This year, the University of Michigan will be sending a team of ten students from across the university and one faculty member to COP-22 in Marrakech. Some brief information about each delegate is provided below, ordered by whether they will be participating in Week 1 or Week 2 of the conference.

Week 1 Delegates:

Micaela Battiste is a student at Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources. Her research and career interests include environmental sustainability and social engagement in supply chain management. She recently designed and implemented a survey on Costa Rican specialty coffee growers’ perceptions of climate change and adaptation. Her past work includes account and brand management with a certified fair trade exporter in Santiago, Chile, and interning with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna.

Sachi Graber is a graduate student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Her academic focus is in sustainable systems, but as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and former UNFCCC intern, she is highly interested in how various states interact via policy on the topic of climate change. At COP 22, she will closely follow sessions related to least developed countries’ adaptation strategies, as well as some of the technological developments.

Ember McCoy is a graduate student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, where she is concentrating in Environmental Justice and Science & Technology Public Policy. Her academic focus is primarily on domestic environmental justice issues, centering around energy policy, urban communities, and community-based decision-making in particular. At COP 22, she hopes to closely follow sessions related to climate justice & equity, indigenous rights, displacement and adaptation, community resilience, and youth engagement.

Syne Salem is a dual degree graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Natural Resources. He is interested in electric power systems, energy markets, and energy and environmental policy. Most recently, he was an intern in MISO’s Economic Studies group doing transmission system planning. At COP, he hopes to better understand the negotiating positions and mechanisms built around climate finance and MRV (measurement, reporting and verification).

Ed Waisanen is a graduate student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment studying environmental planning and informatics.  He is engaged in research related to farmer’s vulnerability to climate change and is particularly interested in issues affecting least developed countries and food-energy-water security.  Ed is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served in Benin as a volunteer and food security coordinator.  He is committed to finding ways to communicate complex sustainability issues and serves as Podcast Director for the Michigan Sustainability Cases Initiative.

Week 2 Delegates:

Ojaswi (OJ) Adhikari is an MPH (Masters of Public Health) student where she studies Public Health Nutrition.  She is interested in how climate change policies affect water, which in turn affect agriculture and food.  Further, she wants to look at water related diseases are borne out of issues of climate change.  At COP 22, she hopes to attend discussions on those topics specifically.

Ishi Keenum is an undergraduate student in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is interested in how countries develop and share adaptation technologies. She is especially interested in Least Developed Countries climate change plans and how those will integrate and affect water resources.  She hopes to spend her career studying how environmental engineering recommendations and policy interact.

Reed McCalib is a J.D. candidate at the University of Michigan Law School, where he studies international and environmental law. He is particularly interested in the domestic legal implications of international climate deals such as the Paris Agreement and how those considerations play a role in the negotiations. He also hopes to draw upon his background in environmental activism to better understand the role of NGOs and direct action in the overall Conference framework.

Connor Rubin is an undergraduate student in the Ford School of Public Policy, focusing his studies on American diplomacy in the developing world. He is particularly interested in the ways in which U.S. interactions with smaller countries can help lead to a better, greener, global economy and development. His past work includes working with government officials dedicated to conservation of natural resources, and creation of smart environmental regulations. At COP this year, he plans to focus on sessions and events covering the issues of sustainable development, and adaptation to the changing global environment.

Emily Upton is an undergraduate student in Climate and Space Engineering with a concentration in climate impact studies and a minor in international relations. Her past experiences in renewable sectors such as wind and solar, along with her sustainable community development trips to Tanzania and India, have inspired her to seek a career in which she can bring renewable energy and sustainable water systems to developing regions of the world at an affordable rate. Therefore, at the Conference of the Parties this year, she plans to focus on events covering Least Developed Countries issues and technological developments. Also, she will be attending REDD+ events to make contacts for her employer here at U of M, IFRI/FLARE.