Alumni

Doctorate (Ph.D.)
Josh Cousins
Joshua Cousins
Ph.D., 2016
Present: Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems & Society Postdoctoral Fellow, Dartmouth College
Research interests: Political ecology, Science and technology studies, Water resources, Environmental governance, Industrial ecology

Joshua has a BA in Geography from the University of Colorado and a MS in Geography from Portland State University. He has published in Geoforum on the urban water metabolism of Los Angeles and in Progress in Human Geography on developing approaches that bridge political and industrial ecology. His dissertation research explores the emergence and evolution of new technologies and management strategies to capture, recycle, and utilize stormwater as a beneficial resource, rather than treat it as a hazard or as contaminated runoff. Focusing on Los Angeles and Chicago as case studies, the research focuses on how the linkages between technological development and environmental governance on the one hand, and political-economic and social perspectives on the other, influence how stormwater projects are implemented and understood.
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Oh Seok Kim
Oh Seok Kim
Ph.D. Geography, 2013
Present: Research Professor, Korea University
Research interests: Sustainable Urban Redevelopment, Urban Political Ecology, Urban Adaptation to Climate Change

Oh earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California under the supervision of Professor Josh Newell. His research was about measuring carbon footprints of deforestation in China, and, based on his expertise in carbon accounting and spatial methods, Oh has consulted a few carbon offset projects in Southeast Asia and North Korea with researchers at Seoul National University and Korea University. Recently, Oh joined the Korea Environmental Institute, the national environmental policy think tank, to plan climate adaptation strategies for South Korea.

Masters (M.S.)
Dana Wall
Dana Wall
M.U.P./M.S., Environmental Policy and Planning, 2016
Present: Project Manager at The Street Plans Collaborative
Research interests: Parks and Open Space Planning, Placemaking, and Urban Waterways

Dana is currently a Dow Master’s Sustainability Fellow, and served as the Sustainability Chair of the Urban Planning Association at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Before attending the University of Michigan to pursue her dual degree, she worked in the Green Urbanism department of Global Green USA, a non-profit in Santa Monica, CA, where she conducted an urban agriculture feasibility study for Youngstown, OH. For the last two summers, she has worked in New York City for the New York City Parks Department and the Design Trust for Public Space.
Brandon List
Brandon List
M.S., Sustainable Systems, 2016
Present: Landscape Architect, Forum Studio
Research interests: Urban Sustainability, Water Systems and the built environment

Brandon has a BLA from Michigan State University. He worked as a landscape architect and planner for a Detroit-based architecture and planning firm for five years prior to attending the University of Michigan. He was involved in a variety of large-scale planning projects both in Detroit and internationally.
Zahra Bahrani Fard
Zahra Bahrani Fard
M.S. Candidate, 2017
Research interests: Transportation Planning, Urban Sustainability, and Autonomous Vehicles

Zahra is currently a masters student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at The University of Michigan. She has background in Urban Planning and holds a masters degree in Regional Planning from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. Zahra is currently working on the Green Infrastructures Project in Detroit with the Urban Sustainability Research Group. Before attending the University of Michigan, she was involved in research projects on spatial justice, transportation planning and comprehensive planning.
Andrew Fang
Andrew Fang
M.S. Sustainable Systems/M.E. Energy Systems Engineering, 2012
Ph.D. Geography, 2013
Present: Ph.D. Candidate, Renewables and Environment, University of Minnesota
Research interests: Urban sustainability and carbon footprinting

Andrew has gone on to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. His work focused on the interactions between water-energy infrastructure, specifically quantifying the emissions associated with urban water consumption in Southern California. He will continued this research at Minnesota, in the context of low carbon development in urban environments in India and China.

Anne Shishkovsky
Anne Shishkovsky
M.U.P./M.S. Sustainable Systems, 2013
Present: Community Planner, CUPPAD

Anne’s master’s project at the University of Michigan was focused on improving energy management and sustainability practices at Yellowstone National Park. She received a B.S. in Architecture and worked on historic building renovations in the City of Detroit. Currently, Anne is a Community Planner in the Upper Peninsula where she develops plans and economic development projects for rural communities.

John Willard
John Willard
M.S. Sustainable Systems, 2012
Present: Energy Analyst, Biosystems
Research interests: Green infrastructure, life-cycle inventory

John has a background in History and Geographical Information from the University of Washington. During his tenure at the University of Michigan, John worked with the Urban Sustainability Research Group on a range of projects from GIS analysis of green infrastructure in Detroit, urban expansion in the Pacific Northwest, and life-cycle inventory of the water energy nexus in Southern California, which he presented at the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology in Boston, MA.

Jordan Garfinkle
Jordan Garfinkle
M.S. Sustainable Systems,2012
Present: Environmental Analyst, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Research interests: Science-policy interface, Federal policy, Energy issues

As a result of his work with Dr. Newell, Jordan has a growing interest in the ability of cities and states to address pressing environmental issues in the absence of federal policy. He is increasingly concerned about the state of the natural world, but is optimistic about society’s capacity to tackle big challenges. Jordan is also the founder of CleanTechVerdict.com.

Katie O'Gara
Katie O’Gara
M.S. Conservation Ecology/Environmental Justice, 2014
Present: Fund Analyst, The World Bank
Research interests: International development programs

Katie is enthusiastic about the implementation of development programs that benefit the participating community, its surrounding environment, and the broader global community. In particular, Katie is focused on international development programs aimed at improving communities’ lives through the conservation of forests. While at SNRE, Katie’s research was based in Tanzania, exploring small-scale equity impacts of global programs such as the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate. Prior to being a student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, she earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Villanova University and spend three years working in fundraising for a Central America-based conservation and development non-profit.

Kerby Smithson
Kerby Smithson
M.S. Sustainable Systems, 2011
Present: Energy Analyst, City of Asheville
Research interests: Energy, GHG accounting

After graduating with a degree in environmental technology from North Carolina State University, Kerby served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia from 2006-08 as a natural resource specialist assigned to the local government of a small, highland town. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he worked as an intern with the Clean Energy Coalition of Ann Arbor. Kerby has since moved back to North Carolina. He works primarily on greenhouse gas accounting, project managing, building efficiency upgrades, and using energy and financial data to convince leaders in local government to pursue sustainability goals.

Paul Winters
Paul Winters
M.S. Conservation Ecology/Natural Resources Management and Policy, 2014
Present: Program Examiner and Presidential Management Fellow, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President
Research interests: Metropolitan communities in regional conservation

Paul earned his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied geography and urban studies. Before attending the University of Michigan, he worked as a Research Associate for the Regional Plan Association’s Environmental and Open Space Programs in New York City. Previous experience also includes working as a Summer Associate for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

Undergraduate (U.G.)
Jacob Shapiro
Jacob Shapiro
B.S. Candidate, Cognitive Science
2016
Research interests: Urban Agriculture and Vacancy

Jacob worked on a project with the Urban Sustainability Research Group to identify Detroit’s “hidden geographies”, mapping footpaths in vacant plots of land throughout the city of Detroit. His research aims to discover the ways in which communities currently use vacant land, with the ultimate goal of informing future initiatives to develop vacant land for purposes like urban agriculture.