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Alumni Spotlights

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Becky Chaplin-Kramer - Ecosystem Services to and from Agricultural Systems

Becky is leading efforts to improve user experience and the way InVEST is applied in decision-making. She is also the lead modeler for ecosystem services from and to agricultural systems. Her past work has combined conducting field experiments, modeling, and coordinating between researchers and practitioners at regional and local scales, through agricultural extension programs and the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research program on climate change.

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David Conti - Epidemiology and Public Health

Following his time at Stanford, David Conti (Earth Systems BS ’96, MS ’00) completed a PhD in genetic epidemiology at Case Western University. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. David’s broad interdisciplinary research grew out of his education in Earth Systems and his undergraduate honors in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy. His interest in genetics was piqued by his undergraduate honors research in which he examined the effects of environmental temperature and genetic variation on butterfly flight performance. 

David now develops novel statistical techniques that improve identification of genetic factors based on known biological pathways. He looks at the ways in which environmental factors affect genetic expression. David is currently investigating the impacts of air pollution on lung function development in children by altering oxidative stress and inflammation response. He is also investigating nicotine metabolism and the brain reward pathways with cigarette smoking.

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Lauren Faber - Environmental Defense Fund, West Coast Political Director

Lauren joined EDF from the California Environmental Protection Agency.  At the California EPA, Lauren focused on the design and implementation of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) that EDF cosponsored in 2006.  Prior to her work at the EPA, Lauren served as Senior Director for Lighthouse Consulting Group, where she advised on comprehensive climate change and energy strategies for domestic and international companies, non-government organizations, and in particular, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.

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Kate Hayes - Landscape Architecture

After graduating, Kate (Earth Systems BS ’08) worked at several different organizations including a sustainable buildings company, an urban design and consulting firm, and National Geographic. Kate has now decided to attend the University of Virginia to pursue a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture. Kate hopes to combine her Earth Systems knowledge with landscape architecture and concentrate her graduate studies in urban design. She wants to revitalize old downtown areas using concepts of adaptive reuse and smart growth to make urban spaces more sustainable and pedestrian-friendly.

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Justin Holl - Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Justin manages the Sanctuary Visitor Center education programs, exhibits, and saltwater aquaria.  Since graduating from Stanford with a BS and MS in Earth Systems, Justin has worked as a Geologist studying coastal erosion for the USGS, as the Publications Coordinator for the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, and as the Co-Coordinator of Outreach for Estacion Costera de Investigaciones Marinas, a marine lab in central Chile.

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Mike Jackson - The Westly Group, Principal

Mike Jackson is a principal at The Westly Group, a cleantech venture capital firm. He focuses primarily on investments in biofuels and building energy efficiency. He has helped lead the firm's investments in Amyris, Enerkem, SCIenergy, and CalStar Products. Prior to the Westly Group, Mike was co-founder and CEO of Village Green Energy, a retailer of renewable electricity production to households and businesses. Previously, he helped manage research in India and China at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University.

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Cliff Kalinowski - Energy Technology

Cliff Kalinowski (Earth Systems BS ’95, MS ’96) is the Director of Global Customer Operations at SunPower, a solar technology design and manufacturing company based in San Jose, California. Cliff leads SunPower’s customer support groups, managing hundreds of employees who are based in the Philippines and Poland. 

An avid rock-climber and surfer, Cliff is passionate about environmental awareness: he is the chairman of Woodside’s Conservation and Environmental Health Committee. Cliff also appreciates the chance to spread the word about clean, renewable solar energy with SunPower’s customers.

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Lauren Linsmayer - Ph.D. Student, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Lauren is a 3rd year PhD student in the Tresguerres Lab. She arrived at Scripps after completing a joint BS/MS program at Stanford University in the interdisciplinary Earth Systems program. At Stanford, she spent several summers interning for Dr. George Somero’s comparative physiology lab at the Hopkins Marine Station, where she completed her Honors Thesis research on the physiology of an invasive mussel (paper here: http://aquaticcommons.org/6603/). This is where her interest in studying the physiology of marine organisms developed, and why she joined the Tresguerres Lab. Read about Lauren's research interests at: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/labs/mtresguerres/members/lauren-linsmayer/

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Molly Meyer - Green Roofs

Molly Meyer (Earth Systems BS and MS ’05) started a company that designs, builds, and maintains vegetated green roofs. Three years ago while working as an apprentice carpenter in Seattle, she recognized that green roofs built in Germany are considerably less expensive than those built in the United States. To study their methods, she moved to Germany and worked in all aspects of the green roof industry: research, design, construction, and maintenance. Founding her company is both the last step in a three-year mission to gain a strong foundation in the practical knowledge of green roofs and the first step in her quest to remake the U.S. green roofing industry. Molly’s goal is to "democratize" the green roofs by making them widely available and affordable. She hopes that green roofs will make a meaningful ecological impact on the American cityscape.

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Bryan Pate - ElliptiGO, Co-President and Co-Founder

Bryan conceived of the ElliptiGO, an outdoor elliptical bicycle, due to a sports injury that prevented him from running.  Bryan teamed up with his friend Brent Teal, an engineer, to design and develop the ElliptiGO.  They designed the bike with the idea that it could be an alternative to the conventional bicycle, both for transportation and for low-impact running.  Bryan and his partner launched their business in San Diego, CA, and it is thriving in the US and abroad.  Learn more: http://www.elliptigo.com/