Summer Research Opportunities

2016 Summer Research Assistantships:

To apply, contact the faculty member to determine if your background is appropriate for the position. If approved, complete the online Summer Research application form. Directions for submission are at the top of the application page.---


Faculty Supervisor: Pierre Bélanger
School: GSD
Dept./Area: Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology
Project Topic: EXTRACTION EMPIRE – Sourcing the Scales, Systems & States of Canada’s Global Resource Empire
 
Extraction redefines our understanding of urbanism in the 21st century. If everything we build comes from the ground, then extraction is the process that reshapes our assumptions about the territories of urbanization. From gold to gravel, copper to coltan, iron to uranium, geological resources support every single aspect of human life in the 21st century. In subway tunnels or on suburban streets, in electronic manufacturing or information media, on stock exchanges or in commodity markets, the geological materiality of contemporary urbanism is inescapable. Where do these materials come from? Where do they go? Who processes them? How are they moved? These are fundamental questions to everyone in the world. Often perceived as remote, the sites and systems of resource mining not only expose the scales and states of industrial extraction but they reconfigure the limits of urban economies and extents of patterns of consumption. From land rights on the surface to mineral rights below the surface, every dimension of urban life is mediated by resource extraction. It is our urban, political and cultural ore.

From underground extraction to surface prospecting to aerial exploration, Canada is at the center of this massive international resource infrastructure. It is the most active mining nation in the world, with more than half of the globe’s mining companies headquartered in Canada and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Located on every continent and in every sea in the world, over half of the world's mines are operated, serviced, financed or engineered by Canadians. Producing over 60 minerals and metals, Canada is the most productive mining nation in the world. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world from Africa to Latin America, more than half are Canadian-operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people in Canada, it contributed $52.6 billion to Canada's GDP in 2012 alone. Globally, more than 75% of the world's mining firms are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada's historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire.

This project raises issues of profound territorial, environmental, logistical, legal, economic, and geopolitical relevance that require critical inquiry. In addition to a strong interest in the spatial, legal and political nature of resource extraction, this project seeks the skills of an undergraduate or graduate researcher with strong editorial capacities, reading and writing, or image research abilities contributing to the production of a 400-page book—part-anthology and part-atlas—that will be published with MIT Press in 2017. Working in the Landscape Infrastructure Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Design during this summer long position, basic requirements for this include critical writing skills, archival research capacities, knowledge of bibliographic systems/citation methods, and critical thinking. Candidates with interrelated interests (geographic, politic, philosophic, ecologic, sociologic, semiotic) associated with both the knowledge area of mining, foreign policy, land tenure and legal rights systems, that are associated with the foreign political and domestic regulatory systems of Canada and its operations abroad (including countries of the Commonwealth, formerly associated with the British Empire), are welcome to contact the Project Supervisor.

Contact: Pierre Bélanger


Faculty Supervisor: Peter Rogers
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Environmental Engineering
Project Topic: Water Supply Conservation and Demand Management in the Water Scarce Countries of the Middle East

What is desalinated water really worth and can new “smart” water conservation and demand management help quench the thirst of parched emerging markets in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region? To provide a robust answer to these vexing questions, an American-Moroccan team of Harvard trained water and utility experts has embarked upon a novel research and development project that offers Morocco’s water users the opportunity to earn cash, own, and trade every litre of water they save.  Systems of cooperative water rights and responsibilities date back to ancient local qanats and, now, through innovative technology, researchers are able to convert these historical exchanges into an online/mobile conservation market where users can exchange their water saving credits to help meet the thirsty needs of a modern, urban, energy-intensive water utility. The team’s first demonstration project focuses on a desalination project in Agadir, but the platform design may apply to utilities of any scale or water source around the region. The two-year project’s goal to unlock water’s value can help motivate users to reduce demand, fix leaks, align competing interests, ensure trust, build resilience, and secure water.

Year one of the two-year study will focus on developing a methodology for “smart water management” for a city in Morocco. During this time, the RA will work closely with the team leader in Cambridge to assess the empirical results of the case in collaboration with the field research team in Morocco.  We are looking for a student with workable French or Arabic, an understanding of environmental resource management, and a strong economic background. Typical tasks will involve interfacing with spreadsheet software, simple statistical computational work, and drafting reports to the field team. The project could potentially serve as a thesis topic for the appropriate student. We have limited funds for student summer activities, but if the student had a travel grant we could also arrange for part of the summer to be spent in Morocco.

The team is led by Professor Peter Rogers, Gordon McKay Research Professor of Environmental Engineering at Harvard University, under a grant from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a research hub with a strong interest in scalable approaches that can bring resource security, economic efficiency, and social equity to an arid, fast-growing region that relies on desalination more than any other region on earth.

Contact: Peter Rogers


Faculty Supervisor: Eli Tziperman
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Earth and Planetary Sciences
Project Topic: Climate Dynamics

Undergraduate students with a strong background in physics and math are invited to join us for research projects either during the summer or the academic year. Students will learn about and participate in climate dynamics research activities, including the study of climate variability and climate change, both natural and human-caused. Possible project topics range from El Nino, the large-scale oceanic thermohaline circulation, and cold past climates such as the glacial cycles of the past 3 million years, and the preceding warm climates with implications to future climate change as well. Typical projects involve Matlab programming and the analysis of climate models or data. More information on our web page: http://www.seas.harvard.edu/climate/eli/Level2/research.html

Contact: Eli Tziperman


Faculty Supervisor: Joseph Allen
School: T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dept./Area: Environmental Health
Project Topic: “Green” Buildings and Health

The advent of sustainable design or “green building” strategies has reinvigorated questions over whether environmentally friendly buildings can also be healthy buildings. Join our research team at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health as we investigate the connection between the built environment and health. We have three project areas related to our environment and impacts on human health, productivity and wellness: Green Buildings and Health; Health and Sustainability in Schools; Microbiome and Biophilia. Activities for the student researcher include:

  • Conduct field studies wearing portable sensors
  • Analyze environmental sensor data
  • Conduct literature reviews on the connection between the built environment and health
  • Write a scientific abstract for a conference or grant submission
  • Work with researchers on developing field sampling protocols
  • Develop web content, logos, and interactive project posters

Specific tasks will depend on the interests and skills of the student. We are interested in transdisciplinary research and welcome candidates from any academic background (e.g., computer science; graphic, web and video design; business; history; education). No specific academic or work prerequisites required.  We are looking for: positive attitude; independent; creative; fun; tinkerer; interest in the environment, health and sustainability.

Contact: Joseph Allen


Faculty Supervisor: Christopher Golden and Samuel Myers
School: T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dept./Area: Ecosystems and Human Health
Project Topic: Global Fisheries Declines and Human Malnutrition and Food Insecurity

Our project will tackle the following four questions: 1) what is the current role of fish and other seafood in maintaining macro and micro-nutrient nutrition for populations around the world; 2) how will projected changes in global fish stocks affect human nutrition; and 3) which populations have the greatest nutritional vulnerability to changes in the status of fisheries? One of the centerpiece products of this effort will be an analytic framework and architecture that will allow decision-makers to calculate the health implications of different marine management strategies at a variety of scales, from local to global. We will estimate shifts in burdens of disease for particular populations associated with either increased or decreased access to seafood in the diet using data that we will collect and assemble from certain case study areas: Madagascar, Bangladesh, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, coastal British Columbia, and others. Such estimates will allow decision-makers to calculate, for the first time, the public health implications of their management decisions, creating policy tools that have the potential to revolutionize how we think about fisheries management, how we internalize health costs into marine and aquatic resource management, and how we improve food security in the Global South.

We are currently seeking research assistants to participate in our work analyzing the implications of aquatic ecosystem transformation, driven by both climate change and fishing activities, on human nutrition and health. Selected RAs will be asked to perform a variety of tasks, including literature reviews and statistical analyses of country-specific supply and demand markets for fisheries products, inequalities in food consumption and nutrient intake between and within households, and the links between consumption and prevalence of specific micronutrient deficiencies. RAs may also be asked to participate in primary data collection on these topics where secondary data do not exist.

**If a student wishes to conduct her/his senior thesis on this topic, it may be possible to organize a summer research experience in the field in one of the case study countries mentioned above (or a different country if vetted with Dr. Golden). Students would work jointly with local field teams (or independently) to collect primary empirical data on dietary nutritional intake patterns, fishery conditions and catch statistics, and food security metrics (among others). Please contact Dr. Golden directly about this possibility (golden@hsph.harvard.edu) if this is of interest.

Contact: Christopher Golden


Faculty Supervisor: Scot Martin
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Environmental Chemistry
Project Topic: Data Analysis of Human Activities on the Air quality and Climate of Amazonia

This project focuses on the effects of human activities on the air quality and climate of Amazonia. Data sets are available from aircraft measurements taken in 2014 and 2015. This research position requires strong computer skills, as well as an interest or prior experience with data mining or visualization. This study is a collaborative effort of School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Center for Geographic Analysis.

Contact: Scot Martin


Faculty Supervisor: William (Ned) Friedman
School: FAS
Dept./Area: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
Project Topic: Linking Plant Phenology and Climate Change through Development

Most phenological events that are studied in association with climate change are limited to relatively brief windows in the life of a plant.  Bud break, peak flowering, bud dormancy, and leaf drop are some of the more commonly documented aspects of a plant’s phenology.  A knowledge of the morphology of plants suggests that in order to fully understand how diverse plant species will respond to climate change, a far more developmental perspective must be integrated into the collection of data.  In most temperate woody flowering plants, leaves and flowers are formed (organogenesis) and undergo limited development (morphogenesis and histogenesis) within a bud at least one or more growing seasons before they will emerge from a bud and become functional.  Thus, summer and fall climate may have a profound effect on timing of events such as leafing out and flowering in the subsequent spring.  This study will use the extraordinary living collections of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University to examine timing and patterns of development of leaves and flowers across their full two-year developmental trajectory, in a selection of key species growing within this common garden.  Research will be based at the Weld Hill Research Facility at the Arnold Arboretum.

Contact: William (Ned) Friedman


Faculty Supervisor: Elizabeth Wolkovich
School: FAS
Dept./Area: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
Project Topic: From Plant Traits to Winegrapes

In summer 2016, the Wolkovich lab will be focused on understanding how to improve predictions of both future wine growing regions and New England forests by examining relationships between plant functional traits and phenology (the timing of recurring life history events such as leafout or flowering). Functional traits are any plant trait that contributes to a plant's performance; examples include leaf shape or rooting depth. A suite of them can help predict how plants respond to temperature extremes, drought and other important environmental factors. For the winegrape work we will examine projections given the vast phenological diversity of different varieties (e.g., Pinot Noir versus Cabernet Sauvignon). To do this we will combine data from a growth chamber experiment on several dozen different varieties with long-term phenological data from Domaine de Vassal in France to build phenological models. These models will then be used with climate projections to predict where varieties will grow in 2050 and 2100. For the work in Northeastern forests we will use a latitudinal gradient from Harvard Forest to Saint Hippolyte, Quebec to examine how phenology and other traits shift across a climatic gradient. Fieldwork will include collecting leaves and wood for trait measurements, planting seedlings into raised beds, measuring tree height and collecting data on leaf burst dates. Lab work includes planting seeds, measuring phenology and other traits in a growth chamber experiment, microscopy work, transcribing old records from Domaine de Vassal (http://www1.montpellier.inra.fr/vassal/unite/presentation.html) and measuring traits from field collected tissues (e.g., leaf mass area and wood density).

Contact: Elizabeth Wolkovich or Jehane Semaha


Faculty Supervisor: Elsie Sunderland
School: T.H. Chan School of Public Health & SEAS
Dept./Area: Biogeochemistry of Global Contaminants
Project Topic: Tiny Tuna, More Mercury: Effects of anthropogenic ecosystem changes on open ocean fish

Open ocean fish (tunas, billfish, sharks) are a highly exploited resource. Their popularity as foodfare and high trophic level makes them a conservation concern and a human health risk as the highest contributors of mercury to human diets. We are only beginning to understand the anthropogenic changes, beyond overfishing, that affect both the health of fish populations and the concentration of contaminants in their tissues. Our work is exploring the intersection of ecosystem change, fisheries health, and bioaccumulation of contaminants in open ocean predators. We use a variety of techniques including direct mercury analysis, stable isotope analysis of mercury, methylmercury analysis, and stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen (δ15N and δ13C). Work in our lab during the summer of 2016 will apply the above techniques to open ocean fish (tunas, sharks, marlin) and their prey (fish, squids, crustaceans), many of which are rare species, of high conservation concern, and/or among the highest mercury fish in the ocean. The successful applicant will receive training and contribute to generating data using all of the above techniques to better understand how our changing oceans effect the fish populations we exploit and the seafood we consume.

Contact: Elsie Sunderland


Faculty Supervisor: Michael Aziz
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Material and Energy Technologies
Project Topic: Performance of Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs)

Redox flow batteries (RFBs) have the potential to offer cost-effective electricity storage as a solution to the intermittency of solar and wind. The Aziz group has been investigating organic molecules as the RFB active species, motivated by their abundance and low cost, and has demonstrated high performance RFBs based on quinone molecules in both alkaline and acidic electrolytes. Efforts are under the way to improve their performance by engineering molecules, membranes, and electrodes. One important aspect of the quinone-based RFBs that has hardly been studied is the supporting electrolyte, in which the active species are dissolved. In this research project, we propose to investigate the supporting electrolytes for the quinone-based RFBs in the Aziz lab. The student will examine the dependence on electrolyte composition of the quinone solubility, electrolyte conductivity and viscosity, and membrane conductivity. The results may provide us insights into quinone-electrolyte interactions, which allow us to further increase the battery energy density and power density

Contact: Michael Aziz


Faculty Supervisor: Ann Forsyth
School: GSD
Dept./Area: Urban Planning
Project Topic: Health and Places Initiative: Looking Back on the Healthy Cities Program

In 1986 the World Health Organization started an innovative program called Healthy Cities. It aimed to foster collaborations across sectors and interest groups to promote health and quality of life in specific places. In the last three decades over a thousand cities have sought to be part of healthy cities and healthy communities programs globally. This research project is investigating some of the earliest of the healthy cities programs—in Europe, Australia, East Asia, and the US. It aims to tell the story of healthy city implementation and assess if and how the program made a difference.

This is a small project using mixed methods that will involve working closely with Professor Ann Forsyth and graduate student assistants. The undergraduate selected for this position would work collaboratively with team members but be responsible for an individual component.

Depending on interest the student, they will be involved in one or more of the following areas:

(a) Looking at a broader global picture of healthy cities and communities implementation.
(b) Helping with background investigations about key case study cities.
(c) Developing graphics and visualizations.

Professor Forsyth is affiliated with the Center for Green Buildings and Cities, the Joint Center for Housing Studies, and the Health and Places Initiative. For more information see http://annforsyth.net/research/

Contact: Ann Forsyth


Faculty Supervisor: Ann Forsyth
School: GSD
Dept./Area: Urban Planning
Project Topic: Environment, Health and the Horizontal City

Suburbia has received a bad rap in environmental and health circles, but is the story all bad? What can be done about the large amount of suburban development already in existence and likely to be built in coming decades.

This project looks at suburbia through the lens of health and well-being. It investigates several dimensions:

  • Types of suburbia from incremental sprawl to comprehensively planned new towns.
  • Health issues including exposures to toxins, irritants, and hazards (air quality, water quality, noise, disasters); connections to resources and people to live a healthier life, supports for healthy behaviors and experiences (safety, physical activity, mental well-being).
  • Types of challenges including population aging, environmental change, inequality, technological developments, and shifts in urban patterns.

Examining the pros and cons of suburbia with an open mind, the project is forward-looking, aiming to identify how to build on suburbia’s strengths and minimize its problems over the longer term. This is a small project drawing on prior research that will involve working closely with Professor Ann Forsyth and graduate student assistants. The undergraduate selected for this position would work collaboratively with team members, but be responsible for an individual component.

Depending on interest the student would be involved in one or more of the following tasks:

(a) Helping with background investigations about a specific topic, type of environment, or type of challenge.
(b) Developing graphics and visualizations including those presenting data and proposing new designed for existing environments.
(c) Helping develop narrative scenarios of plausible futures.

Professor Forsyth is affiliated with the Center for Green Buildings and Cities, the Joint Center for Housing Studies, and the Health and Places Initiative. For more information see http://annforsyth.net/research/

Contact: Ann Forsyth


Faculty Supervisor: Graham Allison
School: HKS
Dept./Area: Government
Project Topic: COP21 - Gap Between Assessments and Action

At the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, 195 countries signed on to an agenda to limit global warming “to well below 2 degrees C.” The official expert judgment is that meeting this goal will require limiting the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm) of CO2. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has already reached 400 ppm and is projected to exceed 450 ppm by 2040, leading some—like Bill Gates—to argue that in the absence of a technological miracle we are unlikely to achieve the 2C limit. This research project will explore the gap between assessments provided by the scientific community and measures adopted by policymakers.

Findings will be presented in policy memo format, giving RAs a chance to develop the skills necessary to write clear and concise memos. The project is based at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the hub of Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in international security and diplomacy. The Center aims to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of international security and other critical issues where science, technology, environmental policy, and international affairs intersect.

Contact: Graham Allison


Faculty Supervisor: Daniel Jacob
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling
Project Topic: Atmospheric Modeling

The Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group headed by Daniel Jacob welcomes applications for summer undergraduate research assistantships. Our work focuses on understanding the chemical composition of the atmosphere, its perturbation by human activity, and the implications for climate change and life on Earth. We conduct global modeling of atmospheric chemistry and climate, aircraft measurement campaigns, satellite data retrievals, and analyses of atmospheric observations. Undergraduate research assistants are typically given responsibility for a data analysis research project. Strong interest in programming is a must.

Contact: Daniel Jacob


Faculty Supervisor: Chad Vecitis
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Environmental Technology
Project Topic: Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies

The Environmental Technology group headed by Chad Vecitis welcomes applications for summer undergraduate research assistantships. Our work focuses on the development of novel and more efficient advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies. A great opportunity within SEAS for an undergraduate to get hands-on experience with research on topics such as inorganic-polymer membranes for drinking water treatment, carbon nanotube networks for electrochemical filtration, and ultrasonic irradiation of aqueous solutions for the destruction of persistent organic pollutants. The research will be predominantly experimental and undergraduate research assistants will typically be given the task of evaluating the performance of a water treatment technology. Strong interest in hands-on wet laboratory work is required.

Contact: Chad Vecitis


Faculty Supervisor: Noel Holbrook
School: FAS
Dept./Area: Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Project Topic: Stomatal control of photosynthesis: understanding the impacts of drought on the exchange of CO2 and water vapor

Stomata are pores on the surfaces of leaves that exert a major control over the exchange of CO2 and water vapor with the atmosphere. As such, stomata are the entry point for carbon into the terrestrial biosphere, but also a plant's principle means of protection from damage associated with water limitations such as drought. How plants regulate stomatal apertures in the face of conflicting demands of providing food (CO2 uptake) while preventing thirst (water vapor loss) is poorly understood, yet has relevance to predicting plant response to climate change. The goal of research this summer will be to quantify how stomata respond to drought (both low humidity and soil drying) and how this is affected by concentrations of atmospheric CO2. We will also test a new transport model that predicts maximum transpiration rates. We seek an undergraduate who enjoys both lab and field work (Cambridge vicinity and Harvard Forest) and who is not inordinately afraid of heights as some measurements may be done using a canopy lift to access the leaves of tall trees. A background in math/physics and/or biology is a plus, but is not required.

Contact: Noel Holbrook


Faculty Supervisor: Steven Wofsy
School: SEAS
Dept./Area: Atmospheric Chemistry 
Project Topic: The CH4Sat OSSE Project: Motivating satellite observations of methane emissions from oil and gas production

CH4Sat is a proposed satellite that will measure atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations in oil and gas regions. CH4Sat will make these measurements at high resolution (<1 km), offering the prospect to identify and quantify single large emission sources. Part of the effort towards getting CH4Sat off of the ground is a concrete demonstration of its utility. To make such a demonstration, our group is conducting Observation System Simulation Experiments (OSSE’s): numerical experiments that test the ability of an observing system to estimate emissions. In this project, the student will use numerical modeling tools developed at Harvard and the National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) to conduct OSSE’s for CH4Sat and the various observing systems that already exist (observations from the surface, aircraft, and other satellites). This work will help the proponents of CH4Sat to quantify its benefit to science, and will help the student develop widely applicable practical skills in numerical methods. 

Contact:  Josh Benmergui


Faculty Supervisor: Alán Aspuru-Guzik
School: FAS
Dept./Area: Chemistry and Chemical Biology 
Project Topic: Designing new photovoltaic materials using machine learning and high-performance computation

Studying the electronic band structure of crystalline materials is important for developing new photovoltaics, transistors, and catalysts. However, accurate calculations of these materials' properties are computationally very expensive. We are using modern machine learning methods, including deep neural networks, to predict the electronic properties of a large class of materials closely related to the perovskite crystal structure. This approach will allow us to screen materials at a much higher rate. This project will involve the use of massively parallel computation, machine learning methods, and solid state theory, for the discover of brand new materials that are useful in various technologies. Our ultimate goal is to improve the efficiency of perovskite-style solar cells, which are on track to soon be competitive with traditional silicon-based solar cells.

Contact: Nicolas Sawaya 


Faculty Supervisor: Dustin Tingley
School: FAS
Dept./Area: Government
Project Topic: What Drives Public and Elite Opinion on Climate Change Politics?

Professor Dustin Tingley in the Government Department seeks a research assistant for a project that explores the factors that drive public and elite opinion on climate change politics. A student researcher will help collect and design surveys to understand a range of issues related to climate change. Issues will include perceptions of risks, belief in the effectiveness of different interventions, and perceptions of the role of international agreements. The student researcher will also perform data analyses on existing and new survey instruments.

Contact: Dustin Tingley


Faculty Supervisor: Gary Adamkiewicz
School: HSPH
Dept./Area: Environmental Health
Project Topic: Environmental Health and Housing Disparities Fieldwork

The persistence of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities in the United States remains a significant public health problem, and disparities in environmental exposure may be important drivers of these trends. Therefore, a key public health goal is to understand how and why individuals may be differentially exposed to environmental pollutants. Since most individuals spend 80-90% of their day indoors, the disparities in indoor micro-environmental exposures are important to understand and address. Differences in household, housing and neighborhood factors all play a role, but few studies have captured the necessary details on these drivers at the household level.

Based on these goals, we are conducting a field-based environmental health study in Chelsea, Massachusetts this summer, as part of the newly-formed Center for Research on Environmental & Social Stressors in Housing across the Life Course (CRESSH).  We are examining exposure disparities related to resident behavior and housing characteristics, and are using various techniques and technologies to measure real-time air pollution exposures within the homes of 100 participants.  We are looking for team members to assist in the field efforts, including recruitment, survey administration and environmental sampling and measurement.  Given the nature of the work, some schedule flexibility is required. Spanish fluency is beneficial but not required.  

Contact:  Gary Adamkiewicz


Faculty Supervisor: Joe Aldy
School: HKS
Dept./Area: Energy and Environmental Policy
Project Topic: The Efficiency, Environmental, and Fiscal Implications of Wind Power Policies

Professor Aldy is leading a project focused on the efficiency, environmental, and fiscal impacts of implementing multiple, overlapping policy instruments in the energy and environmental policy landscape. The research team will investigate these overlapping policy instruments by providing empirical estimates of these impacts through a detailed examination of the fiscal and regulatory instruments designed to subsidize wind power investment and generation in the United States. This project will focus on undertaking research using theoretical and empirical tools. It will draw from economics, political science, and legal scholarship to explain the existence of complex, multiple, overlapping policy environments in the context of energy and environmental issues broadly, and in the case of wind power. This will motivate the development of a simple theoretical model of wind power investment as a function of subsidies and regulatory policies. Based on this model, the project will estimate the total implicit subsidy for every wind farm built in the United States since 2008.

Contact: Joe Aldy


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