Four students from the Harris School of Public Policy spent their school year working closely with University of Chicago faculty as part of the James Bartlett Fellowship Program in Energy and Environmental Policy. From studying the incentives and barriers to purchasing energy efficient household appliances to analyzing pesticide’s impact on public health, exploring China’s judicial system and detecting marine debris in oceans, each fellow gained valuable skills this year. Learn more about their experiences.
Bartlett Fellow; Kim Wolske, Research Associate Professor, Harris School of Public Policy
Lindsay Hiser, a Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at Harris, worked with Research Associate Professor Kim Wolske to study public-facing energy programs through a behavioral lens. Last summer, they began a project to understand how consumers regard energy efficiency when purchasing household appliances. They also studied the incentives and barriers that organizations face when deciding whether to adopt green building projects. Hiser will be joining RTI International as a Survey Methodologist to help guide survey research for government, commercial and academic clients.
“This fellowship has been an invaluable opportunity to apply concepts I learned in Harris courses, including regression analysis and exploratory data analysis. I’ve also enjoyed experiencing first-hand the collaboration and coordination required of a long-term research project. Working alongside Professor Wolske and Robert Walatka (MPP ’22), I’ve reinforced my interest in understanding the behavioral dimensions of today’s most pressing policy challenges.”
Bartlett Fellow; Eyal Frank, Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy
Sahila Kudalkar, a Master of Public Policy student at Harris Public Policy, worked with Harris Assistant Professor Eyal Frank on a project that examines how the large-scale adoption of the pesticide DDT in the 1940s impacted public health, specifically infant mortality, in the cotton-cultivating American south. Her fellowship consisted of data scraping, cleaning and analysis, and examined how cancer incidence and mortality rates varied by demographics and agricultural intensity pre- and post-DDT adoption. She will be joining the PhD program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in Fall 2023.
“I have enjoyed applying my Harris training and previous conservation experience to research. Working with Dr. Frank has helped me to better measure and interpret the impacts of environment degradation, and understand the effort that goes into producing empirically robust, policy relevant research.”
Bartlett Fellow; Shaoda Wang, Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy
Liana Lan, a 2nd-year Master of Public Policy student at Harris, worked with Harris Assistant Professor Shaoda Wang on a project that investigates the Revolving Door in China’s judicial system. They quantified the associated judicial, economic and welfare implications. Lan assisted in constructing a dataset of China’s civil cases on a provincial level. Her fellowship consisted of literature reviews, descriptive statistics, data scraping and text analysis. Lan currently works at an ESG rating firm part-time and will become a full-time ESG & Impact Investing Analyst upon graduation.
“It’s such a great honor to work with such a wise and achieved young economist like Prof. Wang! He enlightened me to how data science could help investigate problems in political economics. This fellowship also enabled me to enhance my skills of handling large-scale text data with Python. The experience was a fabulous adventure for me and a precious opportunity to touch the frontier of economics and computational social sciences.”
Bartlett Fellow; Amir Jina, Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy
Aditya Retnanto, a Master of Computational Analytics and Public Policy Student (MSCAPP) student at Harris Public Policy, worked with Harris Assistant Professor Amir Jina on a project that utilizes remote sensing tools to detect marine debris in oceans. His fellowship consisted of working with Google Earth Engine data and developing machine learning models to classify plastic pixels.
“I enrolled in MSCAPP to utilize my prior technical skills and learn where I can apply them for social good. At EPIC I am grateful for the opportunity to use my machine learning skills and learn more about the current uses of remote sensing in the field of economics. Professor Amir Jina’s mentorship has strengthened my abilities as a researcher.”