Each year, select students at the Harris School of Public Policy take part in paid fellowship opportunities to assist in environmental and energy economics and policy research, thanks to the generosity of Harris Alumnus John Bartlett.
Read about this year’s class of Bartlett fellows.
Ishan Banerjee is in his first year as a master’s student at the Harris School of Public Policy. He is pursuing the advanced degree after spending the last two years as a research assistant at the India Development Foundation in Gurugram, India, where he assisted on a number of India-focused economic research papers. His work ‘Mapping patenting in India and China’ was presented at ‘India’s innovation landscape and intellectual property rights’, a conference organized by the foundation. Ishan will work with EPIC Postdoctoral Scholar Tamma Carleton on a project that uses satellite data of water availability at a global scale to investigate how trading patterns of water-intensive crops and agriculture policy affects freshwater depletion.
“I have always wanted to work on the economics of water and climate change, and the use of satellite data makes this research even more compelling,” Banerjee said. “This fellowship is an opportunity to build on my quantitative analytical skills and work towards better agriculture and water policy.”
Sanya Jha is in her second year in her master’s in environmental science and policy (MSESP) at Harris. She will work with Harris Assistant Professor Amir Jina in support of research that seeks to experimentally identify the impact of air pollution on human capital formation with a field experiment that examines the effect of air pollution on students in India. Jha received Bartlett funding for a summer 2018 internship at the U.N. Environment Programme in Delhi, India, where she assisted with a variety of stakeholder engagement, organizing and research.
“This fellowship is a step forward towards achieving my future goals. Having a background in economics and now environmental science and policy taught me data analysis, and this fellowship will provide me the opportunity to use those skills in real life,” Jha said. “I aspire to get a PhD in the field of energy and environment, and this fellowship provides a path for me to get in-depth knowledge on how to choose a research topic and execute a project. Above all, it will make me a better researcher.”
Kurt Nugent will work with Harris Assistant Professor Eyal Frank on a variety of projects at the intersection of ecology and economics. Projects include calculating the impacts of animal waste from factory farms on nearby residents, examining the shortcomings of the Sustainable Fishers Act of 1996, exploring the effects of the Endangered Species act on property values and evaluating the effect of using high levels of pesticide in a region in Vietnam. Nugent begins his master’s in public policy at Harris after graduating from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s in politics and international affairs. Bilingual in Spanish and English, Nugent spent Fall 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, investigating river systems along the eastern Spanish coastline. He also has spent half a year teaching English in Argentina. Most recently, he was a coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County in Florida.
“I’m excited to leverage my experience with ecological work to projects that not simply diagnose problems, but are instrumental in crafting solutions to the many challenges we face,” Nugent says. “This fellowship presents the unique opportunity to solidify my quantitative toolkit while still also allowing me to more narrowly define my policy interests going forward.”
Xinyi Wang is in her second year of her master’s in environmental science and policy at Harris. Wang, who earned her bachelor’s in environmental science and economics from Peking University, will work with EPIC Postdoctoral Scholar Louis Preonas to investigate how farmers’ willingness to pay for higher pump efficiency is affected by electricity rate, subsidies, expected cost savings and other factors.
“My dream of alleviating climate change, and, specifically, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius has led me to work and study in the energy and environmental fields,” Wang said. “Conducting research at EPIC as a Bartlett Fellow will further that dream by developing expertise.”