The University of Iowa

2017 Provost’s Global Forum Presenters

Jerry Anthony 
My major areas of research interest are: a) housing and community development issues - in particular federal, state and local housing policies and the development of affordable housing; b) growth management, where I am concerned about the benefits and costs of growth management policies and their distribution across different income populations; and c) land, infrastructure and housing market issues in developing countries especially those of South Asia and Latin America. In addition, I am interested in built-form and urban design issues. My teaching interests have much in common with my research interests.

Deepti Chatti
I am a Doctoral Candidate at Yale University in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. My doctoral dissertation is a study of the political ecology of household energy transitions in rural India. I am conducting a multi-sited ethnography to understand the local, regional, national, international, and cross-scale dimensions of energy transitions. At the local level, I focus on understanding the environmental, economic, and socio-political dimensions of caste and gender in rural India and how they affect energy decisions. At the extra-local level, I study the various state and non-state actors involved that influence the energy choices available to the household. I am interested in the mobilization of technological innovations to achieve developmental, environmental, and social objectives. My work brings together themes relevant to critical energy geography, household energy studies, anthropology of development, environmental anthropology, South Asian studies, and science and technology studies. I am advised by Dr. Michael Dove at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Dr. K. Sivaramakrishnan at the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Inderpal Grewal at the Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, and Dr. Robert Bailis at the Stockholm Environmental Institute. I have a unique academic and professional background including engineering, public policy, and anthropology. I rely on my diverse training and work experiences to study technology and society, and to incorporate human dimensions into energy research.

Bradley Cramer
Bradley Cramer works on Earth System Science, deep-time Earth history, stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry, chemostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, stratigraphic nomenclature, history of geology, geochronology, and the Geologic Time Scale. His work tries to understand the major biotic, chemical, and physical events that punctuate the history of our planet by throwing every tool and proxy at the problem as is possible. Currently, he is the project leader for the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 591—The Early to Middle Paleozoic Revolution.

Matthew Hill
My research is informed by the principles of historical ecology, which attempts to integrate the notions of ecology and the environment as central themes in the study of human societies. My work focuses on landscape-scale processes of human-environment interactions expressed in long-term behavioral changes (spanning from the end of the Ice Age to the historic period) across various environmental settings (Great Plains grasslands, Rocky Mountains, Desert Southwest).

Pamela Jagger
Pamela Jagger is an applied political economist in the Department of Public Policy and Curriculum for Environment and Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a Fellow at the Carolina Population Center, which houses her research group, the Forest Use, Energy and Livelihoods (FUEL) Lab. The primary focus of her research is the welfare implications of reliance on natural resources, with the main question being does reliance on natural resources provide a pathway out of poverty, or function as a poverty trap? She has conducted field research in Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe on numerous topics including poverty environment dynamics, natural resource governance, and energy poverty. She has a Ph.D in Public Policy from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Forest Economics from the University of Alberta.

Atul Jain
Atul Jain is a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois. Dr. Jain's research focuses on understanding how interactions among the climate system alter the carbon cycle, and to provide useful projections of future changes in global carbon and resultant future climate change. His research goal is to provide the required scientific understanding about how the components of Earth's climate system interact; it is motivated by the practical and pressing issue of human induced climate change. Dr. Jain's has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award. He has served as a lead and contributing author for major assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is the author of over 150 scientific articles, including highly cited articles in Nature and Science, most relating to global climate change as affected by both human activities and natural phenomena. He also directs a number of research projects primarily oriented towards improving our understanding of the impacts that man-made and natural trace gases may be having on the Earth's climate. Dr. Jain received a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Meena Khandelwal
Meena Khandelwal is best known for her research on Hindu religious renunciation. More recently, Khandelwal has turned her attention to two ongoing projects related to transnational studies, migration and development. The first is a study of US-based Indian diaspora organizations that support development projects in India. The second project is a collaboration with applied scientists sparked by a chance conversation about a solar cooker project.  H.S. Udaykumar took a group of students to visit a village in Rajasthan, India and  found that women and girls were trekking long hours to find and haul firewood that was once available just outside their homes—simply to cook a meal.. Khandelwal was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Award to take a group of 12 faculty and students to Rajasthan to learn about the story of cook-stove interventions. 

HS Udaykumar
Udaykumar is professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. His research interests have been in the areas of moving boundary problems as they apply to materials processing, biofluid dynamics, and high speed multi material flows. He teaches courses on energy  and has taught courses on energy and sustainability at universities in Hong Kong. He is also involved in work in rural India and Africa on figuring out sustainable energy solutions in socio economically disadvantaged communities.

Marc Linderman
My research focuses on the interactions between dynamic human and natural systems. I use remote sensing and spatio-temporally explicit models to study these processes at spatial and temporal scales typically prohibitive for studies based on ground observations only. Currently, we are developing methods to better quantify the spatial arrangement and temporal dynamics of natural systems using time-series of remote sensing data and examining the interactions between socio-economic and biophysical systems that lead to these dynamics.

Kenneth Nana Amoateng
Social activist helping implement change and also giving back to society the return of its investment in me.creating a global community of young people who are ready to solve development challenges. Working with a wide range of school children, youth, university students’ movements and local communities.

Kathleen O’Reilly
Kathleen O'Reilly, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, USA. She has over 20 years experience working in urban and rural India on gender, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), and development. She uses a political ecology approach that frames WASH problems and solutions as fundamentally social and environmental relationships. Strategies built from political ecology recognize that resource access is uneven across communities, and that provision of WASH infrastructure does not necessarily bring about greater access because of cross-cutting social inequalities due to gender, class, religion, age and caste. Her work has been funded by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, the Society for Applied Research for Equity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation (USA), the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), and others. Her work has been published in World Development, Geoforum, Development in Practice, WIRES Water, and Health & Place.

Jessica Pouchet
Jessica Pouchet is a linguistic and cultural anthropologist who studies the political ecology of conservation. Her current research project is an ethnographic examination of how the people who live next to a protected mountain forest of Tanzania participate in conservation governance and debate issues of environmental value. Pouchet’s work has been funded by Fulbright-Hays, the National Science Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Rajendra Prasad

Sailesh Rao
Sailesh Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate. A systems specialist with a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, conferred in 1986, Sailesh worked on the Internet communications infrastructure for twenty years after graduation. In 2006, he switched careers and became deeply immersed, full-time, in the spiritual and environmental crises affecting humanity. He is the author of the 2011 book, Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies and the 2016 book, Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis. He is the Co-Executive Producer of the trilogy of documentaries, The Human Experiment (2013), Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014) and What The Health (2017), which explore the systemic causes of human and environmental ill health.

Madhu Sarin
Madhu Sarin is a Fellow of the Rights and Resources Initiative and associated with the Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD) involved with getting the rights of India’s forest dwellers recognized on their ancestral lands. She was a member of the Technical Support Group constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs which drafted the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Combining grass roots work with policy analysis and advocacy, her primary focus for over 3.5 decades has been on gender and equity sensitive community empowerment and democratizing natural resource governance. During the 1980s she worked with village women in several Indian states on developing the Nada Chulha (an improved cook stove) responsive to the women users priorities disseminated by trained village women.

Kirk Smith
Professor of Global Environmental Health; Chair, Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences; Director, Global Health and Environment Program, Berkeley School of Public Health

Meera Subramanian
Meera Subramanian is a freelance journalist, MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow, former Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellow, and the author of A River Runs Again: India's Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan
to the Farmlands of Karnataka
, which was short-listed for the 2016 Orion Book Award. Covering environmental stories from biomass cookstoves to vulture extinction, her award-winning features have been published in Nature, The New York Times, The New, Virginia Quarterly Review, Orion and others. 

Peter Thorne
Professor and Head, Occupational & Environmental Health, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center (EHSRC)

Jichong Wu
Country Manager for China, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, United Nations Foundation, Washington, DC