Category Archives: alumni spotlight
How is the city of Somerville working towards being carbon neutral by 2050 while also adapting to climate change?
Hannah Payne (MCP ’16), the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Somerville, joins the MIT ClimateX team to discuss these topics and more on Climate Conversations, available here.
Payne has considered the roles of public engagement and collaborative decision-making in crafting plans that will successfully navigate a city through the impacts of climate change. In her thesis, Engaging the public in climate adaptation planning: lessons from sixteen American cities, she identified how cities can collaboratively problem-solving for a climate resilient future by addressing the long-term risks and tradeoffs of adaptation policies. To read her full findings, check out her thesis, available via MIT Libraries on DSpace, here.
ClimateX is an online community focused on climate learning, discussion and action. The community originated from an award winning Climate CoLab proposal by two MIT alumni. To learn more about how the MIT community is attempting to share knowledge, ideas and discuss climate change, check out the ClimateX site, here.
David Musselman (SM’ 17) came to DUSP after a 30 year career as an attorney in the energy and environmental services industries, including two stints as a general counsel. In his words “I was ready to do something different, and MIT offered me the opportunity to explore a range of issues affecting communities including climate change, economic development and transportation issues.”
A month ago, Musselman started a new position as Director of the Municipal Energy Unit at the City of Boston. This new role which allows him to blend his years of experience with the new skills and ideas he learned at MIT.
Boston has committed to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. One key aspect of this goal is reducing energy use from the City’s buildings – it owns over 300 buildings of a wide range of sizes, ages and uses including schools, libraries, police and fire stations, community centers. One of Musselman’s key responsibilities is overseeing a multi-department effort to reduce energy use.
He is leading a pilot program designed to identify energy conservation measures (ECM) and the expected savings. The savings will be used to finance the implementation of the ECMs. Working with an energy services contractor to conduct full audits of 38 buildings, Musselman and team will be able to identify potential ECMs and projected savings.
Utilizing this list, the City will select the measures and a energy services company will install them at a guaranteed price and will guarantee the savings. Based upon the guaranteed savings, the City will finance the work and repay the loans with the energy savings. The expectation is that once the pilot program is complete, there will be additional phases to address more buildings for the City, which will help it achieve its carbon reduction footprint goal.
Image credit: MIT Sustainable Design Lab via Boston Planning and Development Agency
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kelly Heber Dunning, DUSP PHD Alumna ’16, on the announcement of her new role as Senior Fisheries Assessment Manager at the London-based MSC – Marine Stewardship Council. Her new position will draw on skills gained during her time as a collaborator with the Science Impact Collaborative, where she built skills in negotiation and dispute resolution in multi-stakeholder processes, practiced the use of best available science to generate policy, and as a pioneer DUSP student collaborator with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Fisheries management is a complex, multi-stakeholder process where livelihoods, ways of life, food security, culture, ecosystem health and sustainability are all linked. Heber Dunning hopes that her work as part of the team at MSC will help to bring even more of the world’s fisheries into the category of “sustainable fisheries.”
Heber Dunning’s new position builds upon her doctoral dissertation research, “Communities of coral : an institutional and ecological analysis of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services in Southeast Asia.” In her dissertation, she examined how differing models of ecosystem service management and biodiversity conservation efforts affected not only the marine habitats targeted for protection but also the geographically proximate communities’ social and economic welfare. To read more about Heber Dunning’s work click here. And keep an eye out for her forthcoming book based on this research through Anthem Press.
As part of a vast network of successful DUSP Alumni, Heber Dunning welcomes questions from DUSP students and alumni on pathways to careers in human dimensions of natural resources, specifically in the marine affairs world.