Exploring Future Emission Scenarios

  • Using a formal scenario framework defining energy technology preferences

  • Modeling the environmental impact of policy, technology, and public opinion

  • Analyzing potential unintended consequences of energy policy


Bridging the Gap Between Emissions and Air Quality Modeling

  • Creating tools to improve the connectivity of TIMES and CMAQ modeling

  • Evaluating the effect of energy emission changes on future US air quality

  • Improving the utility of energy scenario modeling


Investigating the Effect of Vehicle Automation on Air Quality

  • Evaluating upstream (life cycle) changes in fuel use from automation

  • Evaluating emissions differences associated with different driving patterns

  • Investigating regional health effects of transportation related emissions

Broad Goals

I want to work toward more efficient, less polluting energy generation and consumption in the US, thereby improving quality of life. I plan to accomplish this through my own research and by teaching others. I am interested in interdisciplinary research with applications to policy and daily life. I am specifically interested in the environmental effects of the production and consumption of energy including efficiency, particularly air quality and climate effects. I would also like to consider how disruptive ideas, including technologies, policies, and financing options, might affect the energy and emissions landscape.

Dissertation Research

My dissertation research uses the MARKAL model to examine the impact of incorporating damage based emissions fees on energy use in the US. The emissions fees modeled are based on the value of damages associated with human health and climate change. I use the MARKAL model to analyze how internalizing these emissions externalities through fees would change the electricity produced, fuels used, emissions controls, and ultimately the quantity and type of emissions produced in the electric power, transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial energy use sectors in the US. I also expanded the MARKAL model by including a wider range of technologies than the EPA 9 region database as well as full life cycle emissions. This portion of my research has already received recognition through two peer-reviewed articles and has been presented at several national and local conferences, including an invited talk at the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment conference, LCA-XIV, in San Francisco. To round out my dissertation and better quantify the effect of emissions changes, I am currently working with the CMAQ model to add an air quality modeling component to the results.

Kristen Brown talks about her thesis at ComSciCon. 

Past Research

Studying the Dual Lobe Reconnection Hypothesis, Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley 2008-2010

In this project I analyzed over a decade of data gathered by the FAST satellite and separated it into categories based on dispersive features of ions. I also analyzed data from the WIND satellite to identify time periods of northward IMF, during which to examine injection signatures. I also wrote IDL code to create databases of injection events and plot the relevant features.


Analyzing Deuteron Breakup in 88 inch Cyclotron, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 2005

On this project I used and modified existing C code to identify particle locations in a deuteron breakup. I did this work in a unix environment and learned valuable coding skills.