Janelle Knox-Hayes is the Lister Brothers Associate Professor of Economic Geography and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She holds a visiting research fellowship at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. Her research focuses on the ways in which social and environmental systems are governed under changing temporal and spatial scales as a consequence of globalization. She has studied the political and economic interface of financial markets and environmental systems and how individuals and organizations plan and make decisions under conditions of socio-economic uncertainty. Her latest project examines how social values shape sustainable development. Janelle has been the recipient of an SSRC Abe Fellowship for study of environmental finance in the Asia-Pacific and a Fulbright Fellowship for study of sustainable decision-making in Iceland. Janelle is the author of a number of peer-reviewed works in prestigious journals and presses. She serves as an editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

Nick Allen is a PhD student in the Environmental Policy and Planning group. His research focuses on how fiscal regimes influence urban development and environmental governance. His current projects study: 1) the effects of local government debt on declining property markets and 2) how fiscal incentives shape coastal settlement and resource use. Prior to his PhD, Nick was an economic development professional in Detroit and managed research projects on urban investment patterns in peninsular Malaysia and northern India. He has a B.A. in political economy from Yale and a Master's in City Planning from MIT.

Elise Harrington is an assistant professor in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy area in the University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She studies infrastructure, energy, and environmental policy-making with a focus on how interpersonal relationships and social organization influence the design and implementation of policies, programs, and services in response to climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. Elise has a PhD in Environmental Policy and Planning from MIT.

Osamu Moses Kumasaka is a Master of City Planning candidate interested in community-led planning, environmental justice, and the intersection of climate resilience and housing security. Before coming to MIT, Osamu was a junior associate at the Consensus Building Institute, where he managed collaborative, multi-stakeholder conflict resolution and engagement processes on behalf of nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Osamu is a Somerville Climate Forward Ambassador and volunteers as a mediator for landlord-tenant disputes in the Somerville District Court.

Shekhar Chandra is a PhD candidate in Public Policy in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from India’s G.B. Pant University, and two Master’s in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Shekhar is interested in examining environmental policy questions in the context of systematic corruption in government institutions, and justice and environmental sovereignty with a specific focus on Native American communities in the United States experiencing climate change-induced migration.

Former Members

Sarabrent McCoy has a Master's in City Planning from MIT, where she studied climate adaptation governance. Her background is in land change mapping and regional environmental policy research in Louisiana and the NY-NJ-CT metro region. Originally from Baton Rouge, she studied historical geography at Middlebury College.