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Student Spotlight


Emily Burchfield

John Nay

Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Engineering, Management and Policy

Emily Burchfield is a doctoral student in Environmental Engineering, Management and Policy at Vanderbilt University.  Emily received a dual Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Clemson University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and the Universit é Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium.  During her undergraduate career, she also spent time at Maastricht University, Netherlands and the University of Oxford, UK, where she received a scholarship to study climate change mitigation and adaptation.  She completed a Master’s in Economics at UCL focused on applied econometrics and critical theories of economic growth.  Her current research as a member of VIEE’s ADAPT-SL project applies remote sensing and GIS to the study of resource management.  In particular, she is interested in understanding how water allocation decisions impact the adaptive strategies employed by farmers in rural Sri Lanka.

John Jacob Nay

John Nay

Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Program

John is a doctoral student in Systems Analysis & Behavioral Modeling at Vanderbilt, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program with a dissertation committee comprised of economists, psychologists, and environmental engineers and scientists. His research focuses on: (i.) improved computational modeling of dynamic decision-making and strategic choice under social and environmental uncertainty, and (ii.) developing decision-support models for policy and management application in complex systems. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, and has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and the Senator John Warner Public Leadership Research Award. His current research—as part of VIEE’s interdisciplinary ADAPT-SL project—includes creating and testing agent-based models of climate adaptation related behaviors in Sri Lanka.

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