Speaker Bios

Tim Haab, Professor and Department Chair, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Tim Haab is the Chair of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. He also serves as a professor in the department. Dr. Haab joined the department in 2000 after five years on the faculty at East Carolina University.

His research and teaching focuses on environmental economics, experimental economics, and applied econometrics. Dr. Haab’s recent research has looked at the impacts of social norms on common pool resource management, modeling intertemporal decisions, measuring individual discount rates for environmental projects, the consistent modeling of individual welfare across value elicitation methods, and testing the stability of individual preferences in the presence of external stimuli. His recent applied research includes measuring the value of recreational angling in Ohio and Hawaii, measuring the value of oyster reef restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, and measuring consumer preferences for genetically modified foods. He has broad interests in the methodology and econometrics of nonmarket valuation, experimental economics, and applied welfare analysis.

Jeff Sharp, Professor and Director, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources

Jeff Sharp is the Director and a professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.  He is also a State Extension Specialist focusing on rural-urban policy matters.  His research is in the field of rural sociology and focuses on agricultural, food system and environmental change, primarily in rural and exurban communities. He has taught courses on the sociology of agriculture and food systems and community, environment and development.  He has directed several national and Ohio based projects looking at ways communities and organizations can effectively support agricultural and local food system development.

Brent Sohngen, Professor, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics; Director, OSU Environmental Policy Initiative

Brent Sohngen is a Professor of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. He also leads Ohio State’s Environmental Policy Initiative. Dr. Sohngen received his doctorate in environmental and resource economics from Yale University in 1996.

He conducts research on the economics of land use change, the design of incentive mechanisms for water and carbon trading, carbon sequestration, and valuation of environmental resources. Dr. Sohngen developed a global forest and land use model that has been widely used to assess the implications of climate change on ecosystems and markets, and to assess the costs of carbon sequestration in forests, including reductions in deforestation. Dr. Sohngen has written or co-written 31 peer-reviewed journal articles, 45 monographs and book chapters. He co-authored sections of the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and he co-authored the forestry chapter of the most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment Report. Additionally, he has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research.

Jeremy Brooks, Assistant Professor, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources

Jeremy Brooks has a PhD in Ecology with an emphasis on Human Ecology. He is an environmental social scientist with an interdisciplinary background who studies human-environment interactions, sustainable development, and environmental conservation at multiple scales.

His goal is to make a small contribution to our understanding of what a more sustainable world might look like and how we can get there. To that end, Jeremy is interested in understanding the dynamics that lead to the adoption of conservation behaviors, the emergence and spread of norms and institutions that support more sustainable lifestyles, and the various mechanisms through which we can incentivize sustainable actions.

Sathya Gopalakrishnan, Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Sathya Gopalakrishnan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. She is also a founding member on the Directorial Board of the STEAM Factory at OSU. She completed her PhD in Environmental and Resource Economics from Duke University in 2010. She also holds an M.S in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and an M.A in Economics from the University of Hyderabad.

An interest in exploring ubiquitous interdependencies between dynamic economic decisions and biophysical processes that impact natural resources motivates Sathya’s research program. Sathya’s work specifically focuses on applying economic theory to develop coupled models of complex human and natural systems; non-market valuation of environmental amenities and bioeconomic modeling, applied to coastal and water resources. Using optimal control theory, applied econometrics and numerical modeling methods she studies feedbacks between human behavior and coastal ecosystems, and the policy implications of these interconnected dynamic systems.

Jim South, Director, Corporate Engagement, The Nature Conservancy

Jim South is a Director on the Corporate Engagement team of The Nature Conservancy. Since 2012, he has been the project manager for the TNC-Dow Collaboration. The TNC-Dow Collaboration has analyzed and piloted methods to incorporate the value of nature into Dow’s business decisions. This work has led to the development of Dow’s Nature Goal, which The Nature Conservancy actively helps to implement.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Jim served in senior roles in the District of Columbia Government and at Accenture where he led supply chain and strategy projects for numerous Fortune 50 clients. He has an MBA from The University of Virginia’s Darden School and a BS in Economics from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Anne Baird, Program Director, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources

Anne works with a team of OSU Extension faculty and staff in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and other land grant institutions in the Great Lakes Region to design and deliver environmental and natural resources outreach and service programs. Anne coordinates the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) program, and co-coordinates the Ohio Watershed Academy and Network, and the Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute.

Anne's research specialty is the use of qualitative techniques to explore audience needs, knowledge, experiences and decision-making. In addition to offering established programs, Anne is developing core competencies for watershed professionals, a virtual learning network in the North Central Region for early career Extension professionals on a systems approach to nutrient management, and leading a strategic plan for the OCVN program. Prior to working with the School of Environment and Natural Resources, Anne began her career in an OSU Extension regional office where she conducted water quality education programs for both farmer and urban and suburban audiences and facilitated watershed and TMDL planning efforts.

Anne holds a BA in Biology from Capital University, a MA in Science Education and a PhD in Extension Education both from The Ohio State University. Prior to her work with Ohio State, Anne worked as a chemist with the City of Columbus Divisions of Water and Sewage and Drainage.

Scott R. Griffin, Chief Sustainability Officer & Vice President Communications, Greif, Inc.

Scott Griffin currently serves as Chief Sustainability Officer & Vice President, Communications at Greif, Inc., a worldwide leader in industrial packaging products and services.

In addition to managing the company’s communications activities, Griffin has responsibility for leading the development of Greif's sustainability strategy and works with communities, governments and NGO partners to reach the company’s sustainability goals.  He serves as the liaison delegate for Greif on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Clinton Global Initiative, and is the executive focal point for Greif's partnership with The Conservation Fund.

Griffin teaches courses on International Studies, Strategy and Sustainability at the Ohio State University's Fisher Graduate School of Business. He also serves on the Board of Directors for a number of non-profit institutions, including Ohio State Parks (Malabar Div) and Columbus State Community College.

Prior to joining Greif in 2006, Griffin spent 15 years at Dow Chemical and four years at The American Chemical Society. Griffin received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in 1987 and his MBA from Xavier University in 1992.

Elena Irwin, Professor, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Elena Irwin is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) and Faculty Director of the Sustainable and Resilient Economy program at The Ohio State University.

Her research focuses on the economics of land use change and integrated models of land use and ecosystem services in urban, urbanizing, and agricultural regions. Elena is a member of the US EPA Advisory Committee for the Sustainable and Healthy Communities Program, a board member of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and past member of the North American Regional Science Council. She recently served on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Needs and Requirements for Land Change Modeling.

She is the co-recipient of the 2009 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America and the 2008 recipient of the North American Regional Science Council’s Hewings Award for distinguished young scholars in regional science.

Elena teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in AEDE and is the faculty leader of the Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major at Ohio State University.

Bhavik Bakshi, Professor, OSU Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Professor, OSU Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering

Bhavik Bakshi is a professor in the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geodetic Engineering at Ohio State.

His research areas are sustainability science and engineering and process systems engineering, focusing on developing new understanding, methods, tools and techniques to address the challenge of meeting human needs while addressing and adapting to challenges posed by environmental change, resource depletion and ecological deterioration. This requires multidisciplinary research that connects with disciplines beyond chemical engineering such as ecology, environmental economics, applied statistics and operations research. His research expands the traditional engineering focus on a single manufacturing process or supply chain to also include broader implications of these activities on the life cycle, economy and ecosystems. Such work is of increasing interest to businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations and consumers.

Bakshi won the 2012 Research Excellence in Sustainable Engineering award at the AIChE Sustainable Engineering Forum; the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Enhancement Award (CAREER) in 1998; and the Ted Peterson Student Paper Award, AIChE Computing and Systems Technology Division, 1996. Bakshi obtained his PhD and MSCEP at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his BS in chemical engineering at the University of Bombay.

Sandy Nessing, Managing Director, Corporate Sustainability, American Electric Power

With nearly 20 years in the utility industry, Sandy Nessing has responsibility for managing sustainability strategy, corporate stakeholder engagement and annual performance reporting for American Electric Power (AEP). She oversees annual production of AEP’s Corporate Accountability Report, including a dedicated sustainability website. She leads AEP’s participation in the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Energy Sustainability Interest Group, serving as chair of the group in 2013. Among the group’s work includes completion of an industry-wide materiality assessment and the development of industry-wide performance metrics. She also is a member of the EPRI Benchmarking Forum Steering Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors and the Board of Regents for NAEM, a professional organization for environment, safety & health and sustainability professionals.

In Columbus, Ohio, Nessing currently serves on the Franklin Park Conservatory Board of Trustees, one of the nation’s premier botanical gardens. She also serves on the Grange Insurance Audubon Center Stewardship Board, where she was president of the board for two years, and she is a Keyholder Advocate for The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.