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Completed Projects

Research Area: Water resources management
We are developing a portable, low-cost household toilet and entrepreneurial service model to deliver safe, dignified sanitation to the urban poor. In collaboration with the NGO SOIL, we have piloted this environmentally sustainable, container-based system in Shada, a slum in Cap Haitien, Haiti that has no sewers and no piped water supply. Our toilet is portable, with removable containers to collect and transport wastes safely from the community.
Research Area: Coastal zones
After seven productive years working in close collaboration with the State of California and Heal the Bay, our team has realized our goal of developing a state-wide beach water quality NowCast system. The NowCast system provides daily predictions of water quality at over 20 beaches.
Research Area: Water resources management
Biogas production has been lauded as a way to improve sustainability of wastewater treatment, as wastewater is converted to usable energy. However, little work has been done to quantify the value of this resource in relation to the costs of building and operating rural wastewater treatment systems. This project investigates the value of biogas for a group of anaerobic digesters, specifically up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket septic tanks, in a rural community in Panama.
Research Area: Food security
Developing countries will face the considerable and simultaneous challenges of over- and under-nutrition in the next decades. In India, for example, increases in obesity-related diseases are predicted to accelerate even as large segments of the population remain undernourished and at risk for malnutrition-related conditions like diarrheal illnesses.
Research Area: Infrastructure policy & planning
More than two-thirds of the population in Africa must leave their home to fetch water for drinking and domestic use. It is estimated that some 40 billion hours of labor each year are spent hauling water, a responsibility often borne by women and children. Cutting the walking time to a water source by just 15 minutes can reduce under-five mortality of children by 11 percent, and slash the prevalence of nutrition-depleting diarrhea by 41 percent.