PhD Research - Casey O'Hara

Master of Environmental Science and Management, Bren School - UCSB

Casey O’Hara is a first-year Ph.D. student studying equity in environmental management through the lens of economics. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, graduating with a BS in 1993 and MS in 1994. After nearly a decade designing industrial robots and medical devices, he felt a calling to work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2004, he earned a teaching fellowship with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, with whom he remains a Senior Fellow, and began teaching integrated science, physics, and green technology at a diverse public high school near San Francisco. Casey saw the potential for environmental management to promote prosperity in developing communities while leading his students to design micro-scale solar energy systems for a Guatemalan village. Entering the MESM program in 2012, he specialized in Energy & Climate and Coastal Marine Resource Management, and with the Bren Environmental Justice Club, he helped found a course on Equity in the Managed Environment. He was also known to kick back with Brengrass on guitar and ukulele from time to time. Since 2014, Casey has worked on the Ocean Health Index, applying data science to communicate the range of economic, ecological, and cultural benefits people can sustainably derive from healthy oceans. He intends to leverage economics and data science to promote conservation management that simultaneously benefits developing communities and the environment.

Year Admitted: 2017
Research Areas:
Faculty Advisor: Ben Halpern

Office: Bren Hall 4322