WHO WE ARE
RONNIE D. LIPSCHUTZ is Cofounder & Senior Analyst, is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He holds an SM in Physics from MIT and a PhD in Energy & Resources from UC Berkeley. He has been engaged in resource-related work since 1978. You can view his CV here.
KEVIN BELL is Co-founder and Senior Analyst. He holds an MPA from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He has over thirty-five years of deep experience in the areas of low-income advocacy, energy efficiency program design, education, and sustainable infrastructure, in the public, private, entrepreneurial, academic, and non-profit sectors, as well as energy regulatory policy, hydrology and resource modeling. You can find his CV here.
MOLLY FYFE is SSRF’s Executive Director and Projects Manager. She holds a PhD in Education from King’s College London and an MPH from UC Berkeley. Fyfe has 15 years of experience in educational research and program development. Her work has centered on education for workforce development and addressing needs of underserved groups. She has expertise in learning science, research design and development of impactful educational programs. You can find her CV here.
ROBERT STAYTON is an SSRF Research Associate. He is a physicist, author, teacher, programmer, inventor, technical writer, typesetter, bread baker, and worm farmer. He has degrees in physics and science communication. He is the author of two books on solar energy, including Solar Dividends—How Solar Energy can Generate a Basic Income for Everyone on Earth (Santa Cruz, Calif.: Sandstone, 2019)
Sergey Komardenkov is an SSRF Research Associate. He holds an MA in Interaction design from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. He is a product manager, designer, and researcher in the field of circular economy, digital product development and service design, with specific interests in food systems and regenerative agriculture. You can find out more about his work .
SSRF PARTNERS AND COLLABORATORS
JOSEFINA LARA CHAVEZ is a Farm-to-Market specialist and Senior Manager, Latinx Farmer Program for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers in Davis, California. She has a graduate degree in Public Administration, from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is a graduate of ALBA.
JAKKI CASTORENA-DAVILA is a bilingual sustainability consultant at Environmental Innovations in Santa Cruz, California. She has a background in many industries and experience in sales, social media marketing, design and outreach in low income communities.
DAVE BLUME is CEO and operator of Whiskey Hill Farms in Watsonville, California, and producer, educator, instructor and technical advisor on the project. He has been a farmer for over 40 years and has pioneered many techniques and practices in regenerative agriculture.
TOM HARVEY is CMO and cofounder of Whiskey Hill Farms and Blume Distillation, with 30 years’ experience in sales, marketing, and corporate communications management for Fortune 500 companies.
BROOKE WRIGHT is Director of Programs and Strategy at Environmental Innovations and regional Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program in Santa Cruz California . She has more than 10 years of experience developing communications, marketing, and outreach solutions for mission-driven organizations.
EMILY RUSTAD is Instructor in Agriculture Business Technology at Hartnell College in Salinas. and teaches courses on Soil Science, Plant Science, Food Safety, Sustainable Agriculture and Agriculture Business, and Small Fruit Science, Plant Pathology. She holds a PhD in Plant Pathology from UC Davis.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SHIELA DAVIS is an SSRF Research Associate, overseeing the Solar Scorecard project. For many years, she was Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Davis holds a BA in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Sheila Davis has played a valuable role in shaping environmental policy in the high-tech industry.
MARISHA FARNSWORTH is an artist, based in Oakland, whose large-scale public space interventions explore future ecosystems, infrastructural utopias and the social and ecological implications of materiality in the built environment. Her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Venice Biennale and is in the collection of the Nevada Museum of Art. She was the lead artist for the 2017 Temple at Burning Man.
DUSTIN MULVANEY is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, San Jose State University. He holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, an MS in Environmental Policy, and a BS in Chemical Engineering Since 2008, his primary focus has been on energy commodity chains, with an emphasis on the solar industry. His book Solar Power, Innovation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice was published by UC Press in 2019.
DR. ANN LOPEZ is Executive Director, Center for Farmworker Families in Watsonville, California. She is an emerita professor and taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years. Her book entitled The Farmworkers’ Journey summarizes the results, arguments and conclusions of her research and was published by UC Press in June 2007. She has been recognized for her work by The U.S. Congress and many organizations. In 2019, Ann was chosen as Woman of the Year by the 29th Assembly District of California. In March 2018, she was chosen for a 16th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Award in Watsonville.
DR. ADINA PAYTAN is Research Professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences, UC Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in Oceanography from the Scripps Institute in 1995, was a professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford for eight years, and moved to Santa Cruz in 2007. Her research is focused on marine biogeochemical cycles and dynamics in the present and past, and on their connection to the Earth system as a whole. She has received numerous awards and grants in support of her research and graduate students.
THOMAS RETTENWENDER is Principal Architect at Ecologic Design Lab in Seaside, California. He holds an MA and M Arch and the LEED AP, and has spent the past 20 years in the areas of architecture / urban design, education and non-profit management. He led a team of local student interns to win first prize for the 2015 Mock Firms International Design Competition with a design of the Core Tower and masterplan for a site in Seoul, Korea.
DR. STEVEN MENTOR is Professor of English, Evergreen Valley College, San Jose. He holds an M.A from, San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He has taught writing, critical thinking, and English and American Literature full time since 1996 been involved in large scale direct action campaigns, done many nonviolence trainings, and helped edit The Cyborg Handbook.
BEATRIZ SMITH was an intern and research analyst at SSRF from 2019 to 2021, doing the work of Executive Director, webmaster and intern supervisor. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University and an Associate’s Degree with an emphasis in Mathematics, Engineering, and Sciences from De Anza College. She now works for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation in Sacramento.
PARTNERS AND COLLABORATING ORGANIZATIONS
CURRENT PROJECT INTERNS AND VOLUNTEERS