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Fellow Spotlight: Shane Easter


Shane Easter first became interested in climate change mitigation solutions while working with Erik Duhaime (2013 Climate CoLab Fellow) to implement a lighting retrofit program for low-income homes in Providence, Rhode Island. Now a 2014 Climate CoLab Fellow in the Buildings contest, Shane has maintained his commitment to residential efficiency and currently works for EcoFactor to help scale residential energy efficiency through smart thermostats and big data analytics.

At EcoFactor, Shane works to develop new residential energy efficiency services, and is particularly energized by one service that has the ability to prevent waste by residential air conditioning systems through predictive analytics that detect and notify residents when their system is failing. He states, “It makes sense for the largest appliance in the home to have the equivalent of a check engine light.”

   2014 Fellow Shane Easter

Though Shane’s work is newly focused on mitigation efforts, he’s been steadily active in climate science and planning for some time. Prior to Climate CoLab and EcoFactor, Shane worked with the Carnegie Institute’s Global Change Experiment at Stanford to better understand how multi-factor global change (e.g. precipitation, rainfall, nitrogen, temperature) will continue to interact to produce changes in ecosystems. Shane has also made contributions as a reviewer for the IPCC Working Group II’s most recent report and enjoys researching ways in which natural landscapes interact with new utility-scale renewable energy infrastructure.

Here’s more from Shane:

I was raised in the “Emerald City”, Seattle wherein I developed my love for the natural world. I ended up studying the impacts of climate change on ecosystem functioning in college. 

A friend from college told me about CoLab, and what I find to be most special about CoLab is its diversity. Climate change is affecting cultures across the globe, and the solution space needs to address this richness. Climate CoLab offers a truly global community that can catalyze translatable mitigation ideas

What drew you to the Buildings contest?

We spend most of our lives in buildings, so building energy waste is a necessary component to any strategy. I hope that our contest inspires people from countries everywhere to come up with ideas that are locally compatible for reducing building energy waste.

What do you see as the greatest challenges of climate change and what solutions do you find most important?

The greatest challenges to solving climate change are social. Human psychology has not evolved to react to long-term, gradually unfolding dangers like climate change.  Political cooperation is also proving to be remarkably challenging despite the obvious need to preserve our atmosphere in the state that allowed humans to evolve as a species. I am most excited by the recent developments within the EPA to enforce a price signal for climate pollution.

What are you enjoying most about being a Fellow, and what do you look forward to as the year progresses?

I love the exchange of novel ideas that is taking place every day through the CoLab contests, comment boards, and behind the scenes between the fellows. I am looking forward to the process of honing these ideas to produce pragmatic, translatable solutions.

What inspirational words would you share to encourage people to get involved in building solutions to climate change?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

― Dr. SeussThe Lorax

Check out the Buildings contest here:

And check out other Spotlights of Climate CoLab winners, Fellows and Advisors here: