We are excited to welcome seven new members to our team this summer. Coming from around the globe and working on a variety of projects, these student researchers and collaborators play an integral role in the research, planning, and communication here at DDL.  

Keep reading to learn more about each of our talented Summer 2023 Student Research Assistants!

Mira Dewan, Yale-NUS College ’24

“Working at DDL is a very exciting opportunity because I will be getting out of my comfort zone and exploring a new field of study!”

Mira Dewan is a rising senior pursuing a major in Physical Sciences at Yale-NUS College. With a strong background in physics and chemistry, Mira’s has developed a keen interest in environmental and urban studies. Eager to step outside her comfort zone, Mira will be contributing her expertise to the Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index. With a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning, she is eager to expand her skill set and dive into new areas of study, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Mira is confident that her prior academic experiences, coupled with the skills she acquires during her time at DDL, will equip her to apply her knowledge in innovative ways.

Mira has set her sights on a career that combines science communication and data science, and is excited to build these skills further through her work at DDL. She recognizes the importance of effectively conveying scientific information to the wider public and leveraging data-driven insights to address pressing global challenges. She is excited to refine her skill sets in these areas while at DDL, gaining valuable experience that will propel her towards her future professional endeavors.

Nageen Rameez, Yale-NUS College ’24

Nageen is a rising senior majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Psychology at Yale-NUS College. Having grown up in Pakistan, Nageen is all too familiar with the disproportionate burdens that climate change places on the Global South. She hopes that her experiences at DDL can help to elucidate how effective policy measures can alleviate the climate change impacts felt by historically exploited regions. Nageen is looking forward to polishing her data science skills and gaining the necessary knowledge to contribute to global climate action movements.

Nageen will contribute her skills and expertise by helping with our Global Climate Action report for 2023, an upcoming addendum to our Global Climate Action project. Having heard positive things about DDL from Yale-NUS alumni, Nageen is excited to work with a dedicated, dynamic, and interdisciplinary team on some of the world’s most pressing challenges in the realm of climate action.

“I am excited to contribute to the important work DDL has undertaken within the realm of climate action and justice!”

Chester Ling, Nanyang Technological University ’24

“I firmly believe that DDL will provide me with the platform and resources to explore my interests further, enabling me to contribute meaningfully to the research processes and academic pursuits within the organization.”

Chester is a rising senior at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he is pursuing a degree in Environmental Earth Systems Science with a specialization in Society and Earth Systems. Motivated by his interest in understanding the relationship between urban communities and the natural environment, Chester is excited to join the team at DDL. His passions align with the DDL’s research projects, and he is eager to contribute his skills and knowledge to this meaningful endeavor.

At DDL, Chester will be working on our Urban Environment & Social Inclusion Index. His responsibilities will include expanding the coverage of cities within the index and identifying potential enhancements for its indicators. With his commitment to continual growth and learning, Chester aims to seize as many professional and personal development opportunities as possible. He intends to broaden his expertise in areas such as urban environments, data analytics, and sustainability.

Mason Laney, UNC-Chapel Hill MS Student

Mason recently graduated UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Computer Science, a BA in Linguistics, and a minor in Data Science. He will be returning to UNC in the fall to pursue an MS in Computer Science in addition to contributing to our team. Interested in continuing to learn about Natural Language Processing (NLP), Mason is joining DDL as an ML/NLP research assistant. In this role, he will use data from our Net Zero Tracker to build ChatNetZero, a large language model (LLM) chatbot designed to explain net zero targets and analyze actors’ climate commitments for ambition and integrity.

Mason is excited to join DDL to explore more ethical applications of emerging tools like NLP and LLMs, relative to positions that require similar expertise. Additionally, he sees working at DDL as a unique opportunity to pursue his interest in emerging computer science techniques while also contributing meaningfully to climate action and transparency. In the future, Mason plans to take the skills learned at DDL into a career where he can continue to study and explore applications of NLP. 

“Working at DDL will help me apply the techniques I’ve learned to a real-world project outside of the realm of pure computer science!”

Anusha Pandey, MS Environmental Science

Anusha, a Nepalese researcher, is joining DDL as a Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness Fellow. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Science from Kathmandu University and specializes in social inclusion, climate action, and sustainable urban planning. 

Through her extensive experience, she has delved into the intricate relationship between water availability and ecosystems throughout Nepal. Anusha is dedicated to unraveling the complexities of these systems using innovative approaches such as citizen science, young researchers, mobile technology, and remote sensing. Her impactful campaigns and active involvement in research projects serve as a testament to her unwavering commitment to sustainable resource management and the transformative power of technology. With her expertise and unyielding passion, Anusha is a catalyst for creating greener, more inclusive, and equitable cities.

Yichi Liu, UNC-Chapel Hill ’26

Yichi is a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pursuing a major in Environmental Science and Mathematics. Last Fall, she worked on web development for our Urban Environment & Social Inclusion Index, which set her on path toward finding solutions for a more sustainable and equitable planet. 

While at UNC, Yichi has also interned for the Cleantech Summit, an annual meeting between public, private, and nonprofit professionals and students to explore recent technological and drive collaboration for a cleaner, greener economy. In this role, she assisted with event organizing, interviewed Dr. Henry McKoy, and published a blog post. Yichi is excited to take this experience into her next chapter working with DDL, where she is excited about applying mathematical models to build a greater understanding of the environmental and social conditions of cities.

Jia-Shen Tsai, Duke University MS Student

Jia-Shen is a second-year Environmental Economics and Policy student in the Master’s program of Environmental Management at Duke. Originally from Taiwan, he holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Sociology from National Taiwan University. Prior to joining Duke, Jia-Shen dedicated himself to advocating for farmland conservation and national land-use planning through civic-hacking as a campaigner for Citizens of the Earth, Taiwan. Jia-Shen is interested in electrified transportation and energy land use.

Over the summer, he is working on the Global Climate Action project to hone his policy literacy and data science skills. In his free time, he enjoys bouldering, watching films, and playing volleyball.

We are grateful to welcome so many talented student researchers and collaborators to our team this summer! You can find more information about our DDL team here.

Stay tuned for future updates on our new Research Assistants and their projects by checking our Latest Insights and Projects pages.