Nicolas Choquette-Levy

STEP Ph.D. student
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I am a Ph.D. student in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program, with a particular interest in exploring adaptive policymaking for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts. I am working with Professor Michael Oppenheimer from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Professor Simon Levin from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

I am excited to research how complex systems and evolutionary theories can help inform better policymaking for governing global environmental challenges. Some of the questions I am currently exploring include:

  • In addition to the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, what alternative types of agreements hold promise for deepening international cooperation on climate change? How robust would they be to unanticipated economic or political shocks?
  • How should policymakers at different scales, from federal to local government, manage climate-linked migration? How does the climate resilience of individuals and their families differ in rural regions vs. urban regions?
  • How can we accelerate the deployment of existing low-carbon technologies, while preserving flexibility to adapt to improved technology and data in the future? Do different types of energy systems exhibit differences in their potential for “locking in” existing technologies?

Before coming to Princeton, I obtained undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and International Relations from the University of Southern California, and a Master's degree in Energy and Environmental Systems from the University of Calgary (Canada). For my Master's thesis, I modeled the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and economics of multiple oil sands production technologies, in order to assess the impact of potential carbon taxes on industry and government decision-making.

After earning my Master's, I worked for six years in a variety of sustainable development roles in the Canadian oil and gas industry, including sustainability reporting, environmental and social risk assessment, and technology evaluation.

You can read about my research interests and musings on complexity, current events, and culture through my personal blog, Pine Tree Republic