David co-founded Spark, and drives science initiatives. He was previously a senior fellow at RMI, and co-founder and advisor to The Climate Map, which became the RMI Carbon Removal Initiative. David has also led product teams at Dropbox, invested in climatetech at Khosla Ventures, and led climate-focused teams at McKinsey & Company. David studied Applied Physics at Stanford (PhD '06) and Physics at Harvey Mudd.
Erika co-founded Spark, and leads the org. Her background is in leading product engineering groups at high-growth software companies, with an impact orientation. Previously, she started and co-led U.S. Digital Response's work to provide local election offices across the country the products and technical expertise they needed to run a smooth election, led the Payments Experience engineering group at Stripe, served as the Director of Engineering at OpenAI, and was the Director of Product Engineering at Planet Labs after being an early engineer there. Erika studied computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering at MIT. She lives in San Francisco with her young family.
Eric Davidson is Professor of the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. His research includes terrestrial nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas emissions from soils, global biogeochemical cycles, and sustainable agriculture. Davidson is Past President and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher, and Senior Editor for AGU Advances. Davidson received his Ph.D. from the Department of Forestry at North Carolina State University. His book Science for a Green New Deal; Connecting Climate, Economics, and Social Justice was published in 2022.
Paige is doing her best to create a better world for her future children. She grew up surrounded by nature in Maine, inspiring her to pursue climate action. After receiving the Thiel fellowship, she dropped out of Stanford to found WindBorne, which uses the constellations of the team's balloons to access hard-to-reach atmospheric data and improve the weather forecast to better adapt to climate change. In early 2022, she felt called to do more to address climate change and left WindBorne to return to finish her undergrad in Materials Science and join Spark to help catalyze the methane removal field.
Daphne leads Spark’s policy engagement on methane removal. Prior to joining Spark, she was the founding CEO of the NGO Methane Action. Before focusing on methane, Wysham was a fellow at Center for Sustainable Economy, and the Washington, DC-based Institute for Policy Studies and at Amsterdam's Transnational Institute, where she developed a global campaign to successfully challenge international financial institutions and export credit agencies to reorient their energy lending away from fossil fuels. Wysham co-founded and for eight years co-hosted the syndicated show "Earthbeat Radio." Aired on over 60 public radio stations across the U.S. and Canada, it shared groundbreaking news and information on the climate crisis and educated audiences about environmental and climate justice. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
Laura is a dynamic generalist and is excited to put her skills to work towards repairing the climate. Previously, she worked at Nike for 10+ years, first in sustainability, where she identified and accelerated the adoption of technologies to lower the environmental footprint of materials. She then helped build an internal incubator to test and build new businesses that expand beyond Nike’s core business. Laura studied English at Stanford University.
Doc (David) Brown is Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow focused on methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture. They’re developing a non-profit project, CowBell Labs to make agricultural greenhouse gas measurement for research and on-farm testing more accessible.
Previously, they led the development of the soil carbon sequestration program, ROOTS, at the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-e; at Google X they co-founded Mineral, the Alphabet agricultural robotics company; and they established the Field Measurement and Data Science teams at agricultural nitrogen sustainability company Pivot Bio. They received their Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech. In their free time they enjoy performance art and surfing.
Cooper is a technologist, entrepreneur, and investor with a history of building and leading teams to develop and commercialize technologies in early stage ventures. He has a background in methane mitigation as both an investor and operator. He brings a strong impact- and roadmap-driven frame to everything he does.
Cooper is also an ARPA-E reviewer, ambassador for Activate, and was an early advisor to the Prime Coalition. He has more than 100 climatetech-related patent filings.
Cooper is a Hertz Fellow with a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT and a joint AB in Physics and Engineering Physics from Harvard University.
Remi is passionate to discover and scale a wide array of solutions to ensure a stable climate. Remi is also the co-founder and Strategic Advisor for the Climate Pathfinders Foundation, and instigated the formation of Carbon Gap and The Climate Map.
Remi spent 20 years at JPMorgan Chase as Deputy CIO and CRO of the hedge fund business. He has a Science and Engineering BA from the University of Paris VI and a double MBA from UMass and Neoma.
Earth Day reminds us of the importance of the soil, water and air upon which our health, prosperity and food security depend. The good news is that, on average, humans are better nourished now than at any time in human history, although nearly 1 billion people are still undernourished. The bad news is that our agricultural achievements have come as the expense of extensive air and water pollution and a changing climate.
Nitrous oxide, or N2O, is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions behind carbon dioxide and methane. Also known as laughing gas, it’s long-lived like carbon dioxide and incredibly potent like methane. And it accounts for about 6% of global warming.
So where does it come from? And what do we do about it?
In this episode, Shayle talks to Eric Davidson, professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and principal scientist at Spark Climate Solutions. Eric studies a surprising source of nitrous oxide: bacteria in the soil.
Spark co-founder Erika Reinhardt when on the Catalyst podcast to talk about two climate blind spots—methane and short-term warming—that Spark is working on. Shayle and Erika cover topics like: why we should consider different time-scale standards for measuring global warming impact, such as GWP100 and GWP20; how short-lived aerosols mask the full warming impact of greenhouse gasses; methane removal, including the process of oxidation and methane sink; different sources of methane, such as wetlands, livestock and fossil fuel production; ready-to-deploy solutions to fossil fuel methane emissions, such as flaring, detection, capture and storage; how flaring may be less effective than previously thought; and solutions under development for livestock methane, such as manure management, biogas digesters and feed additives like seaweed-derived bromoform.
Spark Climate Solutions was created with support from Climate Pathfinders Foundation and The Primordium Foundation