We're an impact-oriented team of systems thinkers and doers, working to collaboratively build emerging fields.

Spark accelerates emerging climate mitigation and adaptation approaches, focusing on new ideas and research that are currently under-addressed and under-resourced, but potentially high-impact. We work with scientists, policymakers, and peer organizations to support the growth of fields with potential for limiting warming, managing Earth systems risk, and helping repair the climate.

Our Team

Erika Reinhardt

Executive Director, Co-founder, Board Director

Erika co-founded Spark, and leads the organization. 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.

David Mann, Ph.D.

Head of Strategy, Co-founder, Board Director

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.

Laura Adams

Chief of Staff

Laura leads operations, finance, and human resources for Spark. She previously worked at Nike, first in sustainability, where she identified and accelerated the adoption of technologies within the supply chain to lower the environmental footprint of materials. She then helped start an internal incubator to test and build new businesses that expand beyond Nike’s core business

Eric Davidson, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist

Eric provides scientific expertise across all of Spark’s programs, while also exploring more deeply the opportunity for transformative agriculture solutions. He is Professor of the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Past President and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher, and Senior Editor for AGU Advances. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Forestry at North Carolina State University.

Charles Brooke

Program Lead, Enteric Methane

Charles leads enteric methane field roadmapping and program development at Spark, building off of his existing science, policy, and practice expertise in the field. Prior to joining Spark, Charles served as the lead scientist for short lived climate pollutants within the executive office of the California Department of Food and Agriculture where he created and managed the first state program to support enteric methane research. He has also worked as an affiliate researcher at the University of California, Davis, focused on the evaluation of feed additives for enteric methane mitigation, rumen microbiome responses and the discovery of novel microbial compounds

Katrine Gorham, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Atmospheric Methane Research

At Spark, Katrine is leading the atmospheric methane research funding program and roadmapping. Prior to Spark, Katrine managed science programs and operations, most recently for the NSF Office of Polar Programs Arctic Research Support and Logistics contract, as well as for the NSF National Ecological Observatory Network and the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center. Katrine studied atmospheric chemistry at UC Irvine (PhD ’09).

Danielle (Danie) Potocek, Ph.D.

Natural Systems Scientist

Danie is a biogeochemist focused on scientific road-mapping and field building of Spark’s Natural System Response program. She received her PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Southern California and conducted postdoctoral work at Caltech. Her past research includes trace metal and cofactor cycling in natural systems, as well as the role these trace nutrients played in Earth’s critical biological innovations. She has extensive experience in field sampling and method develop. In addition to her academic training, she also has 6+ years of experience in environmental and climate policy consulting at the local, state, and Federal levels. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, running, and exploring the Chesapeake Bay with her family.

Ryan Price

US Policy Manager

Ryan leads policy initiatives and engagement for Spark. He previously worked for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House and helped to manage the carbon dioxide removal policy initiative at the Linden Trust for Conservation. He has extensive experience in federal climate policy design and advocacy.

Sam Abernethy, Ph.D.

Methane Removal Scientist

Sam is a climate scientist focused on scientific roadmapping and program-building at Spark. He received his Ph.D. in 2024 from Stanford University. Sam has authored several of the key early papers in atmospheric methane removal and point source methane oxidation, and his past research includes Earth system modeling, determining how to compare greenhouse gases, and evaluating different methane removal technologies.

Paige Brocidiacono (Brown)

Project Manager, Atmospheric Methane Research

Paige supports work across methane removal from solutions research and roadmapping to community building. Before Spark, as a Thiel Fellow, Paige co-founded 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. She has a B.S. in Materials Science from Stanford University.

Jasmine Woods

Operations Associate

Jasmine comes to Spark with a wealth of experience in operations at nonprofit organizations. She was the operations manager of health programs at a Congreso de Latinos Unidos in Philadelphia and, most recently, helped lead recruiting and employee development at a tech consulting firm specializing in building volunteer management systems for nonprofits. At Spark, she works with our Chief of Staff to ensure Spark’s operations, finances, and team and culture scale smoothly.

Advisors

Remi Bouteille

Co-founder, Advisor

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.

Cooper Rinzler, Ph.D.

Founding Advisor, Board Director

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.

David Koweek, Ph.D.

Board Director

David Koweek, PhD is Chief Scientist at Ocean Visions, where he is responsible for ensuring scientific accuracy and integrity. David is trained as a marine and Earth system scientist. He has led and participated in field expeditions all across the world, including on the Great Barrier Reef, the Ross Sea, the California coast, the Sargasso Sea, and natural carbon dioxide vents off Italy. An expert in evaluating the potential of various ocean solutions, David is a frequent participant in research conferences and expert-level panels, including recent panels for the Energy Futures Initiative, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His scholarly works have been published in top-tier journals, including Nature. Prior to his role with Ocean Visions, David was a postdoctoral research scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.S. from Brown University.

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