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.

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.

Paige Brocidiacono (Brown)

Solutions and Ecosystem Roadmapper, Methane Removal

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.

Daphne Wysham

Head of Methane Removal Policy Engagement

Daphne is focused on building out the policy and governance roadmap for methane removal. Prior to Spark, Daphne was the founding CEO of the NGO Methane Action. Before focusing on methane, Daphne 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.

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

Doc (David) Brown, Ph.D.

Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow

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.

Katrine Gorham, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Atmospheric Oxidation Enhancement

At Spark, Katrine is leading the creation of the Atmospheric Oxidation Enhancement physical sciences roadmap as well as managing Spark’s involvement and support in atmospheric oxidation enhancement research funding, starting with the ongoing Iron Salt Aerosol Monitoring and Observation work that Spark has funded. Prior to Spark, Katrine managed science support across the Arctic, most recently as part of the National Science Foundation Arctic Research Support and Logistics program. Katrine studied atmospheric chemistry at UC Irvine (PhD ’09).

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

Sam Abernethy

Methane Removal Scientist

Sam joins Spark from his PhD at Stanford in Rob Jackson’s lab, where he has authored several of the key early papers in methane removal, and has more work coming out soon. His past research includes Earth system modeling, determining how to compare different greenhouse gasses, and evaluating different methane removal technologies. At Spark, Sam is focused on scientific roadmapping and program-building.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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