Seth Berrin Shonkoff, PhD, MPH

Executive Director


Seth oversees the PSE staff and programs, advises the board, and plans the operational strategy to carry out the mission of PSE. 


An environmental and public health scientist by training, Seth has more than 12 years of experience in water, air, climate, ecological, and population health research.  He obtained his BA (2003) in the Department of Environmental Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Seth then went on to complete his MPH (2008) in epidemiology at the School of Public Health and his PhD (2012) in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley.  Seth has worked and published extensively on topics related to air and water quality and the environmental and public health dimensions of energy and climate change from scientific and policy perspectives.  He has published on the interaction between the climate and human health dimensions of shorter-lived climate forcing emissions (i.e., ozone, black carbon, sulphate particles, etc.) and on the development of more effective anthropogenic climate mitigation policies that increase health and socioeconomic equity co-benefits. Most recently, his work has focused on the human health dimensions of unconventional energy production, including shale gas and oil production in the United States and abroad.


link to CV

Selected Publications

Shonkoff SB. 2012. Public Health Dimensions of Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing: Knowledge, Obstacles, Tactics, and Opportunities.  A Report for The 11th Hour Project (Schmidt Family Foundation).


Shonkoff SB. 2012. The Frack Gap: well density, environmental and health protections, and socioeconomic status in the United States.  A Report for The 11th Hour Project (Schmidt Family Foundation).


Shonkoff SB, Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J. 2011. Environmental Health and Equity Implications of Climate Change and Mitigation Policies in California: A Review of the Literature. Climatic Change. volume 109. Suppl. 1.


Shonkoff SB, Chafe Z, Kirchstetter T, Smith KR. Inconsistencies in Black Carbon Measurements: Implications for Health and Climate Policy Development.  Submitted.


Jerrett M, Su JG, Ortega Hinojosa OM, Kontgis C, Shonkoff SB, Yuen T, Seto E, Jesdale, B, Morello-Frosch R. In Preparation.  Mapping Climate Change Exposures, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation to Public Health Risks in the San Francisco Bay and Fresno Regions. California Energy Commission.


Shonkoff SB, Chafe Z, Smith KR.  2010. Addressing Inconsistencies in Black Carbon Literature. Poster presented at the American Geophysical Union. Session Title: Black Carbon's Role in Global to Local Air Quality and Climate Change. San Francisco, CA.  December 15, 2010.


Smith KR, Jerrett M, Anderson HR, Burnett RT, Stone V, Derwent R, Atkinson RW, Cohen A, Shonkoff SB, Krewski D, Pope CA, 3rd, Thun MJ, Thurston G.  2009.  Public Health Benefits of Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions: Health Implications of Short-Lived Greenhouse Pollutants. The Lancet. 374(9707): 2091-2103.


Shonkoff SB, Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J.  2009.  Minding the Climate Gap: Implications of Environmental Health Inequities for Mitigation Policies in California.  Environmental Justice 2(4): 173-177.


Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J, Shonkoff SB.  2009. The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap. The Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).  University of Southern California. Available at:


Shonkoff SB, Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J.  2009. Environmental Health and Equity Impacts from Climate Change and Mitigation Policies in California: A Review of the Literature." In: Cal-EPA Climate Action Team Report. Available at: http:


Shonkoff SB.  Divergent Monitoring Requirements for Improved Cookstove Carbon Offset Projects in the Global South: Implications and Recommendations. In Preparation.


Jake Hays, Director, Environmental Health Program


M.A. Environmental Philosophy, University of Montana; B.A. Philosophy, Connecticut College.

Jake Hays has worked as a program director for PSE since 2011. As the Program Director of the Health-Energy Nexus Jake has been responsible for reviewing and evaluating a broad distribution of scientific literature, writing policy statements and commentaries, supervising descriptive epidemiologic studies, lecturing, providing oral and written testimony to the New York State Assembly, organizing conferences, researching various aspects of novel energy production techniques, and facilitating a number of projects focused on energy production, public health, and the environment. Jake has worked as a research associate for Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City on several projects concerning unconventional natural gas development, including a structured survey of the medical literature regarding epidemiologic studies associated with the practice. Jake lives in Midtown Manhattan and continues to work from Weill Cornell Medical College as a research associate with Dr. Madelon Finkel, a professor of clinical public health and PSE advisory council member. He is also currently pursuing a J.D. at Fordham University School of Law, where he serves as a board member of the Environmental Law Advocates and a staff member of the Environmental Law Review. 


Selected Publications


de Melo-Martín I, Hays J, Finkel M. (2014) The role of ethics in shale gas policies. Science of the Total Environment. 470-471:1114-1119. 

Finkel ML, Hays J, Law A. (2013) The Shale Gas Boom and the Need for Rational Policy. American Journal of Public Health. 103(7):1161-3.

Finkel ML, Hays J. (2013) The Implications of Unconventional Drilling for Natural Gas: A Global Public Health Concern. Public Health. 127(10):889-93. 

Finkel ML, Hays J, Law A. (2013) Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: The Need for Proactive Public Health Policies. ISRN Public Health. Article ID 408658.


Finkel ML, Selegean J, Hays J, Kondamudi N. (2013) Marcellus Shale Drilling's Impact on the Dairy Industry in Pennsylvania: A Descriptive Report. New Solutions. 23(1):189-201.


Law A, Hays J. (2013) Insights on Unconventional Natural Gas Development from Shale: An Interview with Anthony R. Ingraffea. New Solutions. 23(1):203-208.


Renee Santoro, Program Director, Environment-Energy Nexus


B.S. Environmental Science, Cornell University.

Renee joins PSE after 5 years as a research aide for the Howarth/Marino Lab at Cornell University. She has co-authored papers on the climate impact of shale gas development and was lead author on a technical report detailing the full life-cycle carbon dioxide emissions associated with unconventional gas development in the Marcellus play. As part of the SCOPE International Biofuels Program, she also helped organize an international conference (Rapid Assessment Workshop - Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use. 22-26 Sept. 2008, Germany), copy-edited and designed the layout and cover of conference proceedings, and co-authored a chapter summarizing the environmental impacts of first generation biofuels development.

Selected Publications

Caulton DR, PB Shepson, RL Santoro, RW Howarth, A Ingraffea, JP Sparks, MO Cambaliza, C Sweeney, A Karion, KJ Davis, T Lauvaux, B Stirm, S Belmecheri, D Sarmiento, S Montzka, B Miller. 2013. Quantifying Methane Emissions from an Area of Shale Gas Development in Pennsylvania (in preparation)

Howarth RW, A Ingraffea, R Santoro. 2012. A review of "Summary and Analysis of API and ANGA Survey Responses". PSE Analysis. Physicians Scientist and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Ithaca NY. June 2012.

Howarth R, D Shindell , R Santoro, A Ingraffea, N Phillips, and A Townsend-Small. 2012. Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Systems Background Paper Prepared for the National Climate Assessment (NCA). reference no. 2011-0003. 25 February 2012.

Santoro, RL, RW Howarth, and A Ingraffea. 2011. Indirect Emissions of Carbon Dioxide from Marcellus Shale Gas Development. A Technical Report from the Agriculture, Energy, & the Environment Program at Cornell University. June 30, 2011.

Howarth, R. W., R. Santoro, and A. Ingraffea. 2011. Methane and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations. Climatic Change Letters, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5

Swaney DP, RL Santoro, RW Howarth, B Hong, KP Donaghy. 2011. Historical changes in the food and water supply systems of the New York City Metropolitan Area. Reg Environ Change DOI 10.1007/s10113-011-0266-1

Howarth RW, S Bringezu, LA Martinelli, R Santoro, D Messem, and OE Sala. 2008.

Biofuels and the Environment in the 21st Century, Pages 15-36 in R.W. Howarth and S. Bringezu (eds) Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use. Proceedings of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) International Biofuels Project Rapid Assessment, 22-25 September 2008, Gummersbach Germany. Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA. (


Elena Krieger, PhD, Program Director, Renewable Energy

Elena joined PSE's Oakland office in 2013 to lead the organization's clean energy work. She received her PhD from the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, where her research focused on optimizing energy storage in renewable energy systems. She has previously worked on the engineering, design, implementation and evaluation of clean energy projects in Haiti, Guatemala, Brazil and Eritrea. Elena serves on the board of the Carbon Lighthouse Association and holds an AB in Physics and Astronomy & Astrophysics from Harvard University.

Selected publications:

[1] E.M. Krieger, J. Cannarella, and C.B. Arnold. A comparison of lead-acid and lithium-based battery behavior and capacity fade in off-grid renewable charging applications. Energy, 60:492–500, 2013.

[2] E.M. Krieger and C.B. Arnold. Effects of undercharge and internal loss on the rate dependence of battery charge storage efficiency. J. Power Sources, 210:286–291, 2012.


There are no products in your shopping cart.