Today, PSE Healthy Energy celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day that recognizes our need for science and gender equality throughout the world to achieve vital goals such as the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Despite the global community’s efforts to inspire and engage women and girls in science, long-standing biases and gender stereotypes continue to steer girls and women away from science, technology, engineering, and math. This day reminds us that we can change this narrative.
Join us in celebrating a few of the women at PSE who are trailblazers in their fields, and please encourage girls to follow in their footsteps.
Annie Dillon, MS: As a scientist at PSE, Annie usually spends her work day reading peer-reviewed papers, analyzing publicly-available data, writing and editing research briefs, and collaborating with community-based organizations. She balances her current long-term project — which focuses on replacing a gas-fired power plant in Los Angeles with cleaner distributed energy resources — with other projects and analyses related to energy equity and the clean energy transition. She enjoys the autonomy of structuring her own work day, as well as the unusually collaborative and supportive environment at PSE. Despite being a “science and math” kid with physicians as parents, Annie originally planned to study international relations in college until she took a year off to live in China after her sophomore year at Stanford. The scale of humanity and the built environment in Beijing brought her interest back to scientific questions — questions around population growth, natural resources, energy production, and air quality. When not at work, Annie can be found rock climbing and training aerial rope at Circus Center.
Lee Ann Hill, MPH: As a senior scientist at PSE, Lee Ann balances multiple projects at the intersection of energy and public health. Her days often include analyzing and visualizing data, writing and editing materials for various audiences, and meeting with PSE staff and external collaborators. She also closely follows the scientific literature relevant to the impacts of oil and gas and maintains PSE’s Repository for Oil and Gas Energy Research (ROGER). Lee Ann thoroughly enjoys the interdisciplinary and collaborative work environment and her light-hearted and dedicated coworkers at PSE. Lee Ann was initially drawn to medicine, but she became intrigued with the links between our health, energy choices, and environment during her undergraduate studies at Ithaca College. Valuing the broader impact that science can have on society, she also became interested in science communication and sharing research findings with diverse audiences. Outside of the office, Lee Ann spends most of her free time exploring the endless trails and parks in the Bay Area.
Audrey Smith, MPH: As the newest team member, Audrey joined PSE in December 2019 as a GIS and data analysis specialist. She spends her work days providing analytical support across all of PSE’s programs — analyzing data for interesting spatial and temporal relationships and figuring out how to visualize research findings to make them easier to understand. She was attracted to PSE because she gets to work with talented people on a wide range of interdisciplinary projects. Audrey wanted to be a physician growing up until she fell in love with her ecology, environmental science, and social science classes at Rice University. She then knew she wanted to pursue an interdisciplinary field where she could work with both people and sustainability, leading her to pursue her graduate education in environmental health at UC Berkeley. When Audrey isn’t working, you can find her training for triathlons or marathons or exploring new Bay Area restaurants, two hobbies that complement each other perfectly.
Elena Krieger, PhD: As the director of research at PSE, Elena spends her days analyzing data, writing about clean energy, collaborating with PSE staff and learning from and sharing data and science with partner organizations. She enjoys being surrounded by a smart and enthusiastic team always eager to discuss interesting projects and ideas. Growing up, Elena loved math but she hated science — or the tedious classes she thought were science — until she took chemistry her sophomore year in high school. By senior year, her favorite classes were in science, and her high school physics teacher, Mr. White, inspired her to study physics, astronomy, and astrophysics in college. As an undergraduate, her interests turned towards energy during a summer internship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, when she discovered that energy was at the nexus of public health, engineering, economics, and culture—and that physics could help solve problems with real human impacts. Elena spends her free time reading or outside running at Redwood Regional Park, biking, backpacking and backcountry skiing — often with her faithful dog Peppa who loves following in her tracks.