Interview with Dr. Saikawa, Part One
A little while ago, I had the chance to speak with Dr. Eri Saikawa, an associate professor and researcher in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University in Atlanta. She is also the director of the Emory Climate Talks.
To start, I asked her how she got started in the area of environmental policy. She replied that originally, it wasn’t even known to her as an area of study, receiving her Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. However, once she discovered environmental policy, she realized it was the perfect area of study. She received her Master of Public Administration at Indiana University and her Ph.D. at Princeton University.
As we began to discuss her various research projects, I wondered whether the majority of her projects were international or domestic. Prior to 2018, her work was on air pollution modeling in Asia, specifically China, and later Nepal and other South Asian countries. However, during her postdoc, she became interested in greenhouse gas emissions from corn farms, which could be measured in Georgia. This was her first domestic project, and further research in Georgia followed. One of these projects resulted in the finding of lead in residential lots and community gardens, which was caused by the presence of slag. This project shifted her focus from international levels to domestic levels.