Consortium for Environmentally Resilient Business (CERB)

Consortium for environmentally resilient business

A thought-leadership hub uniting experts in environmental economics, sustainable business practices, and energy consumption.

Consortium For Environmentally Resilient Business (CERB) is operated by Co-Directors, Affiliated Scholars, and Doctoral Students at The University of Arizona who will conduct research and provide the academic and business community with enhanced capability. Focusing on climate change challenges, CERB brings together the academic, business, and policy communities to advance knowledge, develop the next generation of leaders in the field, and improve regulation and policymaking.

Consortium members join a cooperative effort to support research in environmental economics and sustainable business practices. The university environment provides a platform to perform research on the economic implications of a changing climate and influencing policymaker responses to decision-making in regard to renewable energy development, financial markets, transportation networks, and investment in resilient infrastructure.  

Key Questions We Aim to Address:

  • How much does climate change cost utility companies, businesses, and the regional economy?
  • What is the value of information on environmental threats, and how does it drive decision-making and profits?
  • How can enhanced monitoring prepare utilities for climate change impacts?
  • What incentives and monitoring are needed for a resilient electricity system?
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Research Papers

Technical manuscripts authored by CERB faculty, students, and affiliate scholars

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A platform to share innovative research with business leaders and policymakers

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Visiting Scholars

Enhancing research capabilities

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Data Repository

Stimulating research within academia, business, and policy communities


Dr. Ashley Langer, headshot

Dr. Ashley Langer

Associate Professor of Economics
Research Associate - National Bureau of Economic Research
Editorial Council - Journal of Association of Environmental and Resource Economists


Dr. Derek Lemoine

Dr. Derek Lemoine

Professor of Economics
Research Associate - National Bureau of Economic Research
Associate Fellow - Centre for Economic Policy Research in the Climate Change Research and Policy Network

Partner Members

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Michael M. Schneider, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

  • Vice President - Risk Management and Compliance, Chief Compliance Officer, and Chief Risk Officer at SDG&E, one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities. Schneider is responsible for risk identification, mitigation, quantification and financial frameworks, compliance, energy risk management, and asset management.
  • Previously, in his role as Vice President - Clean Transportation and Asset Management, he oversaw clean transportation, asset management, growth and technology integration, strategic planning, and business optimization.
  • Since joining SDG&E in 1992 he has held roles in customer service, regulatory operations, environmental, and finance. Schneider earned his MBA from George Mason University with an emphasis in finance and also earned Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Arizona.
  • He serves on the Board of Directors of the San Diego River Park Foundation and the National Board of Advisors of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.


Erik Bakken

Erik Bakken, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) 

  • Vice President - Energy Resources, and Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Erik joined TEP as a Corporate Counsel after earning a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona. He also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Arizona State University.
  • Since joining TEP in 2000 he has advanced through management positions in Land Resources and Environmental Services and was promoted to Senior Director - Transmission & Environmental Services in 2014. He was promoted to Vice President -Transmission & Distribution Planning and Environmental in 2018 before taking on expanded responsibilities in his current role.


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Kevin Johnson, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

  • Kevin Johnson is the Principal for Wildfire Resilience Partnerships at PG&E, where he develops projects, partnerships, and programs in service of realizing PG&E’s stand that “[All] Catastrophic Wildfires Shall Stop”. 
  • Since joining PG&E in 2013 his roles and functions have included energy strategy and innovation, corporate strategy integration, and customer analytics. 
  • Prior to PG&E Kevin worked at a strategy consulting firm and startup software company. He received a BA in Political Science from UCLA and MBA from Dartmouth.

General Members

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Arun Mani, KPMG

  • Arun Mani, a Principal with KPMG, is an Energy and Water Sector Strategist who operates at the intersection of regulation, operations, and technology to advise clients worldwide on a variety of energy and water-related topics including but not limited to decarbonized supply, sustainable demand, intelligent infrastructure, and foundational technologies.
  • With over 30 years of consulting work advising utility and energy companies' management and boards on various infrastructure decisions, Arun has a broad understanding of the electric, gas, and water sectors.
  • Arun works with company leaders and clients to shape strategy, drive growth, and lead operational transformations. 


Affiliate Scholars

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Dr. Joaquin Ruiz  

  • Director - Biosphere 2
  • Executive Director - Alfie Norville Gem/Mineral Museum 
  • Executive Director - France-Arizona Institute
  • Vice President - Global Environment Futures
  • Dr. Ruiz’ research address societal grand challenges related to water, environment and energy through large-scale experimentation and research at Biosphere 2, to seek critical solutions so that our planet can support our future generations.
  • He is also a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists, a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Chemical Society, the Geochemical Society, the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, and the Mexican Academy of Sciences. 
  • He was named a National Researcher by the Mexican government where he was recognized for his outstanding scientific contributions and efforts to enhance Mexico's scientific and technological capacity through collaborations with the UA and research institutions in Mexico. In 2018, the Mexican Secretary of State named Dr. Ruiz one of forty distinguished Mexican citizens living abroad who have brought distinction to the country. 
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Dr. Alex Hollingsworth  

  • Associate Professor at Ohio State University 
  • Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Micro-economist with interests in health and environmental economics
  • Co-hosts the podcast, The Hidden Curriculum, with Sebastian Tello-Trillo
  • Publications include:  American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Human Resources
  • Website
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Dr. Jackson Dorsey  

  • Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Previously an Assistant Professor at Indiana University Kelley School of Business
  • Dr. Dorsey earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Arizona in 2018
  • His research focuses on environmental economics, energy economics, and industrial organization. His recent work aims to understand the market impacts of clean energy technologies, such as solar photovoltaics, electric vehicles, and energy storage. This includes investigating the determinants of energy technology adoption and drawing implications for public policy.
  • Website
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Dr. Beth Tellman

  • Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment
  • Her research addresses the causes of global environmental change and the consequences on people with a focus on access to water, flood risk, and land use change. She engages in multiple disciplines and methods to “socialize the pixel” or understand the social processes behind environmental change captured in satellite image pixels and leverage satellite data to improve human well-being.
  • She is a Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Floodbase, a public benefit corporation that leverages remote sensing to build flood monitoring and mapping systems for countries and parametric insurance products. Her global flood mapping work was recently featured on the cover of Nature.
  • Website
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Dr. Todd Gerarden

  • Assistant Professor at Cornell University in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • His research interests span energy and environmental economics, public economics, and empirical industrial organization. His recent work focuses on markets for renewable energy and the economics of energy technology innovation.
  • He earned a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2018
  • Website
hsin chang

Dr. Hsin-I Chang 

  • Assistant Research Professor in the College of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Co-Director, Center for Applied Hydroclimate Sciences (CAHS) 
  • Dr. Chang envisions CAHS as the connection between fundamental science and potential stakeholders. One of her ongoing efforts is to expand the applicability of climate information to private sectors. 
  • Dr. Chang is a climate scientist specializing in regional climate modeling in the arid and semi-arid regions. Her main research interests include understanding the variability of extremes from short-term weather to long-term climate time scales, advancement in sub-seasonal to seasonal forecast capability, and influence of climate change on a global scale. 




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