Tess Snyder says that, as a New Hampshire-raised cross-country skier, it was the increasingly “crummy” snow in her home state that made climate change salient to her. Research has shown that New England is one of the fastest-warming regions in the world, with winters in Concord, N.H., warming at nearly double the national average pace since the 1970s. As the daughter of two economists, she was drawn to the thoughtful, analytical lens that economics can bring to debates, even politically charged ones like climate science or healthcare.
Snyder is now a doctoral student in Stanford’s Department of Economics, studying the environmental policy implications of the auto industry. She says finding her advisor Hunt Allcott, professor of environmental social sciences, has been a boon to her research, which ranges from the emissions effects of tax credit programs for electric vehicles to gas mileage legislation. Working with Allcott has given Snyder greater access to data and a deeper review of literature that has propelled her research forward. She is now a student organizer of the environmental and energy economics workshop, started by Allcott, which brings together students across departments and disciplines to present research and hear from outside policy experts.
“My main goal is to contribute to to research that helps us set the best, most effective environmental policy possible,” she says.
Having first arrived on campus in 2021, Snyder has found it thrilling to see how the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability has broadened research conversations around environmental issues and deepened the resources for studying them. And as an automotive researcher, what does she choose to drive? Snyder concedes she doesn’t own a car; she bikes to work.
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