Derek is an assistant professor in the the Department of Economics at the University of Arizona. He holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources (2011) and an M.A. in Economics (2010) from UC Berkeley. Derek's interdisciplinary dissertation research was motivated by the uncertainty about the magnitude of temperature change produced by a given greenhouse gas emission path and about the technological change induced by a given policy path. This uncertainty complicates estimation of the benefits and costs of reducing emissions. He explored how the presence of this uncertainty could affect both the target and the form of climate policy. His other research has addressed the transition to electrified vehicles and low-carbon transportation systems, and he has published in journals specializing in environmental and energy economics, climate and atmospheric sciences, environmental science, energy technologies, and forestry.
Prior to beginning studies at Berkeley, Derek worked as a natural resource analyst for Baldwin County in coastal Alabama, he inventoried wetland vegetation and hydrology at an Army base in upstate New York, and he conducted remote sensing research using Geographic Information Systems at Sewanee. He also contributed at the World Resources Institute to quantifying the physical flows of materials through the U.S. economy and helped maintain an experimental farm in the Costa Rican rainforest. Originally from Louisiana, his undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Philosophy and in Integrative Environmental Solutions from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN.