Robert K. Kaufmann
Professor, Earth & Environment
B.S. Cornell University; M.A. University of New Hampshire; Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
My research focuses on three areas; global climate change, world oil markets, and land-use changes. Research on global climate change includes topics such as are humans causing climate co change and how will changes in climate affect natural ecosystems and human well-being? My research on world oil markets combines the geological, engineering, and economic determinants of oil supply, oil demand, and oil prices. Currently, I focus the degree to which large changes in oil prices are driven by market fundamental and speculation. Lastly, I also analyze the relationship between socioeconomic development and land use change. To do so, I develop ways of linking satellite images to ground based measures of economic activity and apply these techniques to economic development in the Pearl River Delta of China and soybean production in the Brazilian Amazon.
Beyond my academic interests, I am a founding partner of First Fuel Software. We combine a variety of mathematical techniques and engineering methods to conduct energy audits of commercial buildings without stepping foot inside the building. This greatly reduces the cost of audits and accelerates the rate at which conservation measures reduce energy use, carbon emissions, and save people money.