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Energy Analysis, Policy and Security


Associate Professor Patrick Caton, Ph.D., P.E.
Dr. Caton is a faculty member in the mechanical engineering department. His academic focus is on energy conversion, non-conventional fuels such as biomass and wastes, and alternative fuels for engines. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2005 with a focus on combustion in reciprocating piston engines.

Professor Howard R. Ernst, Ph.D.

Professor Ernst is a faculty member in the Political Science Department. He teaches environmental security and American government, and serves as the Director of the Political Science Department’s Honors Program. His research focus includes the politics of large-scale ecosystem restoration projects, electoral politics, and citizen influence over the environmental policy process.  He earned his Ph.D. from University of Virginia in 2000 with a focus on the determinants voting in statewide ballot measures. 

Professor Karen Flack, Ph.D. 

Dr. Flack is a faculty member and current chair of the mechanical engineering department. She teaches courses in fluid mechanics, heat transfer and wind energy. Her two main areas of research are drag reduction and marine current turbines. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1993 focusing on turbulent boundary layers.

Assistant Professor Joseph P. Smith, Ph.D.

Dr. Smith is a faculty member and an Assistant Professor in the Oceanography Department at the U.S. Naval Academy. He teaches undergraduate level courses in Environmental Biogeochemistry, Applied Earth Systems Science, Estuarine Oceanography, and Global Climate Change. His research focuses on the cycling of inorganic and organic constituents in water, soil, and sediments in linked watershed, estuarine, and coastal marine systems. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993 and retired as a Commander in 2015 after 20 years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Navy. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2007 with a focus on using radioisotope and geochemical tracers to investigate short-to-medium term sediment accumulation in estuaries.

Professor Kurtis Swope, Ph.D.

Dr. Swope is a faculty member and current Chair of the Economics Department. He teaches public finance, environmental economics, and other courses in applied microeconomics. His research has centered on the use of laboratory methods to study human behavior in social dilemmas and collective action situations including the provision of public goods, management of common-property resources, lobbying and rent seeking, and problems in land assembly. He earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2000 with a focus on the political economy of public good provision.

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