Audrey Schulman, HEET Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Schulman co-founded HEET in 2008. A lover of maps, she created the first-in-the-nation statewide zoomable public map of utility-reported gas leaks. Through her co-leadership of the FixOurPipes.org study, she helped municipalities coordinate with utilities to find solutions to fix gas leaks faster and at less expense. She started the Large Volume Leak Study, which discovered a way for gas utilities to identify super-emitting gas leaks and repair them. Together with Zeyneb Magavi, she has developed HEET’s innovative solution to transition gas utilities from gas to networked geothermal, or systems of networked ground source heat pumps. There are several gas utilities now installing thermal networks in Massachusetts and New York. Schulman is also the author of six novels, which have been translated into 12 languages and reviewed by The New Yorker, The Economist and CNN.
Zeyneb Magavi, Co-Executive Director
To efficiently and equitably decarbonize buildings, Zeyneb designed the GeoMicroDistrict, a scalable utility-managed bidirectional ambient-temperature thermal energy network. With six installations funded – five by regulated gas utilities – she has convened an independent research consortium to maximize learning and allow data-informed optimization of the Gas-to-Geo transition. Zeyneb joined HEET as research lead for the Large Volume Leak study, which identified a method to rapidly cut leaking gas pipe emissions in half and aligned gas utilities and climate advocates to drive rapid enactment of this method as regulation. Zeyneb serves as guest faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health and guest lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Before entering the sustainability world, Zeyneb led the development of several technological solutions to global health challenges in the developing world, including in South Africa, Senegal, Thailand, Brazil, and Botswana. She has been part of launching two start-ups and has worked at BBN Technologies and Harvard University. Zeyneb studied physics at Brown University and global health and sustainability at Harvard University. She is committed to creating and driving forward compassionate, multi-disciplinary and innovative solutions to the urgent challenge of climate change.
Molly Fairchild, Director
Before receiving a Master of Science in International Nutrition from Cornell, Molly was a Peace Corps Nutrition Project Coordinator with the Thai Ministry of Health, implementing and adapting a growth monitoring program for children, at the village level. As a research associate at Dianon Systems, she developed case studies on chronic lyme disease and mapped the incidence throughout the United States. As a researcher for a domestic violence program for women on the Navajo Reservation, she developed a record system to support grant writing and research. More recently, she helped to start the conversation with local officials about energy use, co-authoring the Sustainability Plan for the town of Wellesley. As the staff-coordinator for Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee she developed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for residential, commercial, municipal and transportation sectors, establishing the baseline and first-five years of monitoring, to guide the town’s goals for emissions reduction. An experienced perennial gardener, with a passion for native plants, Molly respects the delicate environmental balance that sustains living things.
Dominic Nicholas, Director
Dominic joined HEET in 2018 and is currently focused on researching methods to quantify emissions from indoor gas leaks. He leads the work on HEET’s 5 year commitment to the shared action plan, providing an independent watchdog and verification role of gas utilities progress in finding and fixing super-emitting gas leaks. He led the trial year, year 1 and year 2 studies and currently leads the year 3 study. In 2019 he led a new study exploring how super-emitting leaks may evolve over time. Dom created a new HEET gas leaks mapping process that enables the sharing of geocoded gas leaks and pipeline replacement plans, together with a new creative commons HEET library. Dom is working with Massachusetts towns and researchers to gain further environmental impact from this shared data. He is the co-author of An environmental justice analysis of distribution-level natural gas leaks in Massachusetts, a co-author of Repair Failures Call for New Policies to Tackle Leaky Natural Gas Distribution Systems paper, and has been a visiting researcher at Boston University, studying leaked methane diffusion in soils. He has years of gas leak surveying experience using the leak extent method, cavity ring down spectrometer and chambering methods. Prior to HEET, Dom has a long career in technology and startups, the pinnacle of which was leading a team of 12 engineers working on utility scale solar farm monitoring systems. Dom has certificates in both Management Excellence and Social Impact Measurement. He has a multidisciplinary background including science, technology and art and received his Masters in Mathematics and Computing from the University of Essex, England.
Kai Palmer-Dunning, Director of EJ-Air
Kai has experience in energy efficiency, building decarbonization, environmental justice,
grassroots community organizing, and local zoning policy. He is completing his B.S. in Liberal Studies at Northeastern University and pursuing a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design.
In addition to his work at HEET, Kai also works as the Buildings & Communities Associate at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, assisting with state building code and decarbonization efforts in the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic region. He also serves on the board at Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN). Outside of work, Kai enjoys participating in community organizing around affordable housing and economic development in his neighborhood.
Katherine Fisher, Operations Manager
Katherine has a degree in environmental science, and enjoys using the quantitative and scientific parts of her brain to help create the world she wants to live in. Most recently, she helped start a local solar panel installation company. She is also a founding member of a group of Quakers helping their faith community to deal with the reality of climate change and take action. Katherine also sings in Voices Rising (a feminist chorus), and is an aspiring beekeeper.
Eric Juma, Technologist
Eric is a computer science student who is passionate about climate change mitigation and environmental conservation. He enjoys applying his computer science knowledge in the process of building and transitioning to the renewable energy systems of the future. He is grateful to be part of the HEET team and to have an impact on this important work.
Carrie Klein, Director of Communications
Carrie comes to HEET with a background in environmental science, communications, filmmaking and visual arts. She has led HEET’s efforts to communicate its work and educate the public about methane reduction efforts. Carrie has been instrumental to organizing Community Charrettes with Audrey and Zeyneb. She is principally responsible for publishing the newsletter and other stakeholder updates, and for creating and disseminating reports on HEET’s scientific activities and publications. She also creates content for HEET’s website, including informational videos such as the From Gas to Geo. She works closely with volunteers, donors and partners to capture the multiple perspectives that HEET recruits.
Carrie studied Environmental Studies and English at Oberlin College. She has worked in communications and social media for advocacy groups and civic action campaigns, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Reclaim Our Vote. She is excited to be a part of HEET’s work to make a renewable energy future possible in Massachusetts and beyond.
Rachel DeFronzo Wheeler, Executive Assistant and Logistics Director
Rachel has a background in environmental science and holds a Master’s degree in nonprofit management from Northeastern University. Before joining HEET she worked as a program director for the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary. Rachel is passionate about animals, the earth, and environmental conservation. She enjoys using her problem-solving and organizational skills to help facilitate growth at HEET and work toward a healthier planet.
Angie Alberto-Escobar, Gas-to-Geo Transition Director
Angie Alberto-Escobar received her Associates of Science in Mathematics from Glendale College and her Bachelor’s in Sustainable Energy Management with a minor in Economics from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Angie was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, California, by Guatemalan immigrants and became the first in her family to hold a bachelor’s degree. Angie is a strong advocate for transforming global systems from profit-driven to efficiency-driven. In her career, she hopes to help global society understand how to use our finite resources ethically to create a more habitable planet. Energy equity is a massive pillar of her professional identity and she believes the status quo must be challenged in order to create space for the majority (inaccurately referred to as minorities) to ensure equitable distribution of benefits to those who have historically been left behind and who represent the interests of all. As Director of the Gas to Geothermal Transition, Angie manages HEET’s network of stakeholders, who range from grass-roots organizers to geothermal industry giants, government agencies, legislators and other key decision makers. Through this work, Angie believes she can have the most meaningful impact by helping to develop a transition model for other states, governments and communities to replicate, scale, and ultimately execute a just and thoughtful clean energy transition.
Jason Taylor with a spray foam gun and the New York City skyline.
Ana Maria (Ania) Camargo, President
Ania is co-founder and director of Case Associates, a management consulting firm that has provided assistance to not-for-profit organizations in Boston since 1999. She has always been actively involved in her community including serving as Chair of the Harvard Business School Community Action Program, President and Chair of the Beacon Hill Civic Association, and co-founder of Downtown Schools for Boston. Ania is currently a member of WBUR’s Executive Advisory Council and is volunteering on the campaign against methane leaks in Massachusetts for Mothers Out Front.
Bill Harkins, Treasurer
Bill has over 40 years of experience working for governmental agencies at the national, regional and state level. He worked for many years at U.S. Department of Labor as a Regional Economist and Office Director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Evaluation and Research. Most recently Bill worked for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) in many capacities including Division Director for Planning and Program Development, Director of Finance and Administration for Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, and as the Department’s Director of Budgetary and Legislative Affairs.
Karen Martin, Clerk
Karen worked for 25 years as an electrical engineer at Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies. Currently, she chairs the North Parish of North Andover Climate Justice Task Force and is involved with the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Group, formed in the aftermath of the gas explosions, working to improve energy efficiency and promote a just transition to renewable energy. She is on the board of UU Mass Action, the state UU social justice advocacy group. A nature and animal lover, she is a member of the MA Sierra Club Plant-based Planet team. Karen is politically active, advocating for making the response to climate disruption a priority in the Massachusetts legislature. Her three grown children and three grandchildren are front and center in her work for climate justice.
Jason Taylor has been training green job workers for the last 12 years at the Green Jobs Academy, the ABCD Weatherization Lab in Mattapan and at Roxbury Community College. He has written air-sealing curricula for community colleges, MassCAP and HEET. He has presented new and old air-sealing techniques for NESEA/Boston, NESEA/New York, the Department of Energy and the Studio for High Performance Design and Construction (SHPDC).
Jason began as a volunteer at HEET, arriving at the first weatherization barnraising in dirty overalls and was immediately made a team leader weatherizing windows. (Perhaps this is the reason he is often seen wearing dirty overalls.)
Jason currently trains 12-18 MassSAVE weatherization crew chiefs each month as well as continuing to work for Byggmeister Associates as their air barrier specialist. He also has participated in the air barrier fine-tuning of many Net Zero Retrofits and Passive Houses. He has developed training techniques that are extremely successful with people that dislike classrooms and hopes to become a trainer of the trainers in the near future as green jobs training programs are pushed up to the next level.
David is a mechanical engineer who specializes in product architecture, design strategy, and design processes to make the most of the opportunities presented by a design challenge. David has worked for twenty years as a Principal at the research and product development firm known as Cusp Development. He also founded the company From Concentrate, which commercializes products that are developed in house at Cusp. In general, David is interested in helping companies and organizations make well-executed engineering and design a core element of their institutions.
Marilyn Ray Smith
Marilyn served for almost 24 years as chief legal counsel for the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, including 7 years as deputy commissioner. She has extensive experience in drafting and implementing state and federal legislation, as well as managing major operational and systems changes in state government. For her work as an advocate for children, she received the Smith College Medal in 2003. Now an Access to Justice Fellow, Marilyn works with HEET and the Gas Leaks Allies on political advocacy strategies to eliminate gas leaks and to create a legislative structure that will permit gas companies to distribute renewable thermal energy, thereby reducing the Commonwealth’s dependence on natural gas.
John has over 25 years experience in environmental policy analysis, including the role of Branch Chief for Industrial Wastewater Policy and Regulations for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for two decades. John was also an environmental policy consultant for USEPA and many other federal agencies on subjects such as industrial wastewater, drinking water, toxic substance control strategy development, and hazardous waste. John also has extensive experience with nonprofit management through his work as a board president and member of the Mystic River Watershed Association for over 20 years. He is also currently a team leader for HEET’s energy-upgrade work parties.
Michael is a national expert in residential energy efficiency. With 30 years in the field, he has specialized in analyzing the performance of buildings and appliances though both intensive research projects and large-scale analysis of utility billing data. He has performed many studies of real world retrofit energy savings for utilities, government agencies, and others. Michael invented zonal pressure diagnostics and developed the SIMPLE building energy model. He was a member of the RESNET technical committee, on the editorial advisory board of Home Energy Magazine, and on several BPI subcommittees. Michael is Nest Labs’ Senior Building Scientist.
John is the President of Aztech Geothermal, LLC., an engineering driven heat pump design, installation and consulting company based in New York. While running Aztech Geothermal, he often serves as a resource to a wide array of stakeholders regarding the latest renewable and energy efficiency technologies, government incentives and financing options. John presents regularly on heat pump related topics including Are Electric Heat Pumps Ready to Replace Natural Gas? He led the Ground Loop Design Group during HEET’s Utility-Scale Geothermal Charrette in MIT’s January Session. John has been a registered party to seven NY-based public utility rate cases (e.g., National Grid Con Edison) representing the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) as a board member. John is an IGSHPA Accredited Geothermal Installer, a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certified Contractor, and a Certified Green Professional with the NAHB. John received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Union College.
John works for Sungage Financial, a Boston-based company that funds residential solar projects throughout the country. He has also worked at CrowdComfort, an energy efficiency startup, and Next Step Living, a residential energy efficiency company, where he organized local campaigns resulting in the installation of hundreds of residential solar systems and home energy retrofits. Outside the energy and climate world, he founded Somerville Skillshare, a free DIY educational platform, and recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a PADI-certified scuba diving instructor.
Nathan is one of the country’s leading researchers in methane emissions from natural gas leaks under urban streets as well as an expert in a surprising variety of other areas. He has researched and published groundbreaking reports on gas leaks in cities such as Boston, Washington DC, and New York City. He is Director of Boston University’s Earth House Living Learning Community and a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment. His areas of research include global change biology, tree physiology, and the structure and function of resilient resource distribution systems, human or natural.
Jonathan Buonocore, Sc.D. is a Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research mainly focuses on evaluating the health impacts of energy systems, and modeling health “co-benefits” of climate mitigation strategies and energy policies, largely in the United States. He has evaluated air pollution related health impacts from a number of sectors, including electricity generation, transportation, buildings, and oil and gas production. He has also modeled the health co-benefits of strategies including further buildout of renewable energy in the United States, Federal carbon emissions standards on power plants, carbon cap-and-invest policies for transportation in the Northeast U.S., and building electrification. His current and future research includes building methods to better incorporate equity and environmental justice (EJ) concerns, and other unintended consequences.
Kannan grew up near his family farm in India. He left a career in technology to work on climate and community resiliency. He runs Eastie Farm, an urban farm in East Boston that fosters food security and environmental stewardship. He managed the construction of the first geothermally powered greenhouse in the region, which is now a community asset for all-year food distribution/growing and education. He also serves on local (Friends of Belle Isle Marsh), city (Community Preservation Committee and Conservation Commission), and state (Executive Committee of the Massachusetts chapter of the Sierra Club) organizations.
HEET’s mission is to promote a sustainable community and planet, and to organize cooperative community actions which promote climate stability, energy conservation, and carbon reduction. Since 2009, HEET has organized and hosted energy-upgrade work-parties with many community partners. Working with our sister groups, HEET has trained over 3,500 volunteers and made improvements in over 225 buildings.
HEET has collaborated with dozens of local organizations, including:
Cambridge Energy Alliance
Cities of Quincy, Cambridge, and Boston
Environmental Justice League of RI
Green Justice Coalition
Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Massachusetts Green Jobs Coalition
Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light
New Generation Energy
Renew Energy Partners
Sierra Club, MA Chapter
Students for a Just and Stable Future
Sustainable Business Network
HEET is also a member of the Gas Leak Allies along with:
Boston Climate Action Network
Brookline GreenSpace Alliance
Clean Water Action
Climate Action Now–Western MA
Conservation Law Foundation
Emerald Necklace Conservancy
Friends of the Public Garden
Garden Club of the Back Bay
Gas Safety USA
Green Justice Coalition
Mass Health Care Providers Against Fracked Gas
Mothers Out Front
Green Committee, Neighborhood Association of Back Bay
Sierra Club, MA Chapter
Springfield Climate Justice Coalition
Dr. Nathan Phillips, Boston University
Dr. Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy