Hixon Center Staff and Affiliates
Tanja Srebotnjak, Director of the Hixon Center
Tanja Srebotnjak is the inaugural director of the Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design. Trained as a statistician, she began her professional career at the United Nations Statistics Division in New York where she developed indicators and methods for official environmental statistics and later completed her doctoral research in environmental statistics and policy at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2007. Prior to coming to Harvey Mudd College, Tanja worked for the German environmental think tank Ecologic Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Her work included projects for the German Federal Environment Agency and several directorates at the European Union concerning the existence and identification of irreversible environmental tipping points, the development of a EU environmental pressure index, and the estimation of the environmental disease burden in Germany. While at NRDC, she researched the health risks associated with unconventional energy development in the United States.
“I’m honored and excited to be a member of the incredibly talented, dedicated and inclusive community that is Harvey Mudd. I hope to facilitate that spirit and drive the integration of sustainability principles in our educational programs, research and operational activities.”
Sustainability Program Manager
Albert Dato, Assistant Professor of Engineering; Administrator, Rasmussen Summer Research Fund.
Professor Dato joined the Hixon Center as Administrator of the Rasmussen Summer Research Fund in the fall of 2016. He is a member of the Department of Engineering and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Dato’s Energy & Nanomaterials Lab seeks to develop solutions to energy and environmental challenges through the synthesis and applications of advanced materials.
Richard Haskell, Burton G. Bettingen Professor of Physics (Emeritus), Director, Physics Clinic (Emeritus), and Director (Emeritus), Center for Environmental Studies
Professor Haskell received his PhD in nuclear physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1972, after which he devoted six years to laser light-scattering studies of skeletal muscle in the Biophysics Department at Johns Hopkins. His current interests in biophysics focus on laser diagnostics of tissue and optical coherence microscopy in developmental biology and tissue engineering. In particular, he is studying events in the early development of the frog, Xenopus laevis, and is contributing to the tissue-engineering of a human replacement cornea. Recently he has also become active in environmental issues and renewable energy sources, championing waste water recycling at the Claremont Colleges and directing the Center for Environmental Studies at Harvey Mudd College until its merger with the Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design.
Paul Steinberg, Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy and Malcolm Lewis Chair of Sustainability and Society
Professor Steinberg is professor of political science and environmental policy. He received his PhD in political economy and policy analysis from the University of California at Santa Cruz. At Harvey Mudd College, Prof. Steinberg was a co-founder and director of the Center for Environmental Studies (now merged with the Hixon Center). He also directs The Social Rules Project and is the author of three books: Who Rules the Earth? (Oxford University Press), Comparative Environmental Politics (MIT Press) and Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries (MIT Press), which won the International Studies Association’s Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for the best book in international environmental affairs. He has held several academic positions, including at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and has worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Conservation International, The World Bank, RARE, Pesticide Action Network, and the US Peace Corps. He serves on the editorial board for the journal Global Environmental Politics.
Former Staff Members
Louis Spanias served as the Sustainability Program Manager for Harvey Mudd College from March 2016 to April 2019. He is currently Assistant Project Manager for Energy and Sustainability at Cumming Corporation in Los Angeles.
Kanami Otani was the first Energize Colleges Coordinator and guided 4 semester-long cohorts of interns between fall 2016 and spring 2018. Kanami now works with an arborist firm.