Ryan Fisher

Ryan Fisher is the 2021-2022 Managing Online Editor of the Public Purpose Journal and a second-year Master of Public Policy student at American University’s School of Public Affairs. Ryan is from Central Massachusetts and received his bachelor’s degree in history from Roger Williams University. Currently, he works as a research assistant at American University’s Center for Environmental Policy, researching clean energy policies, public opinion, and environmental politics. Ryan’s interests focus on the intersections of environmental policy, economics, and community development — and how environmental policies can build stable communities with equitable economic growth.

Stormwater Management in Chicago: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the McCook Reservoir, Green Roofs, and Rain Barrels

This cost-benefit analysis evaluates stormwater management options in Chicago by comparing the welfare effects of the McCook Reservoir expansion to green roofs and rain barrels, two leading forms of green stormwater management promoted by the EPA. Based on our findings, expanding green roof programs to encourage broader residential implementation—ultimately, doubling the city’s existing green roof space—would improve stormwater management, limit combined sewage overflows (CSOs), and better prepare Chicago for increased rainfall.

Climate Change in Vulnerable Communities: U.S. Mitigation Policy and Environmental Justice

Climate change has already damaged environments, ecosystems, and communities around the world, and without bold policy responses, these impacts are projected to intensify throughout the twenty-first century. In the United States, climate change disproportionately harms the nation’s most vulnerable communities: low-income Americans and communities of color who lack the resources to respond to the degradation of their environments, health, communities, and economies. As the U.S. considers policies to mitigate climate change, policymakers must craft solutions to alleviate the inequitable distribution of costs from carbon pollution and incentivize the early retirement of carbon-emitting infrastructure.