our team

Adam Buchholz, Director

Adam Buchholz first conceptualized MEJ in the Fall of 2019 after learning about CalEnviroScreen and wondering why other states don’t also have such a tool. He kicked off the project with Kelly as a Masters of Public Policy student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) and now works closely with the team on data processing and mapping, collaboration with partners, policy advocacy, and fundraising. His experience in spatial data analysis, environmental justice advocacy, and community outreach directly support this work. Adam studied climate policy and quantitative analysis at GSPP and has advocated for frontline communities with the Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic and GRID Alternatives – a nonprofit dedicated to bringing solar to all. Prior to GSPP, he worked as the communications lead for a team dedicated to improving after-school care in Washington state. Before that, Adam was a middle school science teacher in Denver.

Prakat Khati, Research Fellow

Prakat Khati serves as a Research Fellow at MEJ where he works in policy and legislation analysis and policy communication. He is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate at GSPP. Before joining his graduate program, Prakat studied at Kathmandu School of Law and received his license to practice law. His past research experiences in conflict-minimizing land distribution schemes for post-disaster village relocation in Nepal guides his work at MEJ, where he hopes to combine geospatial data with policy and legal analysis to produce impactful policy work.

Margaret McCall, Research Fellow — Data & Outreach

Margaret McCall is a Research Fellow at MEJ, where she focuses on working with state partners to create environmental justice maps that reflect the priorities of local communities. Margaret has spent the last eight years working to accelerate the clean energy transition, first in political organizing with Environment America and then in research, facilitation, and consulting with Rocky Mountain Institute. At Berkeley, she is focused on bringing a data science and equity lens to issues of transportation electrification and air pollution.

Vanessa Ehrenpreis

Vanessa Ehrenpreis is a Research Fellow at MEJ, where she works on gathering community input to ensure MEJ’s maps are effective. Vanessa has a deep-seated interest in community-led development and brings expertise in environmental policy and qualitative analysis to the team. At Berkeley, she is a Master of Public Policy Candidate at the Goldman School, where she focuses on energy policy

Zain Khan, Research Fellow – Data & Mapping

Zain Khan contributes to the team’s data collection and analysis efforts and supervises MEJ’s partnership with Berkeley’s Data Science Discovery Program. His work involves managing MEJ’s data repository and the ongoing processing and analysis of new data. He received a BA in Data Science from UC Berkeley, with a minor in Computer Science . While at UC Berkeley, Zain worked on different research projects focused around equity and social good. Currently, he is receiving his Masters of Information and Data Science at UC Berkeley’s School of Information.  He hopes to continue applying what he has learned in school to environmental issues.

Azucena Castro, Data Researcher – Data & Mapping

Azucena Castro contributes to the team as part of the Berkeley Data Science Discovery Program. She is a senior majoring in Data Science and minoring in Geospatial Information Science & Technology. Her interests are in how geospatial data can be used to solve real world problems like environmental issues. 

Grey Xu, Data Researcher – Data & Mapping

Grey Xu is a Data Discovery project member at MEJ. He is currently a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Environmental Science and Statistics. He is also the Office Assistant of Head of Asia Pacific Networks at the United Nations Global Compact, and assisted the UN Global Compact Virtual Leaders’ Summit APAC Session. Besides that, Grey worked as a project manager at Fully designing the Trash Packer Algorithm. The project has been officially included as an incubator program funded by Citris Foundry and Banatao Institute.

Varsha Madapoosi, Data Researcher – Data & Mapping

Varsha Madapoosi is a student researcher at MEJ through partnership with UC Berkeley’s Data Science Discovery Program. She is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying data science and society and environment, hoping to further environmental justice data research. On campus, she is a member of the Students of Color Environmental Collective, Cal Zero Waste, and the Office of Sustainability. In the future, she hopes to analyze the environmental justice implications of the global waste trade to influence policy and activism efforts.

Violet A.B. Walsh, Data Researcher – Data & Mapping

VViolet A.B. Walsh is a third year undergraduate majoring in Physical Geography at UC Berkeley. She works in Berkeley’s Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory, and taught herself to code through her research. Violet is passionate about effective and equitable climate change solutions, and hopes have a career combining data science with environmental work