meet the pritzker candidates: 6-10

Blog |

Meet the Pritzker candidates: 6-10

by Rebecca Ash

Deliberations continue to reduce 20 candidates to five finalists for the inaugural Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award. With $100,000 at stake, meet the next group of contestants. Despite being under the age of 40, their accomplishments are impressive, and their areas of expertise range from satellite imagery technology to promoting environmental solutions that also take on segregation and economic hardship.


meet the pritzker candidates: 6-10

Daniel Hammer

Daniel Hammer transforms decision making with big data. As co-founder of Earth Genome, Hammer is developing a technology platform that will help journalists easily access and understand satellite imagery—empowering them to tell vivid stories about issues like climate change. Prior to that, Hammer served as chief data scientist at the World Resources Institute, where he co-founded Global Forest Watch, a platform that monitors deforestation. He was also a NASA Presidential Innovation Fellow and a senior policy advisor to the United States Chief Technology Officer. Hammer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in data science at UC Berkeley while serving as an adjunct professor at USF and Georgetown University. He spends his free time in San Quentin State Prison (as a volunteer math teacher). (Nominated by Steve McCormick.)

meet the pritzker candidates: 6-10

Edward Hawkins

Ed Hawkins is a climate scientist and creator of “climate spiral,” an animation that went viral and was featured during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Through his blog Climate Lab Book, Hawkins brings scientists and non-scientists together with his ability to model climate visualizations. He has done innovative work building and assessing regional climate predictions, while developing the concept of “emergence”—when a signal of climate change becomes undeniable. Hawkins is also heavily involved with the Old Weather Project, an online platform that engages citizen volunteers to reconstruct past weather logs. (Nominated by Oliver Morton.)

meet the pritzker candidates: 6-10

Mark Huerta

Mark Huerta is bringing clean, affordable drinking water to communities around the world. As CEO of 33 Buckets, his team consults and empowers rural communities to develop solutions to drinking water problems. So far, 33 Buckets has successfully completed projects in Bangladesh, Peru, and Dominican Republic—and has 12 more projects in motion. This work not only provides clean water, but also educates local communities and improves their economies. Huerta is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Engineering Education Systems & Design Program at Arizona State University. (Nominated by Melani Walton.)

meet the pritzker candidates: 6-10

Nathan Hunter

Nathan Hunter finds sustainable solutions for Yonkers—a city dealing with economic distress, racial and class segregation, and environmental problems. As the director of healthy communities at Groundwork: Hudson Valley, Hunter manages a host of land and river programs. The Citizen Farmer Program reclaims open spaces, transforming them into green spaces to grow food and highlighting shared heritage to unite cultures. Hunter also runs the Get Fresh Farmers Market, where he mentors youth on sustainable food production. Hunter was commended by the City of Yonkers Human Rights Commission in 2016, and was honored by New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins when she proclaimed December 5 “Nathan Hunter Day.” (Nominated by Hazel Wong.)

meet the pritzker candidates: 6-10

Quentin Gee

Quentin Gee transforms ideas into practical solutions while cultivating the next generation of environmental leaders. As a faculty member at UC Santa Barbara, he pushed for green building certification and fossil fuel divestment within the California State University and University of California systems. Gee pioneered the idea that eating healthy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing healthcare and medical visits. Prior to that, he held leadership roles on the UC Santa Barbara Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board and the California Student Sustainability Coalition. Currently, Gee lectures in environmental studies and philosophy, focusing topics of sustainability, social justice and environmental policy. (Nominated by D’Artagnan Scorza.)


(Read our first blog on the candidates here. Next week, we’ll be back with the final ten candidates.)

TOP IMAGE: Daniel Hammer | Photo via