Seth Berrin Shonkoff, PhD, MPH

Executive Director, PSE Healthy Energy & Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley

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PhD, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley.  Berkeley, CA, USA

MPH (Epidemiology), University of California, Berkeley.  Berkeley, CA, USA

BA (Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Ceramics), Skidmore College.  Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

Research Interests

Oil and gas development, Environmental Public Health, Climate Change, Environmental Policy

Research Description

Dr. Seth Shonkoff is the executive director of the energy science and policy institute, PSE Healthy Energy. Dr. Shonkoff is also a visiting scholar in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley and an affiliate at the in the Environment Energy Technology Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley California. An environmental and public health scientist by training, he has more than 15 years of experience in water, air, climate, and population health research. Dr. Shonkoff completed his PhD in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and his MPH in epidemiology in the School of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a contributing author to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). He has worked and published on topics related to the intersection of energy, air pollution, water quality, and climate change from scientific and policy perspectives. Dr. Shonkoff's research also focuses on the development of the effectiveness of anthropogenic climate change mitigation policies that generate socioeconomic and health co-benefits. Dr. Shonkoff's current work focuses on the human health, environmental and climate dimensions of oil and gas development in the United States and abroad.

Selected Publications

Climate, Energy, and Environmental Public Health Science and Policy

Shonkoff SBC. 2015. Considerations for the development of shale gas in the United Kingdom. Science of the Total Environment. 512-513: 36-42

Hays J, Finkel M, Depledge M, Law A, Shonkoff SBC. 2015. Considerations for the development of shale gas in the United Kingdom. Science of the Total Environment. 512-513: 36-42

Ingraffea A, Wells M, Santoro R, Shonkoff SBC. 2014. Assessment and Risk Analysis of Casing and Cement Impairment in Oil and Gas Wells In Pennsylvania: 2000-2012. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 111 (30): 10955-10960.

Law A, Hays J, Shonkoff SB, Finkel, ML. 2014. Re: Public Health England’s reply to editorial on its draft report on shale gas extraction. BMJ. 348:g3280

Shonkoff SB, Hays, J, Finkel, MF. 2014. The Public Health Dimensions of Shale Gas Development.

Environmental Health Perspectives. 122 (8): 787-795.

Law A, Hays J, Shonkoff SB, Finkel, ML. 2014. Public Health England’s draft report on shale gas extraction: Mistaking best practices for actual practices. BMJ. 348:g2728

Smith KR, et al. (Shonkoff SB contributing author). 2013. Chapter 11. Human Health: Impacts, Adaptation, and Co-Benefits, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Assessment Report 5 (AR5).

Shonkoff SB. 2013. Shale gas and tight oil development: look before we leap. Global Energy Affairs.

Shonkoff SB. 2012. The Frack Gap: well density, environmental and health protections, and socioeconomic status in the United States. A Whitepaper.

Shonkoff SB, Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J. 2011. Environmental Health and Equity Implications of Climate Change and Mitigation Policies in California: A Review of the Literature. Climatic Change. Volume 109. Supp. 1.

Jerrett M, Su JG, Ortega Hinojosa OM, Kontgis C, Shonkoff SB, Yuen T, Seto E, Jesdale, B, Morello-Frosch R. In Preparation. Mapping Climate Change Exposures, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation to Public Health Risks in the San Francisco Bay and Fresno Regions. California Energy Commission.

Shonkoff SB, Chafe Z, Smith KR. 2010. Addressing Inconsistencies in Black Carbon Literature. Poster presented at the American Geophysical Union. Session Title: Black Carbon's Role in Global to Local Air Quality and Climate Change. San Francisco, CA. December 15, 2010.

Smith KR, Jerrett M, Anderson HR, Burnett RT, Stone V, Derwent R, Atkinson RW, Cohen A, Shonkoff SB, Krewski D, Pope CA, 3rd, Thun MJ, Thurston G. 2009. Public Health Benefits of Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions: Health Implications of Short-Lived Greenhouse Pollutants. The Lancet. 374(9707): 2091-2103.

Shonkoff SB, Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J. 2009. Minding the Climate Gap: Implications of Environmental Health Inequities for Mitigation Policies in California. Environmental Justice 2(4): 173-177.

Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J, Shonkoff SB. 2009. The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap. The Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). University of Southern California. Available at:

Shonkoff SB, Morello-Frosch R, Pastor M, Sadd J. 2009. Environmental Health and Equity Impacts from Climate Change and Mitigation Policies in California: A Review of the Literature." In: Cal-EPA Climate Action Team Report. Available at: http:

Shonkoff SB, Ahrens K, Klausner JA. 2008. Comparing HIV Positivity Rates in Risk Based Targeted vs. Opt-in Expanded HIV Testing Frameworks in a Municipal STD Clinic in San Francisco, CA. Poster Presented at the CDC National STD Conference, Chicago, IL, March 10-13, 2008.

Watershed Science and Policy

Spencer DF, Ksander GG, Donovan MJ, Liow PS, Chan WK, Greenfield BK, Shonkoff SB, Andrew S. 2006. Evaluation of Waterhyacinth Survival and Growth in the Sacramento Delta, California, following cutting. The Journal of Plant Management. 44: 50-60

Greenfield BK, Jahn A, Grenier JL, Shonkoff SB, Sandheinrich M. 2006. Mercury in Biosentinel Fish in San Francisco Bay: First Year Project Report: A report of the Regional Monitoring Program Exposure and Effects Pilot Study. SFEI; River Studies Center, University of Wisconsin.

Greenfield BK, David N, Siemering GS, McNabb TP, Spencer DF, Ksander GG, Donovan MJ, Liow PS, Chan WK, Shonkoff SB, Andrews SP, Andrews JC, Rajan M, Howard V, Sytsma M, Earnshaw S, Anderson LWJ. 2005. Aquatic Pesticide Monitoring Program Non-Chemical Alternatives Year 3 Final Report. APMP Technical Report: SFEI Contribution 390. Oakland, CA.

Pearce S, McKee L, Shonkoff SB. 2005. Pinole Creek Watershed Sediment Source Assessment. Oakland, California. SFEI Contribution 316.

Greenfield BK, Wittner E, David N, Shonkoff SB, Davis JA. 2004. Monitoring Trace Organic Contamination in Delta Fish: Current Data and Future Steps. A report to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. SFEI Contribution 99. Oakland CA.

Hayworth, J, David N, Shonkoff, SB. 2004. Phase 2 (2003) Bioassessment of waterbodies treated with aquatic pesticides. SFEI Contribution 117. Oakland, CA

Pearce SA, McKee LJ, Shonkoff SB. 2004. San Pedro Creek Watershed Sediment Source Analysis, Volume III: Tributary sediment source assessment. A report prepared for the City of Pacifica, California. SFEI Contribution 87. Oakland, CA.

Honors and Awards

Grantee, Emerging Leaders Fund, The Claneil Foundation, Pennsylvania                                                      (April 2014-Present)

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC Berkeley                                                                                 (Fall 2012)

Recent Teaching

ES 196 Environmental Science Senior Thesis Seminar (Fall 2010 to Spring 2012)

ESPM 155 - Sociology of Natural Resources (Fall 2009)

ESPM C167/PH 160 - Environmental Health and Development (Fall 2008)

Contact Information


Office: 436 14th St., Suite 808, Oakland, CA 94612

Office Phone: (510) 899-9706


Curriculum Vitae


Research Group(s)

Mailing Address

Seth B.C. Shonkoff, PhD, MPH

PSE Healthy Energy

436 14th ST., Suite 808

Oakland, CA 94612