Meet the Sustainabilists

Sustainabilist's interdisciplinary team brings together some of the brightest not only in the discipline of process improvement and data science but in other complimentary fields, including software development and creative.

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Jason Trager, PH.D.
Managing Partner

Dr. Jason Trager has 9 years of professional and research experience in energy efficiency, solar, wind, tidal, biofuels, and electric grid applications. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley where his dissertation focused on applying mass production and QA/QC methods to energy efficiency in buildings. Jason leads Sustainabilist's quality improvement work and specializes in helping companies solve technical sustainability problems with a focus on process improvement and quality applications. He has extensive experience in cross-functional engineering, business, and R&D roles.  


Kit Kohler
Director, Marketing & Creative PRojects

Kit is a skilled and passionate creative with a knack for distilling a company’s story into compelling and relatable media. He has spent the last three years as a cleantech marketing executive after transitioning from over ten years experience in media and marketing for some of the biggest brands in the world, including American Express, Johnson & Johnson, and Kimberly-Clark, there is little he enjoys more than translating a company’s mission and vision into media that resonates with their target demographic in the right place, at the right time, whether it’s web content, print, video, or software.

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Christopher Johnson
Lead Developer

Christopher is a full-stack developer with more than 4 years of experience architecting and executing on complex multi-component applications. Competent in Javascript and Python, he spent many years working as a sysadmin and frequently brings these skills to bear on projects involving complex automation in Linux. Christopher has participated in Sustainabilist projects involving IoT device customization, large system architecture, machine learning and complex database schemas, often with quick turnarounds. Before teaching himself how to code, Christopher worked as a plaintiff side attorney focusing on class action labor law.


Colleen Werkheiser
Project Coordinator

Colleen is a project coordinator with a background in science and a mind for organization. A physicist by training, Colleen holds an MA from Harvard and a BA from Reed College. After completing her studies, Colleen realized her true passion focused on where science, technology and research intersect with business. Eager to put her skills and passion to work and return to Portland, she's been at Sustainabilist since June of 2019.


Nicholas Montaño
Software Engineer

Nicholas is a software engineer with a desire to solve hard problems through effective coding. He is proficient in JavaScript, utilizing his knowledge of functional programming techniques and design patterns to write code that scales. Working with Sustainabilist, Nicholas has been applying his full stack experience to develop the early stage prototype for SunKaizen, Sustainabilist’s upcoming process improvement SaaS.


Jesse Caldwell
Software Engineer

A recent addition to the Sustainabilist team, Jesse spent the last three years with enterprise data science company Schrodinger, where he planned, engineered, and developed software to integrate disparate systems and databases. Holding a degree in Astrophysics from The University of Colorado Boulder, one of Jesse’s first technical experiences in the workplace was developing, testing, and validating a proof of concept for an experimental plasma instrument prototype designed for spaceflight on a future NASA mission to Jupiter.


Melanie Hahn
Software Developer

Melanie learned Fortran as her first programming language in the late 90s. Since then, she has worked with numerous other languages in applications ranging from engineering to data science to software development. An accomplished scientist and researcher, she has a BSE from ASU and an MS in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley. After spending two summers aboard the DOE-commissioned NGEE Arctic evaluating climate change by measuring soil emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, Melanie returned to the Bay Area to brush up on her software skills at Dev Bootcamp.