T.H. Culhane

Educator

National Geographic Emerging Explorer T.H. Culhane has pioneered the development and deployment of renewable low-cost home and community energy production tools. He empowers local communities in impoverished areas to "do-it-themselves" following the adage "teach a man to fish and you will have fed him for a lifetime." T.H. is currently overseeing the installation of biogas digesters, which transform household organic waste into methane, at four sites in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—an elementary school being built by Architecture for Humanity and three favelas in distinctly different slum environments (coastal lagoon, montane forest, and dense urban). They will use kitchen waste and toilet waste to provide power for buildings and fertilizer for urban gardening. This new decentralized approach to urban sanitation in poor communities was highlighted at both the Summer Olympics and the World Cup in 2014.