Energy Studies

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ANNOUNCEMENTS 

  • Energy Studies graduated 41 students as Yale Energy Scholars in the Class of 2020, the program’s largest cohort since its founding in the 2013-14 Academic Year. The group set high marks for the number of degrees awarded (46, counting double majors), the number of different departmental majors (19), and the number of Energy Studies courses taken (nearly 400). Energy Studies scholars in the Class of 2020 received 11 Academic Prizes at Commencement. A slideshow highlighting the accomplishments of the Energy Studies Class of 2020 is HERE.
  • Energy Studies enrolled 40 students from the Class of 2022 for the Spring 2020 term. Please join us in welcoming to the program: Michael Adeyi, Nikola Bakoc, Michelle Barsukov, Rachel Chang, Taylor Chapman, Mary Chen, Jeff Cieslikowski, Will Doyle, Lia Eggleston, Ryan Flynn, Michelle Guilbaud, Megan He, Hamzah Jhaveri, Sophie Lai, Yoanna Lazarova, Linh Manh Le, Evan Lipton, Anya Lomsadze, Abigail Long, Bentley Long, Melquisedec Lozano, Nora Massie, Jack McArthur, Diego Meucci, Liam Muldoon, Wanjiku Mwangi, Beatrice Pickett, Alexandra Saczawa, Naomi Shimberg, Arinjay Singhai, Wyatt Sluga, Andrew Song, Katrina Starbird, Nico Trigo, Elizabeth Van Ha, Gavrielle Welbel, Kiko Wong, Alexandria Wynn, Raymond Zhao, and Ziquan Zhu.
  • A list of courses approved for Energy Studies is available upon request (email: michael.oristaglio@yale.edu with “Energy Studies Approved Courses” on the Subject line). The list on the website is being updated. 
  • Yale College has approved the new course designation “ENRG” for Energy Studies courses in Yale College Programs of Study (the “Blue Book”). The first course to receive this designation will be ENRG 400, Senior Capstone Seminar, offered in the Spring Term. Other courses counting towards the Energy Studies requirements will eventually be cross-listed under ENRG.
  • World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos featured a new Climate Change Transformation Map on the WEF website, curated in partnership with Yale. A team of Energy Studies scholars assembled the information and wrote the text for the map with help from Yale faculty and staff. The WEF website has 124 transformation maps on critical topics for the 21st century. Climate Change was one of only 4 highlighted for Davos.
  • The faculty advisory committee for Energy Studies is: Gary Brudvig (Chemistry; Energy Sciences Institute), Michael Fotos (Political Science; DUS, Environmental Studies), Ken Gillingham (F&ES, Economics, School of Management), Melissa Goodall (Office of Sustainability), Cary Krosinsky (School of Management), Michael Oristaglio (G&G; director, Energy Studies), Julie Paquette (Director of Energy Management), Daniel Prober (Applied Physics; DUS), Paul Sabin (History), Mary-Louise Timmermans (G&G; DUS). All are available for consultation and advice about the program. 

    The student representatives to the faculty advisory committee for 2019-20 are Remy Dhingra ‘20 (Ezra Stiles) and Lawrence (Stephen) Early ‘20 (Berkeley).
     

  • Office hours for the Summer (on Zoom) are by appointment. Email michael.oristaglio@yale.edu.

ANNOUNCEMENTS — Class of 2020

Forty-one graduates in the Class of 2020  completed the requirements of Energy Studies and will receive Yale Energy Scholars certificates following the (virtual) Commencement ceremonies in the residential colleges. Congratulations to the graduates and to their families, with all best wishes for the future!

The Class of 2020 Energy Studies scholars, with their majors and capstone projects, are:

  • Kazemi Adachi (Applied Physics), World Energy Systems Theory: The Promise and Failure of the DESERTEC Project

  • Pamela Banner (Mechanical Engineering), Shell Deepwater Subsea Engineering Internship Findings: Summer Internship

  • Thomas Beck (Economics), The Economic Landscape of Direct Air Capture

  • Selah Bell (Environmental Studies), The Politics of Risk & Catastrophe: Analyzing the Federal Regulation (or lack thereof) of Coal Combustion Wastes between 1973 and 2015

  • Katharine Berman (Political Science (Int.)), From Fossil Fuels to Renewables: Effects of Power Generation Sources on Democratization of Regimes in the Middle East

  • Surbhi Bharadwaj (Economics; Statistics and Data Science), Sustainability & double standards in management consulting

  • Veronica Boratyn (History), The Public and Private Life of the New Haven Oyster: How property rights and legislation shaped the rise and fall of the oyster industry in New Haven, Connecticut, 1638-1900 (Winner of the Richard Hegel Prize for a Senior Essay on New Haven)

  • Caroline Borden (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Urban Resilience in Norfolk, Virginia (with Carina Hahn)

  • Dalton Boyt (Economics), No Taxation Without De-Carbonization: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Carbon Pricing Design (with Karina Franke)

  • Allegra Brogard (History), Energy Forecasting & the Future after COVID-19: An Addendum to “2020 Vision”

  • Franchette Brosoto (Electrical Engineering), Colloidal Cadmium Selenide Quantum Dot Loading to Increase Nanoporous Gallium Nitride Color Conversion Efficiency in Micro-Light Emitting Diodes

  • Fergal Burnett Small (Economics), Exploring the Feasibility of an Off-Grid Housing Model in both Developed and Developing Cities: An Internship with Skyroom

  • Grace Callander (Chemical Engineering), Selective Water Oxidation to H2O2 facilitated by Tunable Band Gap Mn-alloyed TiOx and WOx Thin Films

  • Robert Denniston (History), Louisiana’s Fight for Offshore Oil Revenues, 1978-2006: From the Bayou to the Swamp

  • Remy Dhingra (Economics), Financing Energy Access in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Journalistic Approach to Examining Solutions

  • Lawrence Early (Mechanical Engineering), Evaluating Sustainable Frameworks and the Interrelationality of the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Esteban Elizondo (Political Science), Carbon Tax: A Constitutional Question and a Legislative Challenge

  • Margolit Feuer (Chemistry), Turning Water into Fuel: The Past and Future of Water Oxidation Catalysts

  • Karina Franke (Economics), No Taxation Without De-Carbonization: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Carbon Pricing Design (with Dalton Boyt)

  • Carina Hahn (Economics), Urban Resilience in Norfolk, Virginia (with Caroline Borden)

  • Lindsay Hogan (Geology & Geophysics), Increasing Ambitions: 2020 Revisions of Nationally Determined Contributions for the Paris Agreement

  • Tsveta Ivanova (Environmental Studies), Implications of a Human Diet Shift, the Third Major Diet Transition and Sustainable Diets: Vegan, Vegetarian  and Animal-Based Diets at Yale’s Dining Hall

  • Leonard Jenkins (Political Science), Bringing the Out-groups into Frame: An Analysis of British Newspaper Framing of (Global Warming) Refugees Using the Allport Contact Hypothesis

  • Joshua Keeler (Political Science), Sustainable Energy Transition in Indonesia: Paths and Roadblocks

  • Jonathan Li (Mechanical Engineering), Renewable Energy Potential in Louisiana

  • Tamira Litjens (Environmental Studies), The Global Damage of the Battery Electric Vehicle: Why Your Tesla Doesn’t Make You “Sustainable”

  • Emma Longhurst (Physics (Int.)), Machine Learning Methods on Ice-Tethered Profiler Data to Characterize Layering and Double Diffusive Convection in the Arctic Ocean

  • Joseph Lybik (Environmental Engineering), Investigation of Photodegradable Food Dyes in Drinking Water: Reducing the Energy Costs of Clean Water

  • Melissa Mendizabal (Environmental Studies), Plant-Based Meat​: Potential to Serve as a Sustainable Substitute to Conventional Meat and Overcoming Market Barriers to Entry

  • Sofia Menemenlis (Geology & Geophysics; Global Affairs), Extreme Precipitation and Atmospheric Rivers in a Model of Pliocene Climate

  • Jacob Miller (Applied Physics), Pricing Nature: Educating Wide Audiences about Carbon Pricing Systems

  • Daniel Monteagudo (Geology & Geophysics), CEG Solutions and the Energy Services Company (ESCo) industry

  • Alexandra Newberry (Environmental Studies; Economics), CEG Solutions and the Energy Services Company (ESCo) industry

  • Zachary Rosen (Ethics, Politics & Economics; Theater Studies), Habitable

  • Stephanie Schechet (English), Energy and Community: A Summer Internship with WE ACT in New York City

  • Walter Thulin (History), Charting a Path Forwards: Russia’s Energy Strategy in the Far-North Moving into the 2020’s and Beyond

  • Janvi Trivedi (Chemical Engineering), Analysis of Copper/Iron Selectivity in Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Membranes for Greater Efficiency in Osmotic Galvanic Cells

  • Giovy Webb (Ethics, Politics & Economics), The California Clean Air Act Waiver: An Analysis of the History and Political Actors Involved in US Clean Air Regulation

  • Katrina White (Economics; Geology & Geophysics), Science-Based Targets and 2-Degree Carbon Goals for Companies: Internship with BloombergNEF

  • Jonathan Nylin Winter (Economics), Economic Analysis of Energy Outlooks

  • Ellen Yang (Engineering Science-Mechanical), Solar Geoengineering: Deployment Scenarios and Governance

BACKGROUND AND GENERAL INFORMATION

Yale Climate & Energy Institute (2009-16) launched the Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars program in the fall of 2013 with a curriculum encouraging undergraduates to explore the links between modern energy use and climate change. More than one hundred students completed the program’s requirements during its first five years, with nearly all going on to careers in energy-related fields. In May 2018, the Yale Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted to continue Energy Studies as a Multidisciplinary Academic Program (MAP) for another five-year term. Forty-one graduates in the Class of 2020 completed the program’s requirements, making for a total of 190 Yale Energy Scholars since 2014. Nearly one hundred rising juniors and seniors are enrolled in the curriculum for the 2020-21 academic year. A brief description of the program’s content is given below. The following links contain information about the curriculum, instructions for applicants, and the 2019-20 program brochure. 

ENERGY STUDIES

Energy Studies is a multidisciplinary academic program (MAP) in Yale College. The curriculum is designed to provide selected undergraduates with the knowledge and skills needed for advanced studies, leadership, and success in energy-related fields. Energy Studies scholars must also complete the requirements of a Yale College major. Yale does not offer a major in energy studies. 

Multidisciplinary study of world energy—its past, present, and possible futuresforms the content of Energy Studies.  The challenge today for the future of energy is to accelerate a transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources providing affordable electricity, heating, and transportation in ways less harmful to human health and the environment than current technology based largely on burning fossil fuels. Indeed, achieving “Affordable and Clean Energy for All” is one of the seventeen U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to transform the world for the better by the year 2030. But the task is large. According to the International Energy Agency, about 1.2 billion people around the world remain without electricity, and 2.7 billion put their health at risk by the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking. Moreover, emissions from today’s energy systems, in both the developed and developing world, are by far the leading contributors to harmful air pollution and to the greenhouse gases causing rapid climate change. Better energy science and technology are needed for the 21st century, but also needed to achieve the goal of clean, affordable energy for all is a better understanding of the environmental, social, political and economic impacts of rising human energy use.

Admission to Energy Studies is by application, normally in a student’s sophomore year. The enrollment process starts in the fall term, in coordination with the other Yale MAPs. The deadlines for application are announced in an e-mail to sophomores from the Yale College Dean’s Office and by notice in the Yale Daily News. After fulfilling the program’s requirements during their junior and senior years, and completing the degree in their majors, Energy Studies scholars receive certificates at graduation which become part of their academic records in the Registrar’s Office. Graduates of the program are invited to join the Yale Alumni in Energy organization.

The requirements for Energy Studies are the completion of six courses from a list approved by the faculty advisory committee, plus a senior capstone project. Starting with the Class of 2022, the multidisciplinary distribution requirement is that at least two courses must be taken in each of the program’s three tracks:

(TRACK 1) Energy Science and Technology,

(TRACK 2) Energy and Environment, and 

(TRACK 3) Energy and Society.

Additionally, no more than two of the courses counting toward the program’s requirements can be required courses in  the student’s major. (There is no limit on elective courses in the major counting towards Energy Studies.) Double majors can use two courses each from those required for their two majors. At most one of the six courses counting for Energy Studies can be taken Pass/Fail or Credit/D/Fail. 

The capstone of the program is a senior project, which may take the form of a traditional senior essay or senior project (with permission, a student’s senior essay/project in the major may fulfill this requirement); a credited or uncredited indepedent study project completed in senior year; or an internship in an energy-related field following junior year with a written report submitted in senior year. The Energy Studies program and the Yale Center for International and Professional Experience can help with arranging internships.