Climate & Energy Policy Seminar


Connect with researchers across campus, meet like-minded students, and get published.


About the Seminar

Each spring, the Kleinman Center hosts its undergraduate student fellows program and climate and energy policy seminar series. This program is designed as a competitive and selective appointment for committed undergraduates. Admitted students are expected to attend a lunchtime seminar every other week at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. These energy and climate policy seminar sessions provide students with the opportunity to meet and hear from energy researchers as they discuss the findings and policy implications of their recent research.

Seminar Topics

Lectures and discussions cover a wide range of energy and climate topics, including:

  • Adaptive Design
  • Climate Science and the Carbon Cycle
  • Energy Markets
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Law and Regulation
  • Environmental Risk Management
  • Renewable Energy and Storage
  • Transportation 

Note: Seminar discussions are designed to challenge students to think critically. Students need not have expertise on these topics.

Student Opportunities 

Student fellows selected for this seminar have many unique opportunities for both academic and professional development.

Networking. Admitted students learn from many of Penn’s top energy researchers—engaging and networking with presenters and student fellows.

Publishing. Blog posts that students submit at the end of the semester are published on the Kleinman Center website and shared with our growing community of students, faculty, policymakers, and industry experts.

Career Building. This program is an excellent career-building opportunity, helping student fellows develop a deep understanding of energy and climate policy topics. As official members of the Kleinman Center community, student fellows receive a number of ancillary benefits such as occasional opportunities to meet visiting scholars and speakers, advanced notice of Kleinman Center events, and the professional benefits of having an official association with a globally respected energy policy center.

Workshops. In addition to the eight lunchtime seminars scheduled throughout the semester, our undergraduate fellows have the opportunity to participate in writing and training workshops led by professionals working in energy. These workshops provide valuable professional development opportunities.

Student Commitments

The Spring 2023 seminar is held every two weeks for the entirety of the semester—a total of eight or nine seminar sessions. These sessions are on Wednesdays from 12PM to 1PM. Accepted student fellows are expected to attend all of the seminar sessions. Students must notify Oscar Serpell, associate director of student programming, of any unavoidable absence in advance of the seminar. Students with two or more unexcused absences will be dismissed from the program

In addition to attending seminar discussions, each student fellow must submit a blog post (~600 words) on an energy or climate topic of their choice by the end of the semester. Student fellows then work with the Kleinman center’s editorial and communications team to publish their blog on the Kleinman Center website.

Applicant Requirements

  • Open to Penn undergraduate students enrolled during the Spring 2023 semester.
  • Must have a demonstrated interest in climate and energy policy. This interest may be reflected in academics, extra-curricular activities, or in a student’s submitted writing sample and statement of interest
  • Must commit to attend bi-weekly seminar sessions.

Applicants do not need to be pursuing a degree related to energy or climate policy and science. 

How to Apply

If you are interested in being considered for the Kleinman Center Undergraduate Fellows Program, please complete an application form and attach the following:

  1. A one-page resume reflecting your most relevant experiences and achievements.
  2. An academic transcript of your time at Penn, including courses taken and grades earned in each course. This does not need to be officially sent by your academic advisor. You can email a copy with the rest of your application.
  3. A writing sample that demonstrates your ability to discuss and synthesize a research interest. This writing sample could be related to energy, climate, human health, or the environment, but this is NOT a requirement.
  4. A statement of interest that briefly answers (in 250 words or less) the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in attending the Undergraduate Seminar on Climate and Energy Policy?
    • What do you hope to gain from this fellowship experience?  
    • How do you hope to apply the knowledge you gain from this seminar series in your future professional and academic pursuits?

Application Deadline: November 14


Publication Highlights

2022 Blog Posts

Last year’s seminar students wrote on everything from passenger train travel to molten salt reactors. Take a look at the full lineup of publications.

Read Student Blog Posts


Meet Last Year’s Student Fellows

Sean Deresh
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Sean Deresh is an undergraduate student in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research. Deresh is a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow and a Kleinman Center Student Advisory Council Member.
Andrés Eskenazi
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Andrés Eskenazi is an undergraduate and master’s student studying math and mechanical engineering as part of the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER). Eskenazi is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Gabriela Garity
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Gabriela Garity is a student in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. Garity is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Alina Ho
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Alina Ho is an undergraduate student studying systems science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ho is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow and a Kleinman Center Student Advisory Council Member.
Alisa Reiner
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Alisa Reiner is an undergraduate student majoring in International Relations and minoring in Sustainability and Environmental Management. Reiner is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Emma Schultz
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Emma Schultz is a senior studying chemical and biomolecular engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Schultz is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Eitan Weinstein
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Eitan Weinstein is an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in physics. Weinstein is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Linda Wu
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Linda Wu is pursuing a dual degree in Wharton and in the College of Arts and Sciences. Wu is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Michal Wyrebkowski
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Michal Wyrebkowski is a first-year student from Poland who intends to major in Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Wyrebkowski is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Ha-Nam Yoon
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Ha-Nam Yoon is an undergraduate student studying Earth & Environmental Science and Political Science. Yoon is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow and a Kleinman Center Student Advisory Council Member.
Ahmed Abdellah
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Ahmed Abdellah is a freshman studying in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) program. Abdellah is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Sophia Bagg
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Sophia Bagg is an undergraduate student studying International Relations and East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Bagg is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Sabine Chavin
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Sabine Chavin is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in physics. Chavin is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Aditi Chintapalli
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Aditi Chintapalli is an undergraduate in the school of engineering studying mechanical engineering with a minor in geology. Chintapalli is also a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.