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 

Student Opportunities 

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

Networking. In addition to learning from many of Penn’s top energy researchers, admitted students can engage and network with presenters and other 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.

Field Trip. Under normal circumstances, we also host an optional and all-expenses-paid day trip to a significant energy facility or policy institution within the region. Unfortunately, because of the ongoing precautions around the coronavirus pandemic, this trip may not be possible this year.

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.

Apply for Spring 2022

  • Application deadline for Spring 2022: November 15th, 2021 by 5 PM
  • Applications should be sent to Oscar Serpell (serpello@upenn.edu) with the subject line “Application for KCEP Undergraduate Seminar and Fellows Program”
  • Application should include: 1 page letter of interest, resume, unofficial transcript, and a writing sample from class project or publication
  • Student fellows will be required to meet regularly in person from 12-1PM on Wednesdays throughout the spring semester. Exact dates to follow

For questions about the undergraduate seminar, please contact Oscar Serpell.


2021 Publication Highlights

Our seminar participants have written on a variety of topics—from carbon offsets to artificial intelligence.

Trunks of trees cut and stacked in the foreground, green forest in the background with sun rays

Biomass Energy: Climate Solution or Potential Catastrophe?

Georgeanne Dinan

Treating biomass as a carbon-neutral energy source will only drive further wood harvests and carbon emissions at a time when reforestation and decarbonization are critical.


AI, Machine learning, Hands of robot and human touching on big data network connection background, Science and artificial intelligence technology, innovation and futuristic.

Considering Artificial Intelligence and Its Potential for Climate Impact

Georgia Ray

Can AI help us improve energy efficiency and combat climate change? Possibly but ethical concerns exist when it comes to balancing the positives and negatives of AI creation and climate change.


Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Limit Global Warming and Climate Change. Commitment to Paris Agreement to Lower CO2 levels with Sustainable Development as Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicles

Carbon Offsets Cannot Be Our Primary Solution to Climate Change

Ayina Anyachebelu

The current carbon offsets market incentivizes corporations to shift the moral responsibility of reducing emissions to others. Drastic reform is needed to guarantee a true reduction in global emissions.


TerraPower has sought to revolutionize commercial nuclear reactors as a zero-carbon, affordable energy source. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

We Have To Go Nuclear

Neil Kapoor

With the climate crisis growing worse by the day, it seems like the nuclear option is the only one.


White Windmill in a field

Wind Turbine Blades: Options at End of Life

John Berg

Wind turbine blades are currently sent to landfills at the end of their useful life. Emerging technologies could enable widespread blade recycling and make wind power more sustainable.


Meet Our 2021 Student Fellows

Ayina Anyachebelu
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Yina Anyachebelu is an undergraduate student in the Huntsman Program studying business analytics in Wharton and international studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Anyachebelu is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Margaret Badding
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Margaret Badding is an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences double majoring in philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE) and psychology, with a minor in environmental studies. Badding is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Francisco Barrera
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Francisco Barrera is an undergraduate student in the VIPER program studying materials science and engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science and physics in the School of Arts and Sciences. He is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Sage Basri
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Sage Basri is an undergraduate in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in Environmental Studies. Basri is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
John Berg
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
John Berg is an undergraduate student studying mechanical engineering and applied mechanics at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Berg is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Skylar Cannon
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Skylar Cannon is a junior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science studying chemical and biomolecular engineering with a minor in energy and sustainability. Cannon is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Georgeanne Dinan
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Georgeanne Dinan is an undergraduate student studying political science in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dinan is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Adam Goudjil
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Adam Goudjil is an undergraduate student studying urban studies at the College of Arts and Sciences. Goudjil is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
William Hasley
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Billy Hasley is an undergraduate student studying chemical and biomolecular engineering with a minor in energy and sustainability at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Hasley is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Neil Kapoor
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Neil Kapoor is an undergraduate student studying computer science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Kapoor is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Erin Kelly
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Erin Kelly is an undergraduate student studying history, French, and sustainability and environmental management in the School of Arts and Sciences. Kelly is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Avni Limdi
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Avni Limdi is an undergraduate student studying systems science and engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Limdi is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Caroline Magdolen
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Caroline Magdolen is an undergraduate student studying systems engineering and environmental science in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) program. Magdolen is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Sinan Onukar
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Sinan Onukar is a senior undergraduate student studying Finance and Business Analytics at the Wharton School of Business. Onukar is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Georgia Ray
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Georgia Ray is a senior undergraduate student triple majoring in urban studies, cognitive science, and philosophy of science in the College of Arts and Sciences. Ray is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
Evelyn Sorrell
Global Food Systems Initiative
Evie Sorrell is a third year undergraduate student studying environmental sustainability and management in the College of Arts and Sciences. Sorrell is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Angela Sun
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Angela Sun is an undergraduate student studying economics and chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences. Sun is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Yein Yoon
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Yein Yoon is an undergraduate student in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) studying materials science and engineering and chemistry. Yoon is also a 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellow.
Jianan Zhang
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Jianan Zhang is an undergraduate student studying economics at the Wharton School. Zhang is also a 2021 Undergraduate Student Fellow.