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 and Speakers

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 

Last year’s speakers included:

  • Shelley Welton, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Law and Energy Policy
  • Scott Kleinman, Co-President of Apollo and founder of the Kleinman Center
  • John Quigley, Director, Center for Environment, Energy, and Economy at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
  • Matthijs Bouw, Associate Professor of Practice in Landscape Architecture & Nick Pevzner, Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture
  • Deep Jariwala, Assistant Professor in Electrical and Systems Engineering
  • Megan Ryerson, UPS Chair of Transportation and Associate Dean for Research at Weitzman School
  • Dorit Aviv, Assistant Professor of Architecture
  • Susanna Berkouwer, Assistant Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy

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.

2022 Publication Highlights

Our seminar participants have written on a variety of topics—from microgrids to precision agriculture.

2d minimal clean smooth color infographics for solar rooftop, solar light,solar traffic light, and solar container on the ground as for microgrid development

Microgrid Regulation Challenges and Opportunities

Sabine Chavin

Microgrids have the potential to improve the resiliency and efficiency of our electrical grid. But the lack of clear regulations can be a barrier to developing projects.

The beautiful landscapes of New Mexico as the journey nears its conclusion.

Traveling Across the United States the Old-Fashioned Way

Andrés Eskenazi

Why developing and expanding passenger rail in the United States is critical in the fight against climate change.

Dirty beach environment from plastic garbage with outdoor low lighting.

Driving the Circular Economy with Extended Producer Responsibility

Emma Schultz

Extended Producer Responsibility is a policy solution that will help keep plastics out of our environment and place the economic burden of negative externalities back on manufacturers.

concept illustration of a salt energy storage natrium sodium nuclear reactor power plant on a sunny day. Molden Salt energy storage is a future energy concept. 3d rendering.

Revisiting Molten Salt Reactors

Eitan Weinstein

Molten-salt reactors could potentially provide carbon-free nuclear power with less radioactive waste and for a more affordable price. But the technology is not without its complications.

Farmer using smart farming technologies for higher efficiency in a vineyard

From Farm to Cloud: Precision Agriculture

Linda Wu

Big data is helping farming become more efficient and waste less with specific crop management recommendations. But with little to no regulation, farmers are concerned that their data could be used against them.  

Meet Our 2022 Student Fellows

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.
Sean Deresh
Undergraduate Seminar Fellow
Sean Deresh is an undergraduate student in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research studying earth science and chemical and biomolecular engineering. Deresh is a 2022 Undergraduate Student Fellow.
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.
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.