Student Blog Series: Undergraduate Seminar Fellows

Explore insights on a variety of topics from our 2021 Undergraduate Seminar Fellows.

As a part of the Undergraduate Climate and Energy Policy Seminar, seminar fellows write a thoughtful insight publication on an energy or climate issue of their choosing. This year’s insights tackled topics from carbon offsets to artificial intelligence and everything in between. Explore our student insight series.

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


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.

Off sure wind turbine and fishing boat

Offshore Wind and the Fishing Industry: The Path to Co-Existence

Margaret Badding

Turbine installations can be stymied by the fishing industry. More research and more conversation are key to the success of this renewable energy source.

Oil refinery and gas processing plant in desert. Hydrogen sign. Technological tubes and pipelines. Close-up.

Hydrogen vs Natural Gas: The Pipeline Turf War

Francisco Barrera

Could mixing hydrogen into our natural gas networks be the catalyst we need to get clean energy into the mainstream?

power station and factory

China’s 14th Five Year Plan: Energy Policy Prospects and Contradictions

Sage Basri

An examination of how China has used policy to manage its increasing electricity demand and CO2 emissions.

White Windmill in a field


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.

How Biden’s New $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Tackles Climate Change

Skylar Cannon

Biden’s newly announced infrastructure plan focuses on electric vehicles, clean energy, and climate change research.

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


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.

A young boy reads by candlelight

Philanthropic Partnerships Towards Combating Energy Poverty

Adam Goudjil

Energy poverty receives less funding by foundations compared to other forms of poverty. Despite this, partnerships with other agencies can point to innovative solutions to combat energy poverty.

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.

Oil and Gas Industrial zone,The equipment of oil refining,Close-up of industrial pipelines of an oil-refinery plant,Detail of oil pipeline with valves in large oil refinery.

CERCLA and the Exemption of the Oil and Gas Industry

Erin Kelly

The neglect of the oil and gas industry from a major environmental statute aimed at protecting environmental and public health hinders comprehensive climate action.

Image credit: Laura James (in the public domain), New York City Nurse passing through a turnstile in the subway station

Green Transport Means Public Transport

Caroline Magdolen

Though it is wise of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan to invest in both electric vehicles and public transit, we must shift away from America’s car culture in the coming decades.

Environmental technology concept. Sustainable development goals. SDGs.

CleanTech SPACs: Friend or Foe for the Regulators?

Sinan Onukar

If we want to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, we will need big changes in our nation’s mobility and infrastructure systems. Financial innovation can be an ally in this fight.

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


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.

: Overhead shot of Renewable IPP’s 1.2 MW Solar Farm in Willow, Alaska. Courtesy of Renewable IPP.

Tensions in Renewable Policy Development in Alaska

Evelyn Sorrell

In Alaska, state-subsidized diesel electricity and a lack of comprehensive renewable energy policy inhibits the development of clean energy.

Closeup of a lot of color AA batteries on a bright yellow background.

How Can We Use Carbon Dioxide to Feed Rechargeable Batteries?

Yein Yoon

What if we could capture CO2 and use it to charge the rechargeable batteries? Scientists and engineers have been trying to develop rechargeable batteries using CO2.

Climate change artwork and posters

The Power of Climate Change Education

Jianan Zhang

One of the most effective ways to close that gap between scientific knowledge and public understanding is to teach students about climate change.