Science and Policy for a Low Carbon Economy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 10:30am - 11:30am

RAEL Lunch Seminar: "Preparing for the Post-Carbon Economy: 25 Areas with Gigaton Potential"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location: 323 Barrows Hall (ERG Reading Room)

Claire Danielle Tomkins, Director of Research, Carbon War Room

Claire is an expert in water and energy markets and the environment, with 10 years experience working on a broad range of environmental management issues. She has an entrepreneurial background that has led her to spend time at Silicon Valley startups and investigating energy technologies.

Tomkins recently earned her PhD in Management Science; Engineering at Stanford University (in Sept 2008), where she was one of a handful of interdisciplinary scholars in the Economics and Finance Group pioneering new market models for energy and water. At Stanford, Tomkins worked closely with top scholars in the legal, natural resource, and economics programs to create applied market models that have relevance to public utilities, financial institutions, and policy makers. She was the lead researcher on a Woods Institute EVP Grant “Economic Incentive Models for the California Water Market” as part of her doctoral work. Earlier in her career, Tomkins was recipient of a competitive National Science Foundation Fellowship.

President Obama's Science spending

February, 2010
National Public Radio

The president's proposed budget was unveiled this month. How did science make out? This NPR "Talk of the Nation" podcast looks at the budgets of the major U.S. scientific institutions. How are research, alternative energy development and space travel affected? And will Congress sign on?


Thomas Kalil,
deputy director for policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey Mervis, deputy news editor, Science Magazine, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.

Dan Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy, Energy and Resources Group, Goldman School of Public Policy; department of nuclear engineering, co-director, Berkeley Institute of the Environment; founding director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.

Andrew Chaikin, author, A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, Boston, Mass.

Marcia Smith, founder and editor,, president, Space and Technology Policy Group, Arlington, Va.

Lunch Seminar: Sustainable Investments at the Deutsche Bank

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Where: Room 323 Barrows Hall at the Energy and Resource Group

Please join us for our weekly lunch seminar:

Brief summary: Mark Fulton is the director of global change investments at Deutsche Bank. In this role, he directs not only investments but also analysis activities around emerging clean energy technologies and policy support (DB has been every active in steering policy around Feed in Tariffs and on carbon pricing) on a global basis.

Rael Lunch Seminar: A Virtual EV Test Drive

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Where: Room 323 Barrows Hall at the Energy and Resource Group

Please join us for our weekly lunch seminar:

Brief summary: The 'Virtual Plug-in Test Drive' system allows the users to experience a virtual, customized test drive of a Plug-in vehicle using their smart phones or Laptops. Recent research suggests that the citizens' understanding of plug-in vehicles is insufficient to support them in buying these new energy-saving vehicles. While a multi-day test drives will be the ideal means to educate citizens about these vehicles, providing millions of such test drives is impractical. The Virtual Test Drive Project, which has two pilot vehicles already on the road, attempts to overcome this gap. 

Our system pulls real-time driving information from user's vehicle using a cellular telematics device or smart phone every minute. It then “translates” this data into virtual performance for a variety of plug-ins (such as a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt). The user can visits a website that visualizes what their driving day *would have been*, had they been driving a plug-in, including where they would need to recharge their battery, and how much money they would save on fuel.