Serena is an Energy Engineering major at UC Berkeley, where she is engaged in number of activities, including:
Working at the Student Environmental Resource Center under the Zero Waste Research Center to help food vendors achieve zero waste goals, creating a culture of zero waste within the student body through education, and conducting research on compostable plastics recycling.
During the Spring 2018 semester Serena is leading a group of 9 students in working with the local nonprofit, Grid Alternatives, to install solar panels on low income family homes in Salinas, California during spring break. Her responsibilities include co-facilitating a class about energy access, equity, energy policy, and solar energy technology in California as well as coordinating housing, fundraising, and transportation to the location.
In RAEL Serena is focusing on the design, operation, power systems optimization, and social impacts of the clean energy mini-grid powering the Human Needs Project in Kibera, Kenya.”
RAEL has partnered with both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and a number of other groups worldwide that are engaging the Vatican and interested partners to utilize the dialog around The Encyclical to promote equity, sustainable development and climate protection.
Events in this initiative include:
RAEL and Vatican publications such as:
November 2, 2016 roundtable:
Actualizing the Vision of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Kammen, D. M., Alstone, P. and Gershenson, D. (2014) “Energy for sustainable and equitable development,” Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Extra Series 41, Vatican City 2014 Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Acta 20, Vatican City 2014
Climate Change, Consumerism, and the Pope
Brooke’s undergraduate career was profiled in the CNR Newsletter.
Isa Ferrall is a MS/Ph.D. student in the Energy and Resources Group and Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. She is interested in the impact of renewable energy on rural electrification, global development, and the domestic energy sector. Previously, Isa gained experience on both the technical and applied sides of renewable energy. She researched innovative energy materials at Duke University as a National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholar and at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as a Department of Energy Intern. She also has analyzed system data for Off-Grid Electric, a solar home system company operating in east Africa. Isa graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University in 2015 with distinction in Mechanical Engineering and a Certificate in Energy and the Environment.
Jessica Reilly who is currently supported by a Fulbright Fellowship to study coastal climate change in Mexico, has now also been awarded the Institute of Current World Affairs Fellowship. Over the next two years, Jessica and her partner Josh Moman will sail the Pacific coast of Central America, cross through the Panama canal, and move into the Caribbean to explore the region by way of the ocean, looking at climate change. She will use her mapping experience to gather data and build maps showing vulnerability to sea level rise for each country. By sustainably harnessing wind and sun to travel, Jessica hopes to access remote locations, share the ocean-bound experience of local communities, and listen to and document stories of climate adaptation at the shores of Latin America and the Caribbean with words, images, and video.
Nkiruka Avila is a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated with Summa cum Laude honors in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various sectors of the energy industry, from engineering design and production to end-use distribution and marketing. Her current research interests include renewable energy integration, sustainable energy development and rural electrification.
For a video summarizing the program, click here.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Africa, leading to greater natural resource scarcity, which has contributed to violent conflict in Darfur (Sudan), Mali, and Somalia, among others. This trend is likely to continue, as Africa is projected to be among geographies most severely impacted by climate change. Though the pathway from climate change to greater natural resource scarcity to violence is not a direct one, the risks of conflict will increase as livelihoods are threatened due to greater scarcity of food, water or arable land. With lower government capacities and limited funding to adapt to climate change impacts, and a relatively weak conflict prevention/resolution architecture in place, climate change is likely to have an increasingly important impact on future conflicts in Africa.
This assessment necessitates new policy planning and development thinking. Despite the threats, the broader global interest in climate change also presents significant opportunities to mobilize new interest and momentum for promoting green development in Africa. This can contribute to an effective conflict prevention strategy, and can also drive increased investment and more diversified economies, improved governance and development outcomes, and greater political stability. This project aims to build the theoretical and practical case for a new model for green development, which can provide both political and economic returns, while delivering both climate sensitive and conflict sensitive development.
Our 3–5 year goal is to seed and support a successful “green” pilot in a still to be selected geography in Africa. A successful pilot will require political buy-in and local political champions, as well as new external investment to support green development projects. This can serve as a model that helps demonstrate the political and economic potential of a green approach, the economic potential of a green framework to external investors, as well as effective conflict prevention. It is our hope that the model, once proven, will be scalable in other geographies.
Rob is interested in sustainability, resource use, and environmental change in the developing world. He explores these issues principally, though not exclusively, in the context of energy. He became interested in the intersection of energy, society, and environment while working as a teacher in the US Peace Corps in a remote community in northwestern Kenya. He uses an interdisciplinary approach that places equal emphasis on qualitative and quantitative methods across a range of scales, from local to regional and global. Follow this link for more information about his past and current research.
My research focuses on exposure to, and health effects of, environmental, behavioural, nutritional, and metabolic risk factors and their interventions at the population level. The research activities routinely combine concepts, data, and methods from a range of environmental, health, and quantitative sciences with a systems perspective. We collect and analyze primary field data on environmental risk factors (primarily air pollution). We also develop and apply analytical models to combinations of primary and secondary data to estimate health effects of risk factor exposures and interventions. You can learn about our past and ongoing studies, and see their results and publications, through the Environment and Global Health Research Group page.
Biomass fuels (wood, charcoal, dung, and agricultural residues) are vital to basic welfare and economic activity in developing nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where they meet more than 90% of household energy needs in many nations. Combustion of biofuels emit pollutants that currently cause over 1.6 million annual deaths globally (400,000 in SSA. Because most of these deaths are among children and women, biomass use is directly or indirectly related to multiple Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including environmental sustainability, reducing child mortality, and gender equity.
Taking indoor air pollution measurements in rural Kenya
Making charcoal, Kenya
Women gathering firewood, Zombe, Kenya