Humboldt State University

Schatz Energy Research Center

Sustainable Futures Speaker Series

This interdisciplinary speaker series is intended to stimulate cross disciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. The series is sponsored by SERC and the Environment & Community Graduate Program.

You can watch most SERC-sponsored talks on SERC’s YouTube Channel, or via the direct links below. Videos of most presentations are also available to check-out from the HSU Library (index of available DVDs) or download via Humboldt Digital Scholar.

Spring 2017

* Unless otherwise noted, events are 5:30pm-7:00pm Thursdays in Founders Hall 118 *

February 16 (Part of HSU's International Educaton Week)
Seth Holmes and Francisco, Victoria, Jonathan, and Armando, Triqui indigenous Mexican farmworker research contributors
"Migrant Farmworkers and Our Food System: Inequalities, Health, and What's Gone Wrong"

This will be a collaborative presentation planned and given jointly by Francisco, Victoria, Jonathan, and Armando, Triqui indigenous Mexican farmworker research contributors, and Dr. Seth M. Holmes, an Associate Professor in Medical Anthropology and Public Health at UC Berkeley and attending physician at Highland Hospital in Oakland. Seth is Chair of Medical Anthropology, Co-Director of the MD/PhD Track in Medical Anthropology coordinated between UCSF and UC Berkeley, and Co-Chair of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine. His research focuses on social hierarchies, health, health care and the naturalization and normalization of difference and inequality in the context of US-Mexico im/migration and our transnational food system. For this research, he spent one and a half years full-time migrating with Triqui native Mexican farmworkers, living in labor camps and picking strawberries in Washington and Oregon, living in a slum apartment and pruning vineyards in California, living in a village in the mountains of southern Mexico while harvesting and planting corn, and crossing the border desert on foot into Arizona. The book from this work, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (UC Press 2013), received the New Millennium Book Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology, the Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Award, the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award, and the James M. Blaut Award from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.

March 2
Mallik Angalakudati
"Changing Energy Landscape in California"

Mallik Angalakudati serves as Vice President, Corporate Strategy at PG&E's Corporation. In this role, Mallik works closely with PG&E senior leadership to develop utility and holding company strategies. Prior to this role, he oversaw investment planning, resource management, strategy, process and quality excellence and contract management functions as Vice President, Gas Business Performance Management.

Mallik came to PG&E with more than 15 years' experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining PG&E, Mallik worked at National Grid in both operational as well as process leadership positions. His experience also includes management consulting and energy pricing and risk management.

He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, an MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. Mallik also earned an executive education certificate in Leading Change and Organizational Renewal from the Harvard Business School and a Master Blackbelt certification from the Villanova University. Mallik serves on the Operating Committee of MIT's Leaders for Global Operations program, Utility Analytics Institute Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Business Administration at St. Mary's College.

March 9
Michelle Medley-Daniel
"Harnessing the Power of Generative Networks to Improve Society's Relationship with Fire"

The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net) is one of the components of the Promoting Ecosystem Resilience and Fire Adapted Communities Together (PERFACT) agreement between The Nature Conservancy, the USFS, and the Departments of Interior. The Watershed Center partners with The Nature Conservancy to steward this nationwide network of fire adaptation practitioners.

Michelle is The Watershed Center's Director for the FAC Net, serving as the co-lead for the networks operations with her counterpart at The Nature Conservancy, Wendy Fulks. Michelle acts as a liaison in the network—directly working with member communities throughout the US to improve their wildfire resilience. She has been working with the FAC Net since its launch in 2013 and is inspired by the work that communities are doing to redefine their relationships with fire.

A graduate of Humboldt State University, Michelle's previous work includes coordinating networks of environmental educators and rural communities, and providing communications and development services to non-profits.

March 30
Sam Wade
"Promoting Alternative Fuels Under California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard"

As Chief of the Transportation Fuels Branch at the Air Resources Board (ARB), Mr. Wade oversees rule development and implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. In prior positions with ARB, Mr. Wade contributed to the inception of California's cap-and-trade program, authored portions of the 2008 AB 32 Scoping Plan, and served as ARB's deputy director of legislative affairs. His private sector experience includes work in energy policy at a major Californian utility and time with a bioenergy start-up. Sam holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Davis, a MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii, and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University.

April 6
"Bringing Electricity Service Under Local Control: Implications of Humboldt County's New Community Choice Energy Program"
Arne Jacobson: HSU Professor & Director, Schatz Energy Research Center
Matthew Marshall: Executive Director, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Shawn Marshall: Director, LEAN Energy US
Shehzad Wadalawala: Client Services, The Energy Authority
Moderator: Kevin Fingerman, Assistant Professor, HSU

This Spring, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority is launching a Community Choice Energy program for Humboldt County. The program is aimed at offering a cleaner energy mix at lower rates to local customers. This panel discussion will explore the implications of this bold move for our local economy, renewable electricity generation, and energy systems statewide. The panel is made up of key Community Choice Energy program team members plus experts on the broader utility industry trends this move represents.

April 13
Mary Ann Piette
"Commercial Building Control Systems and Energy Management: Current Challenges and Future Directions"

This presentation will discuss research related to issues in controlling energy use in commercial buildings and new opportunities with model predictive control. Today we pay energy bills monthly and control buildings without consideration of energy use. In the future, energy use measurements need to be part of the control system. Control systems are beginning to evolve in performance monitoring tools that we need to better manage energy while maintaining or improving the services provide in a building. This presentation will feature projects on Energy Management and Information Systems, a model-based energy advisor and fault detection system at the US Naval Academy, and US-China collaborative research on model predictive control. The presentation will also include practical opportunities for energy management on university campuses.

Mary Ann Piette is the Director of the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division and has been at LBNL since 1983. She is also the Director of the Demand Response Research Center (DRRC). The DRRC develops DR technology and the Open Automated Demand Response standard, which is a key element of the NIST Smart Grid standards. OpenADR is being deployed to deliver over 250 MW of DR in California and throughout the US. Ms. Piette develops and evaluates low-energy and demand response technologies for buildings. She specializes in commissioning, energy information systems, benchmarking, and diagnostics. She has authored over 100 papers on efficiency and demand response. In 2006 Ms Piette received the Benner Award at the National Conference on Building Commissioning for contributions to making commissioning "business as usual". Ms. Piette completed her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley in Physical Science. She has a Master's of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a Licentiate in Building Services Engineering from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

April 27
Darren Speece
"Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics"

Darren Speece is Assistant Dean of Students and History Teacher at Sidwell Friends School. A Humboldt State University alum (1997, BS Geology), he received his PhD in history at the University of Maryland (2010). After leaving Humboldt State, Darren worked for The Fund for the Public Interest, running citizen outreach campaigns for seven years on behalf of the PIRGS, Sierra Club, Human Rights Campaign, Forests Forever, Greenpeace, and more. His writing has appeared in Environmental History, Salon.com, The Chicago Tribune, and The Salt Lake Tribune. California History is publishing an article about the Redwood Wars later this spring. Defending Giants (2016)is his first book. He is currently working on an environmental history of Washington, DC as well as a history of the Maine North Woods. 

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