Humboldt State University

Schatz Energy Research Center


Students are given a tour of a fuel cell vehicle.

SERC is an educational and research institute affiliated with the Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) department at Humboldt State University (HSU). SERC’s educational mission is to increase energy and environmental awareness and to offer people firsthand experience with clean energy technologies.

Outreach Program

SERC staff and docents educate the general public and K-12 and university students about clean energy technologies. Our teaching techniques include interactive lectures, hands-on activities, games, and physical demonstrations tailored to fit the age and focus of the audience. We attend career fairs, speak as guest lecturers in classrooms, and guide tours of our laboratory, the HSU Hydrogen Fueling Station, and the Schatz Solar Hydrogen Project. These facilities provide excellent opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience with renewable energy technologies. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more about our docent program. To schedule a presentation or tour, email Maia Cheli, Outreach Coordinator, or call the main Lab number at 707-826-4345.

Curriculum Development

SERC has a wide range of experience in curriculum development and implementation. From single lesson units on energy basics for 4th graders to semester long undergraduate engineering courses in Thermodynamics, SERC staff have the expertise to develop and implement energy-based activities, curriculum, and tools in the classroom with success. Some of our curriculum work includes:

Educational Equipment and Interpretive Materials

SERC’s education and outreach efforts make use of renewable energy equipment and interpretive materials developed and fabricated here at SERC. We have designed and built a number of fuel cell power systems for educational demonstrations and single-cell fuel cell kits for hands-on use in middle school, high school, and college science laboratory classes. We also design interpretive signs and brochures to educate the public about renewable energy in general and to highlight features of our individual systems.

Professional Development, Classes, Trainings, and Seminars

SERC staff regularly teach courses on energy efficiency and renewable energy both through HSU’s Environmental Resources Engineering program and the university’s Extended Education program. In addition to our local classes and trainings, SERC provides professional trainings and workshops to teachers, community members, and professional audiences nationwide. In conjunction with HSU’s Environment & Community Graduate Program, SERC hosts the Sustainable Futures Speaker Series, an interdisciplinary speaker series intended to stimulate cross-disciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. Visit our news page for information about upcoming events.