The Yurok Tribe, whose remote homeland stretches from the seashore to the inland mountains of northwest California, are close neighbors of SERC. We have worked with the Yurok on a number of occasions, helping them to power a telecommunications repeater station with a SERC fuel cell and build an off-grid residential solar power system to provide tribal elders with reliable electricity. Communities located on the mountainous Yurok Reservation are among the last few in California that have never been connected to the statewide electric power grid…and are also some of the poorest in the state. This situation results in a population with special energy needs.
In the spring of 2000, SERC initiated a collaboration with the University-National Park Energy Partnership Program (UNPEPP). This past summer, the SERC-UNPEPP relationship reached a new milestone with the completion of a renewable energy project six years in the making.
UNPEPP links national parks with university energy programs all over the United States. Students work as summer interns in the parks, identifying opportunities to improve energy efficiency or use renewable energy. Since the collaboration began, SERC and nearby Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) have successfully completed five renewable energy-related projects, including design and installation of solar electric and solar hot water systems and energy efficiency analyses at various park facilities.
SERC Director Dr. Peter Lehman and Senior Research Engineer Jim Zoellick recently provided a hydrogen safety and awareness training to staff and safety officials at the State University of New York at Buffalo. SUNY Buffalo just received two hydrogen powered Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles and a portable refueling appliance from Quantum Technologies. The project is funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Fall has begun and with it a flurry of activity in our education and outreach program. We added four new docents to our program, three Environmental Systems graduate students and one undergraduate in Environmental Resources Engineering. Our program now has eight docents, our largest group thus far.
During their first week, docents received training in our Hydrogen Technology and Education Curriculum (HyTEC) electrolyzer/fuel cell lab equipment and then provided backup support for the HSU Engineering classes that performed the lab. Even though the HyTEC project was developed for high school chemistry students (as described below), the positive feedback received after performing the lab in college courses demonstrates how the lab can be readily incorporated into college level courses.
SERC is pleased to host an exciting fall semester lineup for the Energy, Environment, and Society speaker series. This is the second year for the series, and we look forward to building on last year’s success. The series is organized in conjunction with the Environment and Community Graduate Program’s “Sustainable Futures” speaker series.
Speakers in the fall series include Dr. Anna Zalik of UC Berkeley and York University (October 5), Dr. Evan Mills of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (November 2), and Dr. Sarah Goldthwait of Humboldt State University (November 30). All of the presentations will take place on the respective dates from 5:30 to 7:00 PM in Founders Hall Room 118.
The talks will cover subjects ranging from oil and conflict in Nigeria and Mexico (Dr. Zalik) to the biological implications of climate change in the world’s oceans (Dr. Goldthwait). The presentations will also include a discussion of the socioeconomic and environmental dimensions of fuel based lighting in developing countries (Dr. Mills).
Video and DVD recordings of many of the lectures in this series are available in the HSU Library’s media collection. For more information about the series visit www.schatzlab. org/speaker_series.html.
Once again, I’m proud to be a Californian. As part of a landmark deal reached recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative Democrats, California will become the first state to impose a cap on all greenhouse gas emissions, including those from industrial plants. The agreement marks a clear break with the Bush administration and puts California on a path to reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by an estimated 25 percent by 2020. It will utilize a market program that will allow businesses to buy, sell and trade emission credits with other companies.