A Message from the Director

Peter and Jim summit Glacier Peak

What we did on our summer vacation: Schatzers Peter Lehman and Jim Zoellick on the summit of Glacier Peak in Washington state. Mt. Baker and the North Cascades are in the distance. (Photo Credit Peter Kuhnlein)

The big news at the Schatz lab is that after 15 years at our present location in the Humboldt State University Annex, we’ve begun the process of building a new facility on the HSU campus. Though our present home has served us well, we are severely space limited and this poor old building, built as a hospital in the 1940s, has seen better days.

Our new Center will be located on a picturesque, hillside site only a few hundred yards from our present location. The new building will be about 50% larger than our current space and will provide us with room to accommodate more graduate students and a more complete lab and shop. In keeping with our values, the new building will be energy and resource conserving and blend in with its beautiful North Coast environment. We’ll keep you informed as we progress toward a completed design.

Our cover story this issue announces an exciting new graduate program spearheaded by SERC co-director, Arne Jacobson. The Energy, Environment, and Society masters program will provide students with the multi-faceted education they’ll need to tackle the daunting problems of climate change. Graduate student Ranjit Deshmukh describes his trip to Ankur Energy Technologies, an Indian company that builds a gasifier we’ll be installing and testing. Regular contributor Richard Engel describes our project with the US Forest Service to investigate using biomass to heat a nearby ranger station and Jim Zoellick reports on the grid-connected PV class he’s been teaching for several years. Though he teaches it three times a year, Jim’s class always fills up with local citizens eager to install a solar system. I hope you enjoy reading about our activities.

About Peter Lehman

Director of SERC and a professor of Environmental Resources Engineering at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. Dr. Lehman received a B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley where he conducted research on the aerochemistry of photochemical air pollution. Before coming to HSU, he has been a member of the faculties of Sacramento State University; California State University, Northridge; and Deep Springs College. While at HSU, Dr. Lehman has served as chair of the Environmental Resources Engineering Department, co-chair of the International Development Technology masters program, and faculty advisor to the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. His research interests include renewable energy systems, especially solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. Dr. Lehman's work at the Schatz Center includes the development of solar hydrogen generation systems, development and production of fuel cell personal utility and neighborhood electric vehicles, and research and production of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Most recently, the Center is involved in integrating electrolyzers into complete hydrogen generation and dispensing facilities, and developing and producing fuel cell systems for telecommunications, portable power and uninterruptible power supply applications.