Open Position at the Schatz Center: Research Assistant or Engineering Technician

We are currently seeking one or more Research Assistants or Engineering Technicians to work at the Schatz Center in Arcata, California. Based on background skillsets, project needs, and interests, the selected applicant(s) will work in one or more of the following active research areas:

  • Offshore Wind Power: Examine the socioeconomic and policy dimensions of offshore wind power in Northern California by conducting stakeholder outreach and evaluating policies at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Off-Grid Solar for Rural Electrification – Product Performance Testing: Conduct laboratory and desk-based research, data analysis, and report writing/review to support deployment and quality assurance of off-grid solar electricity and/or solar water pumping systems in Africa and/or South Asia.
  • Off-Grid Solar for Rural Electrification – Analysis of Solar Product Users, Technology, & Impacts: Perform analysis of several nationally representative household energy surveys to characterize solar product users. Model environmental and welfare benefits/impacts of energy transitions. Develop and apply tools and approaches to assess the market-readiness of off-grid solar products.
  • Bioenergy: Analyze the performance of biomass conversion systems with physical testing and data analysis. Assess the quality of biomass and biochar products by conducting laboratory tests and physical assessments. Evaluate the market for biochar by designing and conducting interviews with biochar producers and consumers.
  • Renewable Energy Microgrids: Assist with microgrid and EV charging station design, permitting and regulatory processes. Assist with CAD drawing. Assist with evaluation of system benefits and business model. Construction observation.
  • Clean Transportation: Data processing and analysis of electric vehicle load projections. Perform optimization modeling to develop vehicle charging infrastructure. Review and apply equipment specifications. Contribute to translating analysis results to real world scenarios.

Application Deadline: All application materials must be received by 4 pm Pacific Time (US), Wednesday, December 19, 2018. A six-month commitment is required. Reappointment is desirable but contingent on funding, workload requirements, and performance.

Two technicians work with a solar module

Schatz engineering technicians measure the IV curve of a PV module

Schatz Energy Fall 2018 Newsletter

Page 1 of the Schatz Energy news

Our twice-annual print newsletter is now available to download. Features include:

  • The Schatz Center roof goes solar
  • A message from the Director
  • Project announcements and updates
  • Student research 2018
  • Lighting Global Quality Assurance updates
  • Northern CA coast offshore wind feasibility

Download the Fall 2018 Schatz Energy Newsletter

Open Position at the Schatz Center: Student Research Assistant

We are seeking a Student Research Assistant (SRA) to work on the development of an electric bus charging infrastructure optimization model. This work will involve programming in the R language, data processing and analysis, and basic GIS work.

The anticipated start date is on or near January 16, 2019. A one-year commitment is requested. This position is part-time, with an expected time base of 10 hours per week during the academic year and 20 hours per week during the summer. This is a temporary, non-benefited, non-exempt (hourly), non-state position. Compensation will be $11.28-$17.82 per hour, depending on skills and experience.

Application Deadline: All application materials must be received by 4 pm Pacific Time (US), Monday, December 17, 2018.

Students on the lawn of the Schatz Center

Student fellows, docents, and assistants at the Schatz Energy Research Center

Open Position at the Schatz Center: Research Engineer or Energy Analyst

We are seeking a research engineer or energy analyst to join our team in Arcata, California. The successful applicant will contribute technical and/or analytical content and assist with project implementation in one or more project areas including electric power systems, renewable energy system deployment, clean transportation, energy planning and policy, energy system integration, and/or bioenergy. Depending on skills and experience, the selected candidate may be hired for a mid-level or senior-level position.

This work provides an opportunity to make substantive contributions to the development of clean and renewable energy. (Learn more about our capabilities and our current projects…)

Application Deadline: The position is open until filled. Application materials received by 4 pm Pacific Time (US), Wednesday, December 19, 2018 will receive first consideration.

Schatz Center from above

Nov 1 lecture: the Native American reservation electricity access gap

For our final talk in this semester’s Sustainable Futures Speaker Series, Catherine J.K. Sandoval will explore The Native American reservation electricity access gap: a case study of the Yurok Tribe’s energy access leadership and next steps for energy justice and climate change.

Please note that this lecture will be held in the Native American Forum (BSS 162).

Catherine Sandoval is a tenured Law Professor at Santa Clara University, where she teaches energy, communications, antitrust, and contract law. Her research explores the intersection of energy, the environment, telecommunications, and underserved and disadvantaged communities — including the Native American reservation electricity gap and the role of net neutrality in powering energy and forestalling climate change.

Catherine Sandoval headshot

Sandoval served as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission from 2011-2017, and was the first Latinx person appointed as a CPUC Commissioner. She serves on the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California Advisory Council, and received the Chamber’s 2016 Warrior Award for her work to improve Native American utility infrastructure access and service. The first person in her family to earn a Bachelor’s, she received a B.A. from Yale University; a Master of Letters in politics from Oxford University, where she was the first Latina to win a Rhodes Scholarship; and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Download the event flyer

The Sustainable Futures Speaker Series at Humboldt State creates interdisciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. Fall 2018 lectures are held on Thursdays from 5:30-7 pm. For details on upcoming events or to request accessibility accommodations, visit our series events page or call (707) 826-4345.

Schatz Fellow joins panel on inclusivity at American Solar Energy Society conference

This August, Schatz Energy Fellow Thalia Quinn presented for a panel discussion on Broadening Access to Solar: Jobs, Careers, and Futures, at the American Solar Energy Society’s 47th annual conference in Boulder, Colorado. Panelists discussed paths for the solar energy field to increase inclusivity and the economic opportunities of underrepresented communities. Thalia shared her recent journey from undergraduate work in chemical engineering into the field of renewable energy. Moderated by Annie Lappé, the panel also included representatives from Grid Alternatives, the American Association for Blacks in Energy, Power52, SolarWorld, and Sandia Labs.

Conference talks included the estimated locational value of solar, progress in electric vehicle costs compared to combustion engines, solar resource and solar cost/benefit webtools, and current events in solar policy. The conference closed with a discussion of policies designed to increase the deployment and ease of procuring solar energy in the Interior West region. Jessica Scott described achievements and lessons learned from Vote Solar campaigns: recently, Nevada legislature submitted a ballot initiative pushing for a higher renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which would increase the state’s RPS from 25 percent by 2025, to 40 percent by 2040.

A meadow leads to evergreens, peaked mountains, and white clouds in a blue sky

Conference participants took a Sunday hike through Chautauqua Park (photo by Thalia Quinn)

October 18 lecture: Local water innovation through community-university partnerships

Headshot of Lonny Grafman

This talk will share inspiring solutions for water collection, storage, treatment, and conservation that have been created by community engagement.

Lonny Grafman has worked on and led teams for hundreds of domestic and international projects across a broad spectrum of sustainable design and entrepreneurship — from solar energy to improved cookstoves, micro-hydro power to rainwater catchment, and from earthen construction to plastic bottle schoolrooms. Throughout all these technology implementations, he has found the most vital component to be community. His first book shares stories and strategies for communities coming together To Catch the Rain.

Grafman is an engineering instructor at HSU; the founder of the Practivistas summer abroad, full immersion, resilient community technology program; the project manager of the epi-apocalyptic city art project Swale; the Chief Product Officer of Nexi; Managing Director of the BlueTechValley North Coast Hub; and the President of the Appropedia Foundation, sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Download the event flyer

The Sustainable Futures Speaker Series at Humboldt State creates interdisciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. Fall 2018 lectures are held on Thursdays from 5:30-7 pm in HSU Siemens Hall 108 (with the exception of Catherine Sandoval’s talk on November 1, which will be held in the Native American Forum / BSS 162). For details on upcoming events or to request accessibility accommodations, visit our series events page or call (707) 826-4345.

A pipe sliced in half to catch rain

A sliced PVC pipe is ready to catch rain at the Pedregal Permaculture Demonstration Center in San Andres Huayapam, Mexico

Achieving 5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2030: the local perspective

On October 11, the Sustainable Futures Speaker Series will host a panel discussion on zero-emission vehicles. For this special event, we’re bringing together experts in local planning, state regulation, mass transit, and advanced fuel infrastructure development, to share strategies for achieving a ZEV rollout on the north coast.

Panelists include:
Closeup photo of a charging car

Download the event flyer

The Sustainable Futures Speaker Series at Humboldt State creates interdisciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. Fall 2018 lectures are held on Thursdays from 5:30-7 pm in HSU Siemens Hall 108. For details on upcoming events or to request accessibility accommodations, visit our series events page or call (707) 826-4345.

Woody biomass poster & presentation given at the annual ARI meeting

In September, Sintana Vergara and Cassidy Barrientos presented on bioenergy and biomass emissions at the annual CSU Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) meeting in Sacramento.

Sintana presented ongoing research on the environmental implications of using residual woody biomass — a timber industry byproduct — as an energy resource, specifically within California. Ongoing work to develop a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for evaluating the climate change implications of mobilizing woody biomass for electricity production has uncovered a potentially significant source of greenhouse gas emissions: storage of woody biomass. Current work, funded by ARI, is now focused on characterizing these emissions.

Cassidy assisted with Sintana’s talk, and also presented a poster synthesizing what we know about greenhouse gas emissions from woody biomass. This poster presented a literature review of published studies that directly measured carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions from woody biomass stockpiles.

A jpeg of the linked pdf poster

October 4 lecture: A Rising Tide Lifts All Bytes

A rising tide lifts all bytes: marine energy R&D at the Pacific Marine Energy Center

Humanity has been harnessing tidal power for more than 1,000 years, and producing electricity from tides for more than 100 years. Tidal electricity generation is greenhouse gas-free, eminently predictable, sub-sea surface, and often co-located with demand; yet tidal power has seen slower adoption and deployment than other renewables such as wind or solar power. In this talk, Dr. Benjamin Maurer will share what the Pacific Marine Energy Center is doing to address the remaining key challenges in tidal power and how that R&D plays into the changing market landscape for marine energy. From autonomous subsea robotics to underwater data centers, he’ll cover the promise and potential pitfalls of this renewable energy resource.

Benjamin Maurer headshot

Maurer is the Associate Director of the Pacific Marine Energy Center, a multi-university consortium dedicated to the responsible advancement of ocean energy technologies, and a researcher at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory. He works closely with undergraduate and graduate students, startups, large corporations, regulators, government clients, and other stakeholders to address key challenges in harvesting power from the waves, tides, currents, and offshore winds. Maurer’s prior work includes positions supporting a $100M/yr US Department of Energy portfolio of ocean technology technology awards; conducting fluid dynamics experiments at the University of Cambridge GK Batchelor Laboratory; and piloting ROVs for the National Marine Fisheries Service. He holds a PhD in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, an MS in Engineering Sciences from UC, San Diego, and undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy also from UCSD. He is an avid surfer, swimmer, and research diver.

Download the event flyer

The Sustainable Futures Speaker Series at Humboldt State creates interdisciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. Fall 2018 lectures are held on Thursdays from 5:30-7 pm in HSU Siemens Hall 108. For details on upcoming events or to request accessibility accommodations, visit our series events page or call (707) 826-4345.