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Ogmius Newsletter

Graduate Student News

Marisa McNatt article for The Boulder Stand, “Changing the Game: Boulder’s Clean Energy Goals, and How a Lego Game Shows How to Reach Them”

Changing the Game: Boulder’s Clean Energy Goals, and How a Lego Game Shows How to Reach ThemCSTPR graduate student Marisa McNatt had an article in The Boulder Stand addressing using Lego blocks and “Change Cards” as a tool to visualize what would happen if Boulder, CO were to take more aggressive action for reducing carbon emissions, or to map what it would look like to meet its renewable energy targets through municipalization.

Excerpt: In July I traveled to the E.U. as a Heinrich Böll Climate Media Fellow, to learn about policies that the EU and Germany are implementing to transition to a carbon-free economy and translate them to U.S. policy-makers. My first stop took me to Copenhagen, home to the inventors of “Changing the Game” — a game that allows you to dream up your ideal energy scenario for a region in Europe in 2030 and see if you can get there under realistic technological and economic conditions. The Game uses Lego towers to visually capture the basic principles of the energy system. As you implement policy measures throughout the game using “Change Cards” that modify the energy system, the Lego towers are altered in tandem, so that the changes are visualized.

Participating in a round of Changing the Game on day two of my travels, I learned that even with a well-educated and ambitious group, it’s pretty difficult to overcome the technological and economic constraints to meeting renewable energy and carbon reduction targets. Despite the cultural and political differences between Europe and the U.S., there are similar constraints to transitioning to a carbon-free economy on either side of the Atlantic. Even for Boulder, the Game offers insight into what it will take to reach municipal climate and clean energy goals. Read more ...

Graduate Student News

Kanmani Venkateswaran Participates in TED: Environmental Studies

Wiley Ted StudiesCSTPR’s Max Boykoff and Kanmani Venkateswaran are now part of an open-source learning module through Wiley-Ted Studies: TED Studies: Environmental Studies – Climate Change. Wiley in collaboration with TED has published a curated series of talks plus specially commissioned educational support materials. Teachers and students can use TED: Environmental Studies to explore the issues relating to one of the biggest threats to our planet. Specially commissioned contextual essays, activities, and multimedia resources link the science of urban planning to the real world, plus expanded academic content such as key terms and further reading. More information.

Graduate Student News

Xi Wang Renewable Energy Policy Work, Appointment and Award

CIRES SpheresCSTPR graduate student Xi Wang gave a talk titled “Negotiating Power: The Political Contingencies of Renewable Energy Policy in the U.S.” She discussed how and why Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) emerged as the dominant renewables policy. Her paper examines how the RPS emerged in the state of California—one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy development—not as a determinative outcome, but as the result of contingencies. Her research provides insight into the complex political economy from which the RPS emerged; the contentions and negotiations between industry, environmental non-profits, and government that first abandoned and then advanced the RPS.

Xi’s work on renewable energy curtailment with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory was recently featured in CIRES’ Spheres science magazine.

Xi has also been selected as a Breakthrough Generation Fellow for the Breakthrough Institute for summer 2014. As one of ten fellows, Xi will be working in the Climate and Energy Program. She will be examining global greenhouse gas emissions embedded in international trade.

In addition, Xi has been awarded the CIRES Graduate Research Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. The fellowship aims to promote student scholarship and research excellence by embracing a dual approach of 1) attracting the best talent to University of Colorado-Boulder at the outset of their graduate careers, and 2) enabling graduating seniors to complete and publish their research results.

Graduate Student News

Kelsey Cody article for Society and Natural Resources

Kelsey CodyKelsey Cody recently submitted a manuscript to Society and Natural Resources. Cody, K.C., Smith, S.M., Cox, M., Krister, K. (2014) Emergence of Collective Action in a Groundwater Commons: Irrigators in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Society and Natural Resources (In Review).

Graduate Student News

Marilyn Averill Presentations and New Affiliation

Marilyn AverillMarilyn has several given several presentations over the past year:

  • Averill, M. (July 2014). Protecting Rights through Climate Litigation. International Political Science Association. Montreal.
  • Averill, M. (Dec. 2013). What Does It Mean to Agree? United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 19. Warsaw.
  • Averill, M. (Oct. 2013). Science, Courts and Climate Change. Society for the Social Studies of Science. San Diego.
  • Averill, M. (Aug. 2013). Civil Society Engagement with the UNFCCC. Taiwan UNFCCC NGO Conference. Taipei.
  • Averill, M. (March 2013). Courts and the Diffusion of Climate Science. International Studies Association Annual Conference. San Francisco.

She is now a senior fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment at CU Law.