Energy Forum, GEP 416, Spring 2020

Instructor Daniel Soto
Office Stevenson 3016E
Meeting Time W 4:00 pm -- 5:15 pm
Classroom ETC (Environmental Technology Center)
Units 2

Office Hours and Email

Signup is online and can be accessed through my website at Please meet with me during office hours for any grade checks or other issues that require individual attention.

When you send email, please put [GEP 416] in your subject line. This helps me identify and respond to student emails more quickly.

Course Description

The Energy Forum is a lecture series offered in the spring semester of each year. Its goal is to expose students to current ideas and activities in the energy field, support interaction with the professional community, find out about the work some of our alumni are doing. It is my hope that the course will expose you to topics, speakers, careers and firms that you find interesting and worth pursuing. Energy Forum sessions typically feature a guest speaker making a one-hour presentation on an energy-related topic, followed by a question-and-answer period. Forum presentations at the ETC are open to members of the SSU community and the general public if space permits.

Course-level Learning Objectives

  • Able to describe the application of energy skills and knowledge in professional contexts
  • Able to describe the value of your academic preparation to professionals
  • Able to plan post-graduate learning and training to qualify for future work
  • Able to prepare questions for a speaker based on a lecture
  • Exposure to professional opportunities
  • Exposure to new technologies and business models
  • Development of professional communication skills

Class Organization and Schedule

This is a speaker--discussion series. You are expected to attend lectures and prepare reflective questions for the speaker for a discussion and a short reflection essay. There will be at least three longer written assignments during the semester.

Course Schedule

The tentative schedule for our speakers is:

Wed 22 Jan 2020 Introduction
Wed 29 Jan 2020 David Leibman, Austin Beach, SRJC
Wed 05 Feb 2020 No Class
Wed 12 Feb 2020 Jay Golden, RE Munich Capital
Wed 19 Feb 2020 Neil Bulger, Red Car Analytics
Wed 26 Feb 2020 Emily Ray, Political Science, SSU
Wed 4 Mar 2020 Resume and Cover Letter Workshop
Wed 11 Mar 2020 Internship and Alumni Search
Wed 18 Mar 2020 Spring Break
Wed 25 Mar 2020 TBD (SSU Facilities?)
Wed 1 Apr 2020 TBD (PGE Liability?)
Wed 8 Apr 2020 Jake Saville, Rick's Energy
Wed 15 Apr 2020 Professional Develompent Opportunities
Wed 22 Apr 2020 Job Application Workshop
Wed 29 Apr 2020 Recent Grads Panel
Wed 6 May 2020 EMD Mixer

Course Components and Requirements


You are expected to take notes during the discussions. From these notes you will prepare a short reflection essay as well as questions for the speaker. If you are not in class, you won't receive credit for that day's work.


This course is graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. To receive credit, you must:

  • Turn in all assignments by the deadlines and receive full credit
  • Maintain a 90% average on the classwork (questions and reflections)

Class Norms and Agreements

Late Work

To reinforce habits of consistency and accountability, as a rule late work is not accepted in this class. However, students often have circumstances beyond their control that interfere with their studies. If you believe you have a compelling case for a late assignment, make an office hours appointment with me and I'll consider granting an extension.

Excused Absences

If you miss class due to an unexcused absence, you will receive a zero on that day's classwork grade.

I grant excused absences when I receive a notification before the start of class with a brief and compelling reason for the absence. You do not need to reveal any personal information in your reason.

Please use this Excused Absence Form to submit a request for an excused absence.

Question Forum

We will maintain a forum on Canvas where anyone in the class can post questions and answer them. If you have a question that doesn't require privacy, please post it in the forum. This allows everyone to benefit from the question and contribute to a solution.

Respectful tone in classroom

Civility is required from all students during discussions and interactions. In general, I expect students to be completely supportive of each others learning goals.

Minimize electronic distractions

An important skill is self-regulation against distractions and electronic devices are a potent source of distraction.

However, internet-connected electronic devices (phones, tablets) may be used in class for learning purposes. If these devices distract from your learning or your classmates learning I reserve the right to limit their use.

Willingness to take risks and experiment

I frequently try new approaches to teaching and learning. These are always with the intention of making this class as beneficial to you as possible.

University Policies

There are important University policies that you should be aware of, such as the add/drop policy; cheating and plagiarism policy, grade appeal procedures; accommodations for students with disabilities and the diversity vision statement. Go to this URL to find them.

Basic Needs

Any student who believes their performance in the course may be affected by their access to sufficient food, stable housing, or their citizenship status is encouraged to seek out assistance from Sonoma State. If you are comfortable with it, please notify me as well so I can help direct you to any available resources.

Natural Disasters

If the campus is closed, any assignments or work that were due during the closure will be postponed. When the campus is reopened, we will discuss a new schedule and new assignment due dates. If you are personally affected by a natural disaster but the campus isn't closed, you will be granted extensions on any work.