Having just finished my first week teaching at Sonoma State University, I wanted to return to my blog after some time away. This week is a very exciting milestone for me since being able to educate the next generation about energy issues has been a goal of mine for years. I'm teaching two classes, ENSP 330, Energy, Technology, and Society and ENSP 338 Electrical Energy Manangement. ENSP 330 is a survey course touching on nearly all aspects of energy production, use, and impacts. ENSP 338 provides an introduction to electricity and covers both technical and economic impacts of electrical loads like lighting and motors.
In the Environmental Studies and Planning Department at Sonoma State, there is an Energy Management and Design (EMD) degree plan available for students. The EMD program is broader than energy engineering programs, incorporating social and economic issues in the curriculum. This broader focus is an excellent fit for my own scholarship, which often goes beyond engineering to include business and economics. Many of our energy challenges in both the developed and the developing world require knowledge beyond technical and this program encourages that approach.
Another very exciting aspect of this position is that the school is located near the San Francisco Bay Area, a center of both technical and policy innovation in renewable energy. California's mandates for renewable energy such as AB32 make it an exciting living laboratory for clean energy.
Preparing enthusiastic students to influence energy policy in the future is an enormous responsibility and I'm humbled and thrilled by the opportunity.