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Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014

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MnDRIVE Grant Awarded to Professor Elizabeth Wilson

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Humphrey Professor Elizabeth Wilson was recently awarded a grant through Minnesota's Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) initiative. The project, "Sustainable Energy Systems: Control Systems and Sensors to Link Rural Renewables and Demand for Sustainable Industrial Energy in Food Processing Systems" will be a part of the MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program. Wilson and an interdisciplinary team from across the University of Minnesota will explore challenges related to integrating renewable energy sources into Minnesota's grid system.

Read more about Professor Wilson's project.

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Autonomous Vehicles: The Legal and Policy Road Ahead

On October 31, Leili Fatehi, a visiting scientist in the Humphrey Science, Technology & Environmental Policy area, helped to organize the event, "Autonomous Vehicles: The Legal and Policy Road Ahead."

Held at the Humphrey School, the conference hosted a multidisciplinary group of leaders from academia, government, industry, and civil society to explore the legal, ethical, technical, and policy dimensions of automated and autonomous vehicles at the local, state, and national levels.

Learn more about the conference.

Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014

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Professor Elizabeth Wilson Discusses 'Smart Grid (R)Evolution'

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On October 16 as a part of the ongoing STEP-FAR series, Humphrey School Professor Elizabeth Wilson presented on her new book "Smart Grid Revolution - Electric Power Struggles." A recording of her talk is now available online.

Wilson published the book along with co-authors Jennie Stephens and Tarla Rai Peterson.

According to Wilson, the term "smart grid" has become a catch-all phrase to represent the potential benefits of a revamped and more sophisticated electricity system that can fulfill several societal expectations related to enhanced energy efficiency and sustainability.

Although discussions about smart grid have been dominated by technical and economic dimensions, Wilson's book takes a sociotechnical systems perspective to explore critical questions shaping energy system transitions. It will be invaluable for advanced students, academic researchers, and energy professionals in a wide range of disciplines, including energy studies, environmental and energy policy, environmental science, sustainability science, and electrical and environmental engineering.

The STEP FAR series is designed for students, staff, faculty, and fellows to get together in an informal setting to discuss their projects, research-in-progress, opportunities, and a variety of other issues related to science, technology, environment, energy, and policy. Learn more about the STEP-Far series.

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Lessons Learned from Chinese Cities

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Twenty students from the United States and China completed field site visits in six Chinese cities this summer to learn about an interdisciplinary approach to study cities, attend multiple field site visits, and complete a course project that was presented to officials of the City of Xiamen.

This experience was made possible from a $4.5 million Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant award to Humphrey School Professor Anu Ramaswami from the National Science Foundation.

The results of this international, interdisciplinary lecture-fieldwork course that trains students to address the challenges of developing environmentally sustainable and healthy cities has been published in The Bridge.

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013

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Park & Recreation Board Becomes "Watershed Hero" with Help from STEP Student

linnae.jpgThe Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was one of seven individuals and organizations receiving a 2013 Watershed Heroes Award by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District on Thursday, October 17. The awards recognize the important role we have in improving and protecting our water resources. The board was honored for its fight to protect Minneapolis lakes against aquatic invasive species.

Linnae Nelson, a second-year STEP student, serves as an aquatic invasive species inspector for the board where she helps prevent zebra mussels and other invasive species from Minneapolis waters. A native of rural Southeast Idaho, Linnae is the second oldest of four girls and grew up in a gorgeous place in between the Snake River and Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

She studied international economics and environmental science at Albertson College of Idaho where she created a campus-wide recycling program and was active in policy debate and model United Nations. Over the next several years she moved back and forth between Idaho and Washington, DC working for a Democratic candidate for Governor, Environmental Defense Fund's oceans program, the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, and the Green Dragon Organic Farm & Greenhouse.

Linnae is pleased that she can put her skills and passion for sustainability into practice with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in an award-winning fashion!