Elyse contacted and surveyed over 400 Maine businesses to build an online supply-chain database http://www.winddatamaine.com for future wind developers. She also created a monthly, “wind energy in Maine,” newsletter for industry members and the public, and gave wind presentations to elementary age students. Finally, she presented her elementary school presentation to teachers from around the world who attended College of the Atlantic’s summer course focused on how to teach about wind energy in the classroom. We are happy to say that Elyse is now an SOE graduate student.
Archive for the ‘students’ Category
Garrett spent last semester as an intern in the Economics section of the United States Embassy in Moscow, Russia. Garrett: created presentations for the Ambassador on various topics, researched key Russian political figures, proofread and performed research for speeches given by embassy officials, and served as a note taker for a variety of diplomatic meetings. He learned to be highly adaptable as each day presented a new and interesting scenario. Though most business at the embassy was conducted in English, he spoke almost exclusively Russian outside of work.
The 4 + 1 program will recruit many of our best SOE undergraduate students into the SOE graduate program, while saving them time and money. Juniors accepted into the highly competitive program will start taking graduate courses during their junior and senior years, and be able to count those courses for both their undergrad and grad degrees. The 4 + 1 effectively halves the time it takes the student to earn the masters degree.
For more information: ECO 4+1 Program
This past summer I spent 6 weeks studying in Granada, Spain, and I can say without a thread of doubt that it was one of the scariest, but most rewarding decisions I have ever made. To give you a little background information, I have always had a weak spot for the Spanish language; I fell in love with it at the young age of 11 when I first began studying it in grade school. Now, here I am, almost ten years later, more fascinated than ever before with the language and everything that it represents. When I decided to attend the University of Maine, I also decided that I would pick up a Spanish minor. I did this – not only because it made perfect sense and would give me an edge in the business world – which I would eventually be joining, but also because I was not even remotely ready to give up on my dream of being able to speak two languages fluently. I deeply felt that I needed to complete a minor – to prove to myself that I had what it took to dedicate myself to a whole different culture and way of life.
Something I did not expect, however, was how hard it was going to be for me to complete this minor as well as all my other desired degrees if I were to spend a semester abroad, as I also am pursuing a double major in Economics and Ecology and Environmental Science, with a concentration in Sustainability, Environmental Policy, and Natural Resource Management as well as a minor in Renewable Energy Policy. It became clear to me that because I did not have enough room in my academic years to spend an entire semester abroad, I was going to have to go for a summer. I found the perfect program in Granada, Spain, where I would take 6 credits worth of intensive Spanish – the perfect fit for me, as all I needed was another 6 credits to finish my minor, and intensive language classes were exactly what I wanted to work towards my goal of becoming fluent in the language.
So I packed my bags and flew to Spain, and it was undoubtedly the best summer of my life. Granada, where I lived, is a small southern Spain city, where most people do not speak or understand English- including my host family! I was only an hour bus ride away from the beautiful Spanish coast, as well as the breath taking Sierra Nevada mountain range. While in Granada I took classes five hours a day five days a week. I was studying the proper grammar of the language, but at the same time taking conversation classes during which we were forced to use our Spanish to talk about everyday topics as well as current events.
The highlight of my experience, however, happened outside the classroom. I volunteered 3 days a week at a local orphanage, where I taught English lessons to children that ranged from ages 4-11. Although I was there to teach them, I always walked away feeling that they had been the ones teaching me – not just about the Spanish language, but about life. It’s not possible to put into words the feeling I got when I watched the face of one little girl named Maria who I became quite close with, light up when I would tell her she had done a great job reading a book to me. It was in that orphanage that I was truly forced to put my Spanish to the test again and again, and it was in that orphanage where I grew the most as a person.
From the bottom of my heart, I truly feel that studying abroad results in life experience that you cannot gain any other way. When you are on your own in a country that is new and undiscovered to you, every hour of every day is an adventure. The self-confidence you gain from knowing that you willingly chose to walk straight into the unknown, and you conquered that unknown, is completely irreplaceable.
Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Water and Land Use for Concentrated Solar Power Plants with Different Energy Backup Systems; by Sharon J.W. Klein and Edward S. Rubin
Concentrated solar power (CSP) is unique among intermittent renewable energy options because for the past four years, utility-scale plants have been using an energy storage technology that could allow CSP plants to operate as a base-load energy generator . No study has directly compared the environmental implications of this technology with more conventional CSP backup energy options. We compare the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water consumption, and direct, onsite land use associated with electricity production from CSP plants with wet and dry cooling and with three energy backup systems: 1) minimal backup (MB), 2) molten salt thermal energy storage (TES), and 3) a natural gas-fired heat transfer fluid heater (NG). Plants with NG had 4-9 times more GHG emissions than TES plants, and TES plants had twice as many GHG emissions as MB plants. Dry cooling reduced water consumption by 71-78% compared to wet cooling. Larger backup capacities had greater water consumption while NG plants had lower land use impacts.