BASS CONNECTIONS (DECIPHER: DECISIONS ON THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF GEOENGINEERING THE CLIMATE)
- Description: As the climate crisis progresses, scholars, politicians, and many other stakeholders are more fascinated with climate engineering as a way to stay in line with the Paris Agreement. However, climate engineering can have huge ethical, governance, health, and environmental risks associated with it. The goal of this project is to assess the potential benefits, trade-offs, and consequences associated with geoengineering the climate. To do so, my Bass Connections team and I will research a variety of geoengineering technologies, examining risk-based decision scenarios through the lens of many different stakeholders (eg. government, businesses, NGOs, UNFCCC, least developed countries etc.). As well as exploring the science and technology behind climate engineering, we will discuss policy, governance, ethics, and more issues behind climate change and geoengineering. At the end of this project, we will produce a storytelling project outlining the holistic decision scenario for a type of climate engineering technology.
- Relation to GC Focus: This relates to my GC focus because one of the ways that water scarcity continues to grow is because of climate change. Examining the effects of climate change (including water scarcity) on different stakeholders, I will learn more about ethical and governance issues that must be overcome to ensure equitable water access to the globe, as well as technologies that have the potential to lesson this strain.
- Supervisor/Instructor: Tyler Felgenhauer
- Start Date: 08/29/2019
- End Date: 04/22/2020
- Total Hours: approx. 160
Environ231 (Energy and the Environment)
- Description: This course provides an overview of the current energy system in the U.S. and its impacts on the environment (air, water, climate, etc.), and the benefits and challenges of switching to a more sustainable energy system. By learning about all the components that make up an energy system (cost, supply/demand, the science behind energy generation, social impacts and more), this course provides a framework for thinking about how energy related events can impact many different aspects of society, and how our current energy system could be improved.
- Relation to GC Focus: As well as learning about how the current energy system impacts water access and quality, understanding the energy system is fundamental to understanding many other environmental issues because our current reliance on fossil fuels is what causes many environmental problems. Additionally, water treatment and distribution requires an immense amount of energy, so learning about possible ways to switch to a sustainable energy system can provide pathways to understand how water treatment may be done more efficiently.
- Supervisor/Instructor: Lincoln Pratson
- Start Date: 08/27/2019
- End Date: 12/06/2019
- Total Hours: approx. 45
ENERGY364 (GREEN GERMANY)
- Description: This course was an exploration of Germany’s leading global role in developing green technologies and environmental policies. We studied the history of German environmentalism and the cultural attitudes about nature, as well as the clean energy policies and infrastructure that Germany is implementing in its country. My final project investigated Germany’s Energiewende movement and its current challenges and opportunities for meeting the Paris Agreement Goals that Germany set out.The Energiewende in Germany refers to the planned transition to an alternative path of energy policy: one that strays away from the usage of both fossil fuels and nuclear power.
- Relation to GC Focus: Germany has ambitious goals related to energy and the environment. They include 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to 1990 levels and increasing the share of renewables in the energy supply mix to 80%. Though there are some challenges that are hindering their ability to meet these goals, Germany’s climate action plans are wildly more ambitious than those of the U.S. Learning about the policies that Germany has enacted to decarbonize its energy sector can help facilitate thinking in how the U.S. can more successfully move away from fossil fuels. The way we produce energy fundamentally impacts our water systems — water treatment and distribution systems are a major source of greenhouse gases in the U.S., and developments in our energy sector can help create more efficient and less costly ways of providing clean water to our communities.
- Supervisor/Instructor: Kristen Josie Dolan
- Start Date: 01/08/2020
- End Date: 04/22/2020
- Total Hours: approx. 75
docst315 (Narrating Nature: Documentaries for Environmental Studies)
- Description: This course illustrates how audio and visual documentaries and other forms of media can help to communicate/educate environmental issues to the public. Topics explored include environmental justice, energy, mining in the Global South, forestry, and more. Through analysis of other artists’ documentary work, each student in this class learns to produce several documentary pieces focused on an environmental topic of their choosing. For my final project in this class, I worked on a short film called “Redline, Green Spaces” that explores the racist redlining policies that occurred in Durham, NC, and how those policies affect inequities in green space access for BIPOC populations in Durham today.
- Relation to GC Focus: One of the biggest barriers to climate/environmental protection policy being enacted is the lack of awareness or education among the public about environmental/climate issues. To protect water bodies and make sure that the water that people are consuming is clean, communication about environmental issues that can threaten the quality of our water is needed. Creative media is one of the most engaging, digestible ways to do that.
- Supervisor/Instructor: Miguel Rojas Sotelo
- Start Date: 08/23/2021
- End Date: 12/03/2021
- Total Hours: approx. 140 (10 hr/week for 14 weeks)