Lecturer Rick Reibstein hosts webinar on ties between BU and local energy policy
Leveraging Universities for Advancing State & Local Energy Policy
August 6, Noon ET
Presented by Richard Reibstein
Earth & Environment Lecturer Rick Reibstein has recently created GE 532 Research for Environmental Agencies & Organizations, in which students perform discrete research tasks for government and nonprofit groups on environmental and public health matters. The course has proven to be a great way to supplement scarce agency and NGO resources and produce work useful to the clients, the students, and the public. He will discuss student projects that involved energy, including:
- Examining the potential for community solar to clean up waste sites;
- The implementation of community choice aggregation;
- The optimal placement of EV charging stations.
For those who might wish to consider replicating this approach, the conversation will cover how the course is conducted:
- How research tasks are identified and selected;
- The role of the course instructor in ensuring quality of product;
- The team relationship and independent student work;
- Contacts with relevant staff and experts.
Reception of student work has been enthusiastically positive in nearly all cases. Agencies and organizations use the class for research they don’t have the time to perform. Students learn about real world issues, make contacts and gain insight into how government works and experience that helps them get jobs. The work is made publicly available for anyone to use, at www.bu.edu/rccp. Some projects continue from semester to semester and some students have stayed with the class for successive terms working on the same or related projects. For example, one student evaluated tree retention policies for the state (these were for municipalities to implement), and in the next semester participated in a team that looked at getting carbon credits for forest conservation – both efforts should be considered as opportunities for carbon sequestration and part of a climate change mitigation strategy.