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Seminar Series

UC San Diego classroom

Successful interdisciplinary research requires striking a balance between the benefits of academic discipline and the reality that big problems in decarbonization stretch across many disciplines. Our approach is to help scholars at UC San Diego learn and understand how other disciplines work — so that, over time, truly interdisciplinary work becomes possible.

A faculty seminar series is crucial to that process. It helps reveal how the sum of energy-related research on campus can be much larger than the individual parts. It aims to be a catalyst for new cross-campus, inter-disciplinary projects focused on the major challenges of deep decarbonization of the world’s energy system.

Open to faculty, research scholars, and advanced research-oriented students in the UC San Diego community. 

All talks will be via Zoom. Please contact for further details or any questions.

2021-22 Research Seminar Series

Sept. 29, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.
"Creating a Biofuels Revolution: What Does it Take?"
Speaker: Oliver Fetzer, CEO Synthetic Genomics

Oct. 27, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.
"Localizing Decarbonization Modeling and Planning in the San Diego Region"
Speakers: Gordon McCord, UC San Diego; Emily Leslie, Montara Mountain Energy; and Robert Pollin, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. | Register
COP26: Insights from Faculty and Student Attendees

2020-21 Research Seminar Series

Sept. 30, 2020: Max Boykoff, Director, Environmental Studies Program, CU Boulder
"Creative (Climate) Communications: Productive Pathways for Science, Policy and Society"

Jan. 27, 2021, at 2:30 p.m.: Chris Clack, Vibrant Clean Energy

Feb. 24, 2021, at 2:30 p.m.: Brad Plumer, New York Times 
“Covering Deep Decarbonization in the Media”

March 31, 2021, at 2:30 p.m.: Jay Apt, Carnegie Mellon University
“Electric and Gas Reliability – Insights from Actual Data” (PDF)

April 29, 2021, at 12 p.m.: Frank Geels, University of Manchester
"The Socio-technical Dynamics of Low-carbon Transitions: Insights from Innovation Studies and History"
Suggested Readings: PDF 1 and PDF 2

May 31, 2021, at 12:30 p.m.: Iain Staffell, Imperial College London
"Taxes, Subsidies or Regulation: Why have Britain’s carbon emissions from electricity halved?" (PDF)

2019-20 Research Seminar Series

Sept. 25, 2019: Peter A. Bradford, The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC)
"Determining the Role of Nuclear Power in Decarbonizing a World Where Costs Matter"

Nov. 6, 2019: Andreas W. Schäfer, Air Transportation Systems Laboratory, University College London
"Decarbonizing Aviation"

Jan. 29, 2020: Ahmed Abdulla, Carnegie Mellon University
“Understanding electric vehicle adoption and charging behavior: Evidence from a large-scale survey”

Feb. 26, 2020: Georg Heinemann. Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin)
"Solar Home Systems and the quest for energy access: an institutional economic analysis comparing Bangladesh and Kenya" 

2018-19 Research Seminar Series

Sept. 26, 2018: Ryan Hanna, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
"Pathways for Decarbonization: The Case of Distributed Energy via Microgrids"

Oct. 31, 2018: Jesse Jenkins, Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard University Center for the Environment
“Getting to Zero: What Will it Take to Decarbonize Electricity?”

Feb. 27, 2019: Mike Ferry, UC San Diego Center For Energy Research
"Steel for Fuel: How Wind, Solar and Storage are Disrupting the Future and Saving Our Planet"

March 27, 2019: John Kotcher, George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication
“Climate Change and Energy in the American Mind”

April 24, 2019: Pierre-Olivier Pineau, HEC Montreal
"Decarbonizing the Northeast Region: Hydropower, Capacity Constraints and Transmission"

2017-18 Research Seminar Series

Oct. 25, 2017: Steven Davis, UC Irvine
“Providing energy services without net addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere”

Nov. 29, 2017: Parth Vaishnav, Carnegie Mellon University

Jan. 31, 2018: Stephen Brick, Senior Advisor, Technology and Policy, Clean Air Task Force
"Charting Pathways to Deep Decarbonization: Challenges for Analysts, Policymakers, Advocates and the Public" (PDF)

Feb. 21, 2018: Valerie Karplus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Air Quality Co-benefits of Energy Policies: Evidence from Industrial Firms in China"

March 28, 2018: Ryan Hanna, UC San Diego

April 25, 2018: Julio Friedmann
"The New Technology and Politics of Large-Scale Carbon Management"

May 30, 2018: David Fenning, UC San Diego
"Long-Term Reliability as a Critical Lever in Determining the Impact of Emerging Solar Technology"