EAP Monthly Dispatch
August 28th, 2015
Dear Alumni, Students,
In just a few days, an incoming class of graduate students will attend their first lectures at UW–Madison. I can only imagine their growing excitement, the anticipation of joining top-notch academic programs, meeting new friends, and launching their careers. I can't wait to meet them, and I hope many will join the EAP community.
As we head into fall semester, I wanted to say thank you for helping us with our summer alumni and student engagement initiatives. By staying in touch with EAP, you are helping us build an ongoing dialog between the program, alumni, students, and friends. We're excited about this new opportunity to connect with EAPers around the world!
In addition to these monthly mailings, we've also established new social media platforms to engage EAP alumni and students. We regularly post to our EAP program Facebook page to keep our community up to date on what's going on with EAP here on campus. By liking our page, these posts will be automatically included in your newsfeed, making it easy to stay in the loop about ongoing projects and upcoming events. We've also set up a networking group for alumni and students on LinkedIn. All alumni, students, and faculty of the EAP program are invited to join this group and share career opportunities with fellow EAPers.
If you ever have any other ideas for improving the EAP program, or if you would like to share your EAP experience with others, please feel free to reach out to us. We would love to hear your thoughts.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer weather!
Professor Tracey Holloway
Energy Analysis and Policy Faculty Committee
Question of the Month
July Report Back
Last month, we asked our readers what they'd like to know about their peers in the EAP community. Overwhelmingly, alumni were most curious about how fellow graduates continue to use the skills and knowledge they learned as students of the EAP program in their current jobs. Click on the red box below to let us know how EAP has helped you in your career as a student or alumnus of the program, and check back next month to read responses from fellow EAPers.
Introducing "The EAP Blog"
This spring, EAP students Eric O’Shaughnessy, Andy Lick, and José Ignacio Medina created The EAP Blog – an online forum for discussing modern energy issues with members of the EAP community. They were inspired by a blog set up by students at the Haas School of Business at UC–Berkeley. “We figured the EAP community was large enough to support a similar discussion,” Eric said.
Eric, Andy, and José launched the blog to support informed, lively, and fun online discussion amongst EAP alumni, students, and friends from diverse backgrounds, including industry, government, non-profits, and think tanks. “[We] want this blog to connect EAPers in San Francisco to EAPers in D.C. and provide a way for us all to share our ideas with each other wherever we are," said Eric. Ideally, Eric, Andy, and José would like to post a wide variety of content, “anything energy-related that conveys the types of skills that EAPers have. Posts can be rigorous studies or light-hearted analyses of current energy problems.”
Anyone can submit content to The EAP Blog by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The creators hope to post new content weekly. “We haven't met that mark in the early stages of the blog, but hope to get the momentum going soon,” said Eric. The blog went live on June 2nd, 2015, and the creators have noted an increase in traffic in response to promotion on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Eric’s favorite post so far is one submitted by recent EAP alumnus Ben Kaldunski. “I really liked Ben Kaldunski's post on micro-grids,” Eric said. “This is exactly what we are looking for. The post summarizes Ben's research and provides links to more information. This type of post will be great for exposing the talent in the EAP program.”
While EAP professors Dr. Greg Nemet and Dr. Tracey Holloway have both supported the creation of The EAP Blog, the online forum is run by and for EAP alumni and students and is not an official part of the EAP program.
2015 Energy Summit
Air and Energy: The Path Ahead for U.S. States
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Last chance for early-bird registration!
Air pollution remains a major health risk across the nation, despite improvements in U.S. air quality since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. The 2015 Energy Summit will tackle the inherent challenges of meeting goals for both clean air and reliable energy from the perspectives of state regulators, industry experts, and researchers. The event will be held in Union South on the UW–Madison campus. Click here to learn more about early-bird pricing.
When registering for the summit, be sure to RSVP for our EAP special event, The Future of Graduate Energy Education: Reflecting on the Energy Analysis and Policy Program (Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.). Registration is $10 and includes breakfast.
Eric O’Shaughnessy (M.P.A., Class of 2015) joined the EAP community with a unique perspective on global energy issues, shaped by two distinct post-undergraduate experiences. In 2008, after graduating from Michigan State University with a B.S. in environmental economics and policy, Eric took a job as an environmental policy analyst at ICF International in Washington, D.C. As an analyst, Eric evaluated the economic impacts of regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency and analyzed regulatory frameworks designed to reduce carbon emissions. Eric said the position exposed him to the “realities and challenges of environmental and energy policy” and taught him “the value of strong analysis in preparing responsible energy policy.”
ICF International's logo (left) and an image of the company's offices in Washington, D.C. (right) (Source: ICF International)
He explained how two of the world's largest dams are located in Paraguay, yet power outages in the country are common. The energy issues faced by Paraguayans were political and economic, he said, “the type of issues that M.P.A. and EAP students are great at tackling. So I decided to jump back into school to prepare myself for a career addressing energy policy problems.”
Three years later, Eric joined the Peace Corps as an economic development volunteer. He was stationed in San Miguel, Misiones, Paraguay where he helped support and grow local sustainable businesses. “The Peace Corps brought me out of the abstract and into the very real human experience of energy use and its implications,” Eric said.
Eric enrolled in the La Follette School of Public Affairs in 2013 and later added the EAP certificate to his coursework. While at UW–Madison, Eric researched price trends in home solar energy markets. His favorite courses included Public Affairs 809: Introduction to Energy Analysis and Policy and Dr. Sheldon Du’s course on energy economics. “They were both great and valuable to my current work,” Eric explained.
Eric graduated earlier this summer and started a new job as a renewable energy policy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. He credits the EAP program with helping him land this high-level position. The interdisciplinary nature of the EAP program “positioned me well for a place like NREL,” he said. “I use EAP lingo and my energy analysis skills on a daily basis. I would be totally lost if I couldn't quickly whip up back-of-the-envelope calculations using the types of tools that form the foundations of EAP. NREL is full of energy wonks who developed this knowledge over time, and I feel like I had a leg up coming from EAP.”
NREL's facilities in Golden, Colorado
At NREL, Eric’s work builds on the research he conducted as a graduate student at UW–Madison. He is currently analyzing trends in voluntary green power markets and forecasting impacts of the 2017 federal solar investment tax credit reversion. So far, Eric is loving his new job. “NREL is a fantastic place to work. I am surrounded by renewable energy experts who love what they do.”
Eric’s training as an EAP student helped him land his dream job. “It doesn't hurt that the lab is nestled into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains,” Eric adds. “My commute a couple days a week is a run over a beautiful tabletop mountain.” It’s no Lake Mendota, but it sounds like a pretty good view.
Eric and fellow EAP alumna Allie Cardiel celebrate their graduation from the EAP program at the 2015 Spring Social this past May.