University of Minnesota Duluth block M and wordmark

Facing the Energy Challenge

Read More Homepage Stories

A Global Energy Action Forum

The UMD Honors Program announces a one-day forum, Facing the Challenge: A Global Energy Action Forum, covering the overall energy policy debate and a discussion about the peak oil and the long-term importance of fossil fuels. The forum includes a keynote address, followed by three panel discussions on the role of biofuels, nuclear energy, and renewable/sustainable options. A public discussion on the global climate change and the role of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels includes a dialog between Regents’ Professor Tom Johnson (UMD) and Chris Walcek (State University of New York at Albany). The event is free and open to the public.

April 27 Schedule:
6 pm Welcoming reception

Energy images

April 28 Schedule: (All programs will be in Griggs Center)
9:45 am – Welcome – Greg Reynolds (UMD Honors Student)
10 am – Introduction of the keynote speaker – Prof. George Shaw
10:05 am – Keynote address – John Jimison, Energy Future Coalition
10:50 am – Break
11 am – Biofuels and Transportation Energy – Moderated by Luke Busta (UMD Honors Program)
12:15 pm – Break
12:30 pm – Peak Oil Discussion (Lunch) – Moderated by
Megan Fuselman (UMD Honors Program)
2 pm – The Future of Nuclear Energy – Victor de Meireles (UMD Honors Program)
3 pm – Renewable and Sustainable Energy Options – Krysta Nelson (UMD Honors Program)
4 pm – Closing Statement
7 pm – CO2 and Climate Change: Where do we stand?

Biographical sketches of key participants:

Speakers (top to bottom) John W. Jimison, Tom Johnson, and Chris Walcek

Keynote Speaker – John W. Jimison
John W. Jimison is the Managing Director of the Energy Future Coalition. The Energy Future Coalition is a broad-based, non-partisan public policy initiative of the UN Foundation that brings diverse stakeholders together to bridge their differences and identify energy policy options that address the great challenges of oil dependence, global climate change, and the maintenance of strong and growing economies. Prior to joining the Energy Future Coalition in 2011, Mr. Jimison served as Senior Counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, advising Chairman Henry Waxman and the committee’s other members on a range of legislative issues in energy policy. His responsibilities included energy efficiency, regulatory matters, energy markets, and electric grid modernization. He was a principal House staff counsel on the energy-related provisions of the American Recovery and Revitalization Act of 2009, the energy efficiency and electric-grid provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and numerous other House-passed energy-related bills, such as the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Homestar Energy Retrofit Act, and the Rural Star Energy Loan Program Act. Mr. Jimison practiced energy and regulatory law from 1987 through 2006 in Federal and state forums. He was recognized as a leading national advocate for clean, efficient distributed generation and CHP, and as an expert on natural gas and electric utility matters. He continues to serve in the pro-bono role of General Counsel to both the International Association for Energy Economics and the U.S. Association for Energy Economics. From 1982-1985, he was Principal Administrator at the International Energy Agency in Paris, France, responsible for electricity and natural gas policy and analysis, as well as country expert for Spain and Australia. CO2 and Climate Change: Where do we stand?

Thomas C. Johnson
Thomas C. Johnson, Regents Professor, Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth, is the founding director of the UMD Large Lakes Observatory. He is considered to be one of the world's leading scientists studying the evolution of large lakes today. He was a faculty member on the Twin Cities campus from 1975 to 1981, and on the Duluth campus from 1981 to 1983. He moved to Duke University in 1983, where he was a faculty member in the Geology Department and Director of the Duke/UNC Oceanographic Consortium for 10 years. During this time, he co-founded the International Decade of East African Lakes (IDEAL), a project with results that brought great benefit to the field of paleolimnology, including significant advances in drilling/coring technology, education and training of U.S. and African scientists and students, as well as a better understanding of the physical dynamics, biogeochemistry and paleoclimate history of East African lakes. Prof. Johnosn returned to UMD in 1994 to establish and build the Large Lakes Observatory, and to continue his research and teaching activities. He is credited with over 120 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, dealing mainly with past climate change in tropical Africa. In addition to the many students and postdoctoral researchers that he has educated, and the junior faculty he has mentored, he has also advised a number of African graduate students who obtained their advanced degrees in geology or limnology through IDEAL and other initiatives.

Chris J. Walcek
Chris J. Walcek is Senior Research Associate and Adjunct Faculty, Department of Atmospheric Sciences State University of New York at Albany. Walcek has a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Walcek has over 25 years experience working on air pollution meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, and interactions between larger-scale meteorology, clouds, and chemistry of atmosphere.

Christina Mills
Christina Mills is a Staff Scientist and Policy Analyst at the The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. A native Minnesotan, she received her B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College and her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law. She coordinates IEER's Minnesota work and has worked on energy issues since 2008.

Panel members include:
Bill Berguson, Program Director, Forestry Program within the Forestry/Forest Products Division of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, NRRI – UMD
Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs, National Biodiesel Board
Mike Youngerberg, Minnesota Soybean Processors, Brewster, MN
Tom Ferguson, UMD, former VP of Minnesota Power
Jeff Bielicki, Ph.D, Visiting Research Scientist and Adjunct Faculty, Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Area, Humphrey Institute - Twin Cities

Written by Cheryl Reitan.

Homepage Stories | News Releases
Contact Cheryl Reitan,

Did you find what you were looking for? YES NO

Choose appearance:
[ Desktop | Mobile friendly ]