Investigating Policies for the Expansion of Renewable Energy in Missouri: A Research Internship Connecting Science and Policy

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Wednesday


Victoria I Cheatham, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Promoting new green technologies and massively adopting renewable energies is a critical mitigation tactic in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. This presentation describes a three-month research internship with Renew Missouri, a non-profit organization with legal and policy expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the State of Missouri. This National Science Foundation funded internship is designed to enhance graduate students' knowledge and skills relevant to non-academic careers. The project has four key objectives: 1) research policies that have the potential to increase energy efficacy in Missouri, 2) synthesize climate change science research that is relevant to the region, 3) craft science-based public messaging to explain policies and potential for action, 4) summarize recent policy gains in other states. Renew Missouri works in county and city offices throughout Missouri on environmental policy issues such as energy efficiency programs, greater access to energy from solar power, and general ordinances that promote renewable energy. The organization's approach to advancing policy is to bring energy stakeholders together to promote education and productive dialogue. The internship is a partnership between a university and a non-profit organization to provide training for graduate students on the role of science in decision making and policy development. Project findings highlight the need for scientists to continue to reach out to policymakers and the general public. Communication and community engagement with scientists helps inform the creation of science-based policies to mitigate the effects of climate change.