EESI Proposed Centers and Initiatives 2014

Three years ago, EESI and PSIEE co-funded an inter-college ‘initiative’ (housed in EESI) called the Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Initiative (EEEPI).

Main goal: provide a focal point for a faculty/student group of (mainly) economists working on energy and natural resource problems scattered around campus.

Initial endowment was $10,000 per year (50% EESI and 50% PSIEE) for three years.

Co-Directors (Blumsack, Fisher-Vanden)

Active Faculty: Andrew Kleit (EME) Mike Jacobsen (ESM) Zhen Lei (EME) Rich Ready (AgEc) Uday Shanbhag (Ind. Engr.) Jim Shortle (AgEc) Mort Webster (EME) Doug Wrenn (AgEc)

Graduate students in EMS, CAS, COE and interdisciplinary research partners

EESI, PSIEE with supplementary support: EMS-EI, ENRI, MICASU and Ryan Endowments in EMS

  • Regular seminar series
  • Seed grant competitions
  • Cross-College graduate education coordination
  • Proposal coordination and support
  • Web site
  • Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy lunchtime seminars held every 2 – 3 weeks during fall and spring term.
  • Attendance is usually more than 20 students and faculty from EMS, CAS and COE.
  • Penn State speakers: Students and faculty (especially new or pre-tenure faculty) who could benefit from a low-stress environment to get feedback on research ideas; introduce themselves to the community; or practice job talks.
  • External speakers: People that we want to work with or people that we would want to recruit someday.
  • Open small-grant competition held one to three times per year;

  • Focus on helping pre-tenure faculty and Ph.D. students develop interesting ideas; buy data or software; supplement other travel funds to gain exposure;
  • In return we ask for acknowledgment in papers and conference presentations - more than a dozen such acknowledgments.
  • For economists, we aren’t very efficient.
  • There are multiple applied econ type of programs on campus that have historically been isolated from one another.
  • Initial focus on coordinating and cross-listing graduate course offerings between EME and AERS. This frees up faculty time to do something more productive than teach yet another grad-level microeconomics course.
  • EEEPI leadership tries to help people find one another for proposal teaming.
  • Many of our other activities indirectly support proposal-writing (e.g. seed grants).
  • Blumsack Cyber-SEES (joint grad funding with EMS-EI)
  • Lei NSF SciSP (seeds grants to his students)
  • FAA ASCENT COE (organized short concept papers)
  • Current web site is but it’s in the middle of a major upgrade.
  • We have reserved if we want to use it in the future.
  • CEEEP expenses
  • Transition ‘Initiative’ to ‘Center’ status
  • Find ways to involve other faculty more deeply (e.g. running seminar series)
  • Keep momentum going by taking proposal leadership roles more often and working with other Centers/Institutes:
  • Various NSF SEES programs (plus others in the pipeline)
  • NSF workshop proposal ideas – integrated energy/climate modeling
  • Sloan Foundation energy/environment program
  • Another try at RISA?
  • More joint seminars and activities
  • Cross-College graduate program? Finally?
  • We request that EESI keep our funding stable at $5,000 per year.
  • ENRI has agreed to kick in $2,000 per year and we hope to continue to work with EMS-EI.
  • EESI + ENRI = I can go to PSIEE and ask them to continue supporting our work.
  • Additional support may be available through the Dean’s ‘policy’ initiative.