Named after the founder of CIEE, the Art Rosenfeld Award is a fellowship awarded to graduate students committed to pursuing research on energy efficiency. Each year, one recipient who is passionate about technological or policy-based advancement in the field of energy and resource innovation receives funding to further pursue their research. Occasionally, we like to check in with the fellows to see how they have been using the support provided by the fellowship!
This February, we got in touch with the 2021 Art Rosenfeld Fellow, Taryn Fransen. Taryn is a PhD student with the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, with a background in Earth System studies. She pursues research in climate and energy policy to study the perceived conflicts between environment and economic development, currently focusing on the ways that “Nationally Determined Contributions” (NDCs) arising out of the Paris Climate Agreement drive energy policy in the G20 countries.
Over the past year, Taryn passed her exams and successfully defended her prospectus, which investigates the effect of international climate change commitments and GHG reduction targets on domestic policies related to energy efficiency and other critical emissions-reduction interventions.
Among other events in 2021, COP26 was significant for her research. She was able to leverage the heightened policymaker and media interest in her research area that stemmed from the UN climate change negotiations in Glasgow and from consideration of climate and energy-focused legislation by the US Congress.
Additionally, Taryn testified before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, placed an op-ed in Scientific American, and spoke with reporters from various outlets regarding the climate negotiations and their impacts. About public engagement, she said, “I view close engagement with policymakers and media as an opportunity to hone my research questions to be as policy-relevant as possible; these interactions underscore my commitment to doing research with the potential for real-world impact.”
In gratitude to the fellowship, she mentions, “The Art Rosenfeld Award for Energy Efficiency has been a very welcome source of support during an exciting and fruitful time for both my academic research and its policy implications.”
We’re excited and inspired too, and we look forward to seeing what the research yields!