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2014 Summer Institute for Educators

Energy and the Global Environment: Science, History, Politics


This three-day institute incorporated perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to examine how concerns over energy scarcity and energy sustainability can be translated into creative classroom instruction. Faculty, staff, and graduate students from the University of Chicago and other esteemed educational institutions from around the country spoke each day in a combination of presentations and discussions of curriculum development.

Questions included: how have energy demands shaped past and present societies? What prospects exist for a sustainable energy future? What are the human and environmental impacts of energy choices?

KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Professor Anthony Ingraffea (Cornell University) delivered the Institute’s keynote address on “The Science of Shale Gas and Oil.” Professor Ingraffea has emerged as the nation’s leading public voice on the environmental consequences of fracking, for which he was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of its “People Who Mattered” in 2011. In addition to serving as the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell, he is also the president of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Inc. Professor Ingraffea is a passionate and engaging speaker, and you won’t want to miss the video of his presentation from the second day of the Institute.

Intended primarily for elementary through community college educators, the Summer Teacher Institute is open to all interested parties. Attendees can earn up to 18 CPDUS by completing all three days of the Institute.

The 2014 Summer Institute convened in the “Performance Penthouse” on the 9th floor of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL.


Scott Aalgaard

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations

Scott W. Aalgaard is a PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago, where he studies in the Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations. Scott has spent most of his life living ‘in-between’ Canada, Japan, and now the United States, and is a former long-term resident of Fukushima Prefecture. His doctoral research engages with various forms of cultural expression, including music, literature, and social criticism, that grapple with some of the ambiguous notions of ‘community’ held by social actors confronting conditions of precarity in post-1970 Japan. Scott’s translation of Arakawa Akira’s “Confronting Home-Grown Contradictions: Reflections on Okinawa’s ‘Forty Years Since Reversion’” appeared in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus in June, 2013. Further translations of works by Nakano Shigeharu and Igarashi Akio are forthcoming.

Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer

Ph.D. Candidate in Egyptology, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer is a Ph.D. Candidate in Egyptology, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. She served as guest curator of the exhibit Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

Alexander Barna

Outreach Coordinator, Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Alexander Barna is the Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago

Seth Darling

Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory; Fellow, Institute for Molecular Engineering

Seth B. Darling is a Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in physical chemistry, he joined Argonne as the Glenn Seaborg Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in the Materials Science Division where he studied directed self-assembly of polymers and polymer/nanoparticle hybrid systems. Following his postdoc, Dr. Darling joined the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne as a staff scientist. His group’s research centers around polymer molecular engineering with a particular emphasis on organic solar cells. He also serves as the solar energy strategy leader for Argonne, through which he interfaces with a spectrum of internal scientists, engineers, and managers as well as external domestic and international stakeholders in industry, government, museums and foundations, national laboratories, market analysis firms, academia, and the media.

Bret Gustafson

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University

Bret Gustafson received his PhD in Social Anthropology at Harvard University (2002). He is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia (Duke, 2009). His current research is on the politics of natural gas, inequality, and political change in Bolivia.

Anthony Ingraffea

Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University

Anthony Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University where he has been since 1977. Dr. Ingraffea’s research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students performed pioneering research in the use of interactive computer graphics and realistic representational methods in computational fracture mechanics. He has authored with his students and research associates over 250 papers in these areas, and is Director of the Cornell Fracture Group. Since 1977, he has been a principal or co-principal investigator on over $35M in R&D projects from the NSF, EXXON, NASA Langley, Nichols Research, NASA Glenn, AFOSR, FAA, Kodak, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, IBM, Schlumberger, Gas Technology Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing, Caterpillar Tractor, DARPA, and Northrop Grumman. TIME Magazine named him one of its “People Who Mattered” in 2011, and he became the first president of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Inc. in that same year.

Aaron Joseph

Deputy Sustainability Officer, Office of the Mayor, City Of Chicago

Aaron Joseph is Deputy Sustainability Officer in the Office of the Mayor, the City Of Chicago. In this role, Joseph is an advisor to the Mayor on partnerships, policy, and messaging related to sustainability and infrastructure, as outlined in the Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda. Since his appointment in 2012, specific areas of focus have included energy, transit oriented development, and electric vehicles. Previously, Joseph worked in finance, focused primarily on real estate and clean technology projects. Joseph began his career as an engineering consultant, specialized in energy efficient lighting and green building design and construction. Joseph graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Linda Keane

Artist, Architect, and Academic

Linda Keane, AIA, artist, architect and academic, is passionate about greening public imagination. She combines a regenerative architecture practice with creative media projects, critical writings and public workshops collaborating with the public in creation of transformative learning experiences and environments. Co-founder of STUDIO 1032 with Mark Keane, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, she contributes to sustainable initiatives along the Milwaukee- Chicago corridor. STUDIO 1032 combines an architectural practice with animation and academic publishing for awareness of the complexities and importance of design of the environment. Keane’s socially constructed landscapes are rooted in nature, with artistic, environmental, educational, and entertaining intentions. She writes, lectures and publishes on necessity of nurturing K12 creativity, including ARCHITECTURE an INTERACTIVE INTRODUCTION, The Aesthetics of Sustainability, Eco literacy: Greening Public Imagination, Designing Design Education and The Culture of Design Education. She is a dynamic keynote speaker, online teacher and American Institute of Architects Webinar Presenter on 21st Century Learning Environments.

Mark Keane

Architect and Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; Director, Frank Lloyd Wright Initiative

Mark Keane is an architect, professor and active in academic development of design for K-12 Education. He partners an architectural practice, Studio 1032, with animation and academic publishing for general public awareness of the complexities and importance of design of the environment. Mark teaches design and drawing at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and also is director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Initiative. He produces award winning animated films on architecture that are shown at national film festivals, national and international architectural conferences, in galleries, museums, and on public television. In 2007 Mark was the awarded the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Teacher of the Year Award and in 2008 he was awarded the UWM Public Service Award. In 2009 he received a second National Endowment for the Arts grant for the design education website and was awarded the National Teacher of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Alan Mather

Principal, Lindblom Math & Science Academy

Alan Mather is Principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy, a Chicago public Selective Enrollment school. He was recently awarded the inaugural Stanley C. Golder Award for principals and heads of schools by the Golden Apple Foundation. Having begun as an English teacher, he now has over 28 years of experience teaching and administering in Chicago Public Schools.

Elisabeth Moyer

Assistant Professor, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago; Principal Investigator, Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy

Elisabeth Moyer is Assistant Professor, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago and a Principal Investigator in the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy. She received her PhD in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2007 she was a member of the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University, first as a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Change Science and subsequently as a research associate. She has participated in atmospheric science field campaigns on NASA’s high-altitude research aircraft since 1997. Moyer is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Chemical Society.

Meghan Vincent

Director for Education Outreach, RDCEP Center

Meghan Vincent is the director for education outreach for the RDCEP Center. She helps translate center research for a general audience and engages students in scientific research problems. Vincent received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Chicago and uses this background to bring a quantitative scientific methodology to social science research questions. The RDCEP Center focuses on high school outreach through classes taught during the school year and summer research opportunities.

Anant Vyas

Transportation Systems Engineer, Center for Transportation Research Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory

Anant Vyas is Transportation Systems Engineer, Center for Transportation Research Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory. Mr. Vyas conducts research on transportation demand, market potentials of transportation technologies and materials, and energy and environmental impacts of new technologies. During his 34 years at the Argonne National Laboratory, he has developed and exercised mathematical, simulation, and cost models for evaluation of technologies, policies, and regulations. Earlier, Mr. Vyas worked for 9 years at the Chicago Area Transportation Study (the erstwhile metropolitan planning agency for the Chicago area) developing urban planning models and analytical systems. Prior to coming to U.S. Mr. Vyas worked as an engineer for a cement producer in India for 8 years.

Susanne Wengle

Post-doctoral research fellow, Political Science, University of Chicago

Susanne Wengle is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago’s Political Science Department. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2010 at the University of California Berkeley, a MIA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.Sc. from the London School of Economics. Her book — Post-Soviet Power — will appear later this year with Cambridge University Press; her work has appeared in Studies in Comparative International Development, Economy and Society, Europe-Asia Studies, the Russian Analytical Digest and the Chicago Policy Review. She is currently working on a project on the political economy of food and agriculture in the US and Russia.

Schedule & Resources

JUNE 23 • Comparative Perspectives: Energy Around the World

8:00-9:00 AM   Registration & Breakfast

9:00-10:00 AM   Welcoming Remarks & Introduction

Andy Graan (University of Chicago)

10:00-10:45 AM   “Energy and Politics in Russia and the Former Soviet Union”

Susanne Wengle (University of Chicago)

10:45-11:00 AM   Break

11:00-12:00 PM   “Transportation and Energy Aspects of India”

Anant Vyas (Argonne National Laboratory)

12:00 – 1:00 PM   Lunch

1:00-2:00 PM   “How Oil Transformed the Modern Middle East”

Alex Barna (University of Chicago)

2:00-2:10 PM   Break

2:10-2:30 PM   College Admissions Presentation

2:30-3:45 PM   “Energy Resources and Uses in the Ancient World: Ancient Egypt as a Case Study” 

Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer (University of Chicago)

3:45-4:30 PM   Table discussions of curriculum


JUNE 24 • The Human Impacts of Energy Choices

8:00-9:00 AM   Registration & Breakfast

9:00-10:30 AM   Keynote Address — “The Science of Shale Gas/Oil: The Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells, Emissions, and Implications for Policy” 

Anthony Ingraffea (Cornell University)

10:30-10:45 AM   Break

10:45-12:00 PM   “Natural Gas in Bolivia: Resource Curse or Development Boom?” 

Bret Gustafson (Washington University)

12:00-1:00 PM   Lunch

1:00-2:30 PM   “STEAM as Design”

Linda Keane (SAIC)

2:30-2:45 PM   Break

2:45-3:45 PM   “Future from Fukushima: Critical Voices in the Wake of Japan’s Dark Spring” 

Scott Aalgaard (University of Chicago)

3:45-4:30 PM   Table discussions of curriculum


JUNE 25 • Energy Science, Energy Alternatives: Toward a Sustainable Future

8:00-9:00 AM   Registration & Breakfast

9:00-10:00 AM   “Teaching for Intuition: Energy Use and Technology”

Elisabeth Moyer (University of Chicago)

10:00-11:00 AM   “Hands-on Energy Demonstrations”

Meghan Vincent (University of Chicago)

11:00-11:15 AM   Break

11:15-12:15 PM   “The Solar Energy Challenge”

Seth Darling (University of Chicago)

12:15-1:15 PM   Lunch

1:15-2:15 PM   “Sustainability in Chicago”

Aaron Joseph (City of Chicago)

2:15-2:30 PM   Break

2:30-4:00 PM   “Creative classroom instruction”

Alan Mather (Lindblom Math & Science Academy)

4:00-4:30 PM   Final evaluations 

K-12 Lesson Plans

Click here for lesson plans created by Susan Dardar, an art educator in Chicago Public Schools, these innovative and interdisciplinary lesson plans combine science, social studies and arts education to teach students about the basic principles of energy science as well as the importance of energy sustainability.

The 2014 Summer Teacher Institute was presented by the University of Chicago Center for International Studies, the Program on the Global Environment, the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Southern Asia at Chicago, the Oriental Institute, and the Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy.