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Energy Transition Events Scheduled in October at UW

September 29, 2016

A keynote address and panel discussion focused on the challenges facing the energy sector is the University of Wyoming “Earth, Wind and Water” topic Wednesday, Oct. 12, and is part of a three-day set of energy transition-focused activities on campus.

“Energy Transitions: Finding the Balance and Path Forward” is the topic of the third in the series from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium. The program is part of a new initiative known as the UW Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), which is sponsoring a series of events and programs this semester under the theme “Earth, Wind and Water.”

Other energy transition-focused events are an Energy Innovation Center “School of Energy Resources Centers of Excellence -- Understanding What We Do” open house Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 3:10-6 p.m.; and the annual energy conference, “Landscape Discussion on Energy Law in the Rockies,” Friday, Oct. 14, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the UW Conference Center.

The “Finding the Balance and Path Forward” program will feature a keynote address and a panel discussion.

“Choices and Challenges of the Energy Transition: Moving from Rhetoric and Conflict to Reality” is the topic of David Lawrence and Brad Nielson’s talk. Lawrence is the chairman and CEO of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, and Nielson is Royal Dutch Shell’s former general counsel for global litigation.

According to the program, energy use is vital to almost every aspect of modern life. The primary sources of energy -- coal, oil and natural gas -- are accessible, affordable and abundant, but produce the most carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. Transitions between energy sources have historically taken decades, and separating the rhetoric from the reality of the current energy transition is difficult and clouded by competing agendas leading to obstructive legal conflict.

Lawrence and Nielson’s talk reviews the current status of energy use; explores scenarios for the future; and provides a practical framework for energy policy and dispute resolution in a world that needs increasingly more energy, less CO2 and where price still matters.

Panelists featured are UW’s Jean Garrison, Global and Area Studies director; Alan Buss, from the newly created Energy Education Initiative and education associate professor; Carrick Eggleston, geology and geophysics interim department chair; and Rob Godby, economics and finance associate professor.

During the Oct. 11 Energy Innovation Center open house, the directors of the School of Energy Resources’ centers of excellence will be introduced. Participants are urged to visit each of the center’s displays on the second floor. The displays offer interactive and hands-on demonstrations of various energy research tools and models, including virtual reality demonstrations.

Light refreshments and music by UW Department of Music Emeritus Professor Rod Garnett will be provided.

The School of Energy Resources (SER) provides seed funding for the centers of excellence, established as mechanisms to bring together faculty and graduate students from multiple disciplines to develop important energy research programs.

Current centers of excellence are the Carbon Management Institute; Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy; Center for Photoconversion and Catalysis; Center for Biogenic Natural Gas; Wyoming Restoration and Reclamation Center; Center of Excellence in Produced Water Management; Air Quality Center; and Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute.

The Oct. 14 energy conference, “Landscape Discussion on Energy Law and Policy in the Rockies,” features top national, regional and local experts who will discuss current energy legal and regulatory topics, the role of technology in driving public policy and securing a sustainable natural resource future.

For a full series of “Earth, Wind and Water” events for the fall semester, go to

The International Education Steering Committee (IESC) sponsors the IAS initiative. The IAS supports and promotes international and interdisciplinary research, knowledge sharing and engagement with the UW community.

To learn more about the IAS and IESC, visit

IAS, the Center for Global Studies and SER sponsor the latest program.

For more information, contact Garrison at (307) 766-6119 or

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