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Public Interest – Energy Policy Institute

From Interim Dean Giacomazzi

The Energy Policy Institute

Energy policy impacts all of us every day. It affects everything from the amount we pay for utilities and transportation to the quality of the air we breathe. And the decisions we make regarding energy policy today will impact the health, security and prosperity of future generations.

The School of Public Service is proud to be the Boise State home of the Energy Policy Institute. EPI is a non-partisan and evidence-based research and advising center that works with policymakers, industry, and communities to advance understanding of the trade-offs that are inherent in decisions about energy policy.

In this issue of Public Interest, we’ll introduce you to Kathleen Araújo, the director of EPI. We’ll show you how EPI is facilitating conversations with national energy policy thought leaders and bringing them to the public through the Power Talks series. We’ll share a report on energy education written by faculty, staff and students associated with EPI. And, we’ll shine the spotlight on a Boise State graduate student who is doing impressive research in his role at EPI.

Energy systems are complex and imperfect. But the rigorous analysis produced by the Energy Policy Institute serves to advance sound planning and policy. This helps our leaders make informed decisions that impact the quality of our lives and to advance the public interest.

Thanks for reading,
Andrew Giacomazzi
Interim Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

School of Public Service Interim Dean Andy Giacomazzi interviews EPI Director Kathleen Araújo

Academics talking Academics in Elevators

In another exciting episode of Academics Talking Academics in Elevators, School of Public Service Interim Dean Andy Giacomazzi is joined by Kathleen Araújo, the Director of the Energy Policy Institute. Andy and Kathleen discuss: 

  • What is the Energy Policy Institute and how does it serve the people of Idaho?
  • What is EPI researching now?
  • EPI events that may be of interest to the general public

They also probe hard-hitting questions such as: 

  • What is a turbine’s favorite music?
  • What is a solar panel’s favorite drink? 
  • What is a turbine’s favorite movie?
EPI Faculty, Staff and Student Researchers write in The Blue Review

What Is the State of K-12 Energy Education in Idaho?

“Energy training and education are key to ensuring we can have informed discussions across every age group about our energy sources and infrastructure. Effective energy education empowers students to make political, technical, and socially-informed decisions about their homes and communities.”

In a new Blue Review article, faculty, staff and students associated with the Energy Policy Institute take a look at K-12 Energy Education in Idaho.

Read "What Is the State of K-12 Energy Education in Idaho?" in The Blue Review.

Energy Policy Institute Hosts Power Talks

The Energy Policy Institute hosts a series of virtual talks and events relating to energy policy and decision-making. Currently taking place virtually, Power Talks bring together leading authors, researchers, and technologists with those interested who are in energy to share insights and engage in discussion. All events are free and open to the public. Zoom links will be provided to registrants upon registration.

The Spring 2021 lineup includes: 

  • Oil and the Oil Industry in an Age of Decarbonization. With Richard Sears, Stanford University. February 17, 11:30 am MT.
  • The New CEQ NEPA Regulations in 2021: Potential Changes and Implications for Energy. With Temple Stoellinger, University of Wyoming, March 24, 11:30 am MT.
  • Planning and Policy across Natural Gas and Power Markets. With Seth Blumsack, Pennsylvania State University April 14, 11:30 am MT.
Click here to register or for more information.
Energy Policy Institute Graduate Research Associate and Masters student, School of Public Service

Spotlight - Dalten Fox

Why did you decide to study Public Policy and Administration at Boise State?
While I was originally set on graduate school in DC, I realized that Boise State and the surrounding city are the perfect live case study for pursuing public policy and administration education. A Medium-sized city and state capital nestled into a region of vast natural resources makes Boise and Boise State the perfect location for this type of program. Moreover, the relatively intimate cohort size allows for ample research and work opportunities should one desire to seek them out!

What makes Boise State a good place to study Public Policy and Administration?
The School of Public Service, its faculty, and its network of amazing opportunities for research and other positions is what makes Boise State a premier place to study PPA. Coming from a different state and university for my undergraduate degree, I have been amazed by the opportunities I have been afforded here. Since starting at Boise State, I’ve found myself serving as the VP for the MPA student organization, working as a graduate research associate for the Energy Policy Institute and navigating a lot of zoom interviews and application processes for different public sector entities that recruit heavily out of the School of Public Service at Boise State.

What are the most important things you’ve learned in the program so far?
From this program, I have learned that policy as well as its formation and administration are dynamic systems and no two processes look exactly the same way. Moreover, I’ve learned from my GA research that governance and its nuances exist everywhere and require deeper study and understanding so we can better the implementation processes of our various social systems moving into the future.

How have you been able to apply what you’ve been learning in the classroom to work outside the classroom?
The core courses have applied to my work in more ways than I could have imagined. In the more direct sense, foundational concepts of the public policy process have aided in my actual research endeavors at the Energy Policy Institute; core courses like Organizational Behavior and Theory and Public Personnel Management, however, have given me new insights as to how I should look at and consider the structure of my place of work, how to analyze the fluidity of operations, and how to effectively suggest improvements to the organization’s structure to foster a better work life, when necessary.