There have been several firsts at the Schatz Center recently and you can read all about them in this newsletter. We are all very proud of our first Fulbright Scholar, Richard Engel. Richard won his prestigious award competing against many PhDs and as he describes in his article, will be helping Don Bosco University in El Salvador to establish an energy efficiency and renewable energy curriculum. We wish Richard all the best as he extends our promotion of clean and renewable energy to Latin America.
Another first is the arrival of the Toyota Highlander fuel cell vehicle. As Greg Chapman describes, he, Jim Zoellick, and I picked up the car recently from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). Tim Lipman, co-director of the TSRC, arranged for us to test drive the Highlander as part of their program to evaluate its performance and consumer acceptance. It’s been great fun to drive a fuel cell car that performs so well and to give rides to family, friends, and neighbors. And along with the hydrogen Prius we’re already driving, we can now say that the addition of the Highlander is the beginning of a hydrogen fleet on the North Coast.
A third first is the delivery of our first Stack-Outside-the-Box™ to SERC alumna Denise McKay at Smith College. Mark Rocheleau reports on our design and production of the system, which is now in use in the engineering program at Smith. I had a chance to visit with Denise this fall, see their brand new $85M Ford Engineering building, and Denise’s labs in the new building. It is heartening to see one of our ex-colleagues doing so well.
In other articles, Richard Engel reports on our trip to UC Berkeley to deliver equipment and present a lecture in our DOE education project. And Jim Zoellick reports on progress with the RESCO project. We have great hopes that RESCO will enable Humboldt County to be a renewable energy pioneer.
I write this column as we are about to begin a new decade. The ten years that just passed were not the greatest, with wars, terrorist attacks, market meltdowns, and little progress on reducing carbon emissions. As we wish each other happy new year, let’s hope that the next ten years brings a greater commitment to protect this beautiful planet of ours.