IES Speaker Series

IES Speaker Series

The Energy Speaker Series offered through the Institute for Energy Studies (IES) convenes energy experts from on and off campus, connecting Western Washington University with energy professionals from Bellingham and beyond. Speakers will explore the diverse fields of energy research, development, science, public policy, equity, and more, depending on their background and interest.

For Fall 2022, the Energy Speaker Series is offered as a hybrid class for WWU students. Students may register for ENRG 391 and receive 1 credit. These weekly presentations are held on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and are open to the community to attend virtually on Zoom. Please use this Zoom link to access the class each Tuesday at 4 p.m. When attending the presentations virtually, we ask that all audience members remain muted unless called upon to speak. Questions? Please email


Emily smiling

10/4 – Emily Moore, Senior Researcher, Fossil Fuel Transition at Sightline Institute

Emily Moore, senior researcher, leads Sightline's work transitioning Cascadia away from fossil fuels. Emily joined Sightline with a decade of experience in social sector strategy and program implementation. Most recently, she worked at Dalberg Advisors, where she advised clients including the MacArthur Foundation, the UN Population Fund, and First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative, among others. Emily holds her Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she researched topics including environmental justice and pay equity policy, and earned her Bachelor's from Brown University. Outside of Sightline, you can find Emily trying to convince everyone she knows to play pickleball.

Presentation Topic: Over the last decade, fossil fuel executives targeted the Pacific Northwest for coal, oil, and gas export schemes. Activists, Tribes, and communities fought back and defeated dozens of dirty projects, but the fight against fossil fuels and for a cleaner, healthier, more just future continues. 

Zoom Link:


mark smiling in front of grey background

10/11 – Mark Schofield, Community Energy Challenge Manager at Opportunity Council

Mark Schofield has over 20 years of experience as an educator, organizer and program manager in the nonprofit sector. He currently serves as the Community Energy Challenge Manager at Opportunity Council, a nonprofit community action agency based in Bellingham, overseeing a program that helps homeowners improve the health, comfort and energy performance of their homes. In 2010, Mark and his spouse moved into an old, leaky, poorly insulated home in Bellingham. Since participating in the Community Energy Challenge and getting the home weatherized, they’ve enjoyed vastly improved comfort and low energy bills. In 2018-19, Mark served as a member of the City of Bellingham’s Climate Action Task Force, working with other dedicated volunteers to chart a path toward meeting the city’s ambitious climate goals. He is a graduate of Luther College and holds a master’s degree from Lesley University.

Presentation Topic: “The Unglamorous (but Absolutely Necessary) Role of Home Energy Efficiency”

Home energy efficiency retrofits often take a back seat to other more visible approaches to addressing climate and energy challenges, yet efficiency provides a critical foundation for transforming our energy future. This presentation will explore recent developments that promise to make access to energy efficiency resources more equitable across our communities.

Zoom Link:

Kellen smiling in front of the water

10/18 – Kellen Lynch, Owner at New Story Studio

Kellen is a graduate of Western’s Institute for Energy Studies and of Fairhaven College, and in a former life owned a small bakery. His work grows from his home on the Olympic Peninsula where he runs New Story Studio which acts as a net with which to catch projects that appeal to his interests, like working on affordable housing projects or innovative energy policy. In 2022, Kellen was part of the national team that launched the first-of-its-kind Beneficial Electrification Toolkit. He recently completed a six-month bike tour to study energy, housing, and agriculture and is now working on processing that experience.

Presentation Topic: So Much Good Work: A conversation about what work might look like for a recent graduate, and how to find and align projects with your personal values.

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10/25 – Jillian Trinkaus, Sustainable Transportation Planner at Western Washington University

Nancy smiling in front of tree

11/1 – Nancy Hirsh, Executive Director for the NW Energy Coalition

Nancy Hirsh is Executive Director for the NW Energy Coalition. Nancy directs the Coalition’s efforts to enhance investments in energy efficiency, renewable resources, and low-income energy services through work with utilities, commissioners, regulators, and legislators. She serves on the board of Renewable Northwest and the Centralia Coal Transition Board. She is also on the advisory committee for the Institute for Energy Studies at Western Washington University.

From 1996 through 2014 she served as the Coalition’s policy director. Before joining the Coalition, she spent twelve years in Washington, DC working on national energy policy issues for the Environmental Action Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation. She lives in Seattle with her husband, children and dog. When not advocating clean energy solutions, she is an avid backpacker and hiker.

The NW Energy Coalition is an alliance of more than 100 environmental, civic, and human service organizations, progressive utilities, and clean energy businesses in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. We advance clean, equitable, and affordable energy policies by leveraging our analytic expertise and convening a broad alliance of people and organizations. Our vision is for Northwest communities to lead the development of an emissions-free energy system that equitably meets the needs of people, brings economic value to communities, addresses the climate crisis, and preserves the region’s natural resources.

Presentation Topic: “Energy Transition and Lower Snake River Dam Removal


Climate change and a need to reckon with social, cultural, and economic inequities are driving a historic transformation in the Northwest energy system. In the face of these serious challenges, there is an opportunity to create a more resilient and just Northwest electricity system free from greenhouse gas emissions. While the energy services of the four lower Snake River dams are important for the region, these services can be replaced with a diverse set of clean energy technologies that will perform better and are rapidly declining in cost. 

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11/8 – Amanda Cambre, Campus Utility Manager at Western Washington University

11/15 – More information coming soon

11/22 – More information coming soon

11/29 – WWU Alumni Panel

This session will feature a panel of alumni who graduated from the WWU Institute for Energy Studies. Zoom Link: