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.

Zoom Link:



Jillian smiling on a bike

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

Jillian is the Commute Options and Transportation Planning Manager in Transportation Services at Western. She develops and manages transportation programs and policies that are designed to reduce drive alone trips. Jillian earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in biology from Western and has worked as a researcher, high school biology teacher, and small business owner. In 2016, Jillian changed careers to follow her passion for transportation planning and earned a master’s degree in Sustainable Transportation from the University of Washington in 2021. Working toward a multi-modal future lights a fire under Jillian every day. 

Her Speaker Series presentation will focus on active transportation and transportation demand management.  

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Chris smiling in front of mountain

11/1 – Chris Connolly, Communications and Events Coordinator at NW Energy Coalition

Chris joined the NW Energy Coalition in 2022, where he leads the Coalition’s communications and event planning. Prior to joining the Coalition, Chris worked with the Endangered Species Coalition on the Snake River Restoration campaign. Chris has also managed a Seattle City Council campaign and helped pass several clean energy bills in Washington State with Environment Washington. He holds a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame.  

In his free time, Chris enjoys exploring mountains via skiing or backpacking, tasting the newest local craft beer, and cheering on his hometown team, the New England Patriots, to inevitable victory. 

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Amanda smiling in black and white

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

Amanda Cambre graduated with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture with a degree in Architectural Science and has spent her career working on implementing sustainability, clean energy, and energy efficiency projects for institutional building owners. She served as the Energy and Water Manager for the Texas Army National Guard, and as the Depute Director of Facilities for the Texas Parks and Wildlife. She also directed the San Antonio and Dallas 2030 Districts and designed and implemented utility incentive programs including Operational and Behavioral programs and Energy Master Planning services for 41 public building owners including the City of San Antonio, University of Texas El Paso, Mustang Public Schools and the City of Little Rock. She specialized in the intersection of design, operations, and functionality of the built environment and how improving those three areas supports conservation and the organization’s mission. She is also an avid worm farmer and compost purveyor.

Presentation Topic: "Spark Plugs" 

Driving explosive changes takes good timing, solid engineering, and connected processes that convert that explosive energy to pistons that drive organizational change. There are three key strategies that you can develop to ensure that the work you do leads to lasting revolutionary change where ever you go. First, quack like a duck, second, be bold, third, take advantage of the moments when they come. We will explore how these strategies can come into play in small and large projects and organizations as a whole.  


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Emily smiling in front of brick wall

11/15 - Emily Kent, U.S. Director, Zero-Carbon Fuels at Clean Air Task Force (CATF) in Washington, D.C.

Emily Kent leads CATF’s work in the U.S. on public policy, communication and education, and technology and business innovation for zero-carbon fuels—namely, hydrogen and ammonia—with the goals of catalyzing low-emissions hydrogen production and enabling its end-use in new sectors that may require zero-carbon fuels to decarbonize. She joined CATF in 2021, and her work has focused on advancing the organization’s efforts on zero-carbon fuels, transportation decarbonization, and U.S. federal policy advocacy. Emily previously worked as a consultant at ICF on climate change mitigation projects with the federal government. Her background at ICF was primarily in greenhouse gas analysis and climate change mitigation planning, both domestically and internationally. Emily holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Washington University in St. Louis. In her free time, Emily enjoys biking, taking her dog for hikes, and cooking.

Presentation Topic:  Introduction to Zero-Carbon Fuels as Part of the Climate Solution Toolbox

Zoom Link:

Amber smiling with dog on a dock

11/22 – Amber Peters, External Affairs Communication Specialist with Hanford Mission Integration Solutions to discuss cleanup efforts at the Hanford Site

Amber Peters is a Communications Specialist for Hanford’s integration and essential services contractor. She is a graduate of Washington State University and grew up on a small farm located just outside of the Hanford Site’s northern boundary. After a childhood spent peering over the fence at Hanford with curiosity, she has now been able to explore and learn about the Site from the inside-out, giving her a unique opportunity to share the site’s history, discuss current cleanup projects, and its future with the public. She is passionate about transparency and public outreach and engagement.

In her free time, Amber volunteers at a local elementary school, enjoys macramé and candle-making, and is a newly certified yoga instructor.

Topic: “Hanford Site Overview: Getting to know the Past, Present and Future of the Hanford Site”

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11/29 – WWU Alumni Panel

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