If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu and other lessons from the Reedsport wave energy project

by Robin Yeager on 11/29/2011

in Ocean, Renewable Energy

The inter-disciplinary master’s program at UCSD/Scripps culminates in a Capstone project. One of the benefits of the program is that our Capstone allows us to be creative. We could write a formal research paper, or we could select a topic and communicate about it in a non-traditional (at least for academia) manner.

I know how to write research papers. I wanted to develop a project that would interest me and my audience.  I wanted to combine my skills — as a writer, interviewer, photographer and lawyer — with a means of communicating that would not end up in a file cabinet, read only by my (truly fantastic) advisors, Kathryn Mengerink, Mark Jacobsen and Irene Stillings.

And so it happened that a Science and Policy class assignment (tip of the hat to NOAA’s Sarah Mesnick and SIO’s Phaedra Doukakis) led me to the Reedsport Oregon wave energy project. And that project, which I worked on with friend and classmate Melissa Yuen, now a Pew Fellow, inspired my Capstone.

oregon road tripI traveled to Oregon where seven of many individuals involved with the process of vetting Ocean Power Technologies’ proposed project generously took a great deal of their time to educate me, and those who may follow, about the do’s and don’ts of collaborating with regulators, stakeholders and the developer on a complex renewable energy project.

FishTheir lessons are memorialized in this video* (my first so please be kind) “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”, a white paper and a powerpoint presentation. The video is designed for people who are engaging in a complex environmental settlement process for the first time.  May you find it useful.

* new link with revised video added on 11.29.11

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