EnviroThursday - Honors Thesis Presentations

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM
Thursday Apr 13, 2017
Olin-Rice Science Center 250

"Political Leadership and the Climate: Is Climate Change Women's Work?" by Isabella Soparkar '17

In an era when climate science is politically controversial, recent polling data shows that American women are more concerned about climate change than their male counterparts. This research uses both voting record analysis and qualitative interviews with legislators to examine whether the observed gender gap on climate change persists among elected political leaders. Linear regression results show no statistically significant climate change gender gap within legislative voting behavior, and interviews suggest that though women may be more willing to collaborate on climate change policy than men, subtle gender differences are often overridden by partisanship. However, even small factors influencing political leaders' opinions on climate change matter in a world that must move towards climate solutions.

"Strategies for Increasing Deployment of Photovoltaics in Developing Countries: Lowering Implementation Barriers and Reducing the Cost of Technology" by Yifei Sun '17

Photovoltaic (PV) technology has gained increasing attention as an alternative to fossil fuels for energy production due to the problems associated with climate change and concerns about instability in fossil fuel market. While the emphasis of PV development has primarily focused on developed countries, PV also has great potential in developing countries, especially in the rural and remote communities. Through the discussion of current PV technologies and market, we find a potential of developing low cost PV as a solution for developing countries’ need for energy and climate mitigation. This talk will explore implementational and technological strategies of increasing solar PV deployment in developing countries.

"The Carbon Continuum: Assessing the Potential for Production Agriculture in Minnesota to Mitigate Climate Change" by Henry Whitehead '17

Production agriculture is responsible for the third largest output of greenhouse gases in Minnesota. Like energy and transportation, it is imperative that agriculture reduce its GHG emissions to lessen the impacts of climate change, despite the rigidity of existing infrastructure and the forcings of inertia. This thesis examines changes to farm management practices that farmers who produce beef, corn, and soybeans can adopt which not only reduce the farm's GHG emissions, but also provide a host of other benefits to farmer and land alike. In the best scenarios, a farm can go from carbon-positive to carbon-negative. By looking at innovate case-study farms from around Minnesota, we can see what a future agricultural system that is both more sustainable and climate-smart might look like.

Refreshments provided.

Contact: Ann Esson,

This event is for: Students, Staff, Faculty and Public

Sponsored By: Environmental Studies

Categories: Front Page Events, Lectures and Speakers and Campus Events