Stanford students earn fellowships named in honor of renowned environmental scientist Stephen Schneider

Schneider Fellows 2016. (Photo credit: Peggy Propp)
2016 Schneider Fellows. (Photo credit: Peggy Propp)

Stanford junior DANIEL RODA-STUART, who is studying atmosphere/energy engineering, will spend this summer in Colorado working with the Environmental Defense Fund to mitigate climate risks from oil and gas development on Western tribal lands.

MEGAN MCCANN, a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering, will head to Washington, D.C., to support World Resources Institute’s efforts to encourage clean energy entrepreneurs to collaborate with the larger utility sector in East Africa.

THAZIN, who in June will earn both a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in sustainable design and construction, will apply what she’s learned from internships in Myanmar, Laos and Indonesia to a Union of Concerned Scientists’ campaign to broaden access to solar panels.

CHARLIE JIANG, a senior majoring in engineering physics and co-president of Students for a Sustainable Stanford, attended the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris to film a micro-documentary on developing island states in international climate negotiations. He will spend the summer at the Environmental Defense Fund supporting implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

They are among 17 Stanford graduate and undergraduate students selected for the Schneider Fellows program in sustainable energy. Each participant will receive a stipend and fellowship travel funds to work for three months with a leading U.S. environmental nonprofit organization. Participating organizations include the Rocky Mountain Institute; Union of Concerned Scientists; United Nations Foundation; National Audubon Society; and U.S. Green Building Council. Three additional fellows will serve for a year at the National Resources Defense Council offices in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Since its inception, 191 Stanford students have completed the fellowship. They represent a range of backgrounds, interests and academic disciplines.

Established in 2001 as the MAP Sustainable Energy Fellows program, the fellowship aims to promote awareness of environmental issues resulting from past and present energy use and to support nongovernmental organizations. Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service assumed program management in fall 2015, and it is now part of the university-wide Cardinal Service initiative.

The program has been renamed in honor of the late STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER , an internationally renowned climate scientist, who died in 2010.

Schneider was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, a professor of biology, and a senior fellow for the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

He served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, an honor shared with former Vice President AL GORE.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to honor Steve’s pioneering interdisciplinary research and policy analysis on climate change, his commitment to sustainable energy education and his passion for developing environmental public service leadership,” said LARRY DIAMOND, the Peter E. Haas faculty director of the Haas Center.

Many fellows continue working with their nonprofit organizations after graduation, and the vast majority pursue careers in sustainable energy fields.

“One of the most significant contributions this program makes to the field is strengthening the talent pipeline,” said PEGGY PROPP, special initiatives program director at the Haas Center. “Through the Schneider Fellowship, we are building a diverse and deep bench of leaders committed to developing and promoting clean energy and energy efficiency solutions.”

Schneider Fellowships are among 400 Cardinal Quarter opportunities that provide university support for students while they engage in a full-time public service endeavor for an academic quarter or longer.

A full list of the 2016 Schneider Fellows and their projects is available on the Haas Center’s website.