Evaluation of the Salinas Valley Consortium for Sustainable Energy, Education, and Research funded by the National Science Foundation

indexIn collaboration with UC Santa Cruz and Hartnell College representatives, we implemented an evaluation of a National Science Foundation project designed to establish the Salinas Valley Consortium for Sustainable Energy, Education, and Research. The project was intended to help prepare a new generation of scientists, engineers, and technicians to address problems of efficient energy use with minimal carbon footprint. The  $900,000 project was implemented over three years. The Consortium brought together several partners allied in their interest to create economic and educational opportunities for residents of the Salinas Valley in emerging fields of sustainable energy. Among them were the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California Santa Cruz, Alisal High School, Salinas High School, the Naval Postgraduate School, NASA Ames Research Center, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, The U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Big Sur Land Trust.

The Consortium created two new bachelor of science degree educational pathways in electrical engineering and sustainable design engineering. A key component of the project was the sustainable energy laboratory, micro-grid and test bed. The micro-grid, or small scale power plant, is a cutting edge idea for delivering sustainable, reliable, and more cost-effective energy. The laboratory and micro-grid are intended to serve as a unique teaching and research facility, and are located at the Alisal Campus. Hartnell College’s Center for Advanced Technology on the Alisal Campus already houses a NASA Aerospace Academy and laboratory.

Learn more about the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Education program at http://www.atecenters.org/.