Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The HNC Energy, Resources, and Environment (ERE) Group

This academic year, a group of nine HNC students committed to addressing issues related to energy and the environment formed the HNC Energy, Resources, and Environment Group in Nanjing.  Current HNC Certificate student Mallory LeeWong sends an update from Nanjing on the many activities organized by the group:

The HNC ERE Group
Last fall at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC), nine students passionate about solving the toughest energy, environmental, and sustainability challenges facing the U.S. and China established the HNC Energy, Resources, and Environment (ERE) Group. The group –  consisting of master’s and certificate students from China, the U.S., and Germany – has furthered opportunities for HNC students to discuss ERE issues related to China, engage with leaders in these fields, and conduct hands-on local research to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world situations in China.

This year the HNC ERE Group’s main focus is its research partnership with the Nanjing office of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), an international nonprofit with a history of active cooperation on energy and environmental policy issues in China. The students are engaging in a three-month academic research project with GIZ to produce detailed policy recommendations in Mandarin and English for the Jiangsu Provincial Government on how to spur low-carbon development in the highly industrialized areas surrounding Nanjing. The HNC ERE Group’s work with GIZ embodies the innovative, cross-cultural, and practical approach that HNC and SAIS students strive to take in solving global challenges.

HNC ERE Group with Beth Keck at the Ming Tombs
The HNC ERE Group has also helped forge connections among the ERE communities in D.C., Bologna, and Nanjing as well as with the greater SAIS community. This spring the group helped organize the first tri-continental online video conference between student ERE leaders at all three campuses to strengthen cooperation.  The HNC ERE team also recently spent a morning at the ancient Ming Tombs (明孝陵) in Nanjing with SAIS alum Beth Keck, Sr. Director for Women's Economic Empowerment and former Sr. Director for Sustainability at Walmart. Ms. Keck shared with students her insight into Walmart's efforts to lead in global sustainability.

This fall the group looks forward to expanding its role as a forum for students at HNC interested in ERE issues and plans to engage in another in-depth research project with a local organization. Students enrolling at HNC in the fall who are interested in ERE can look forward to joining and helping to grow the exciting initiatives started by this year’s ERE Group.

Due to increased student interest in these topics, in fall 2014 the HNC is excited to begin offering a fifth concentration in Energy, Resources, and Environment (ERE).