Yale Climate and Energy Institute Faces Challenges of Climate Change

A former executive vice president for exploration and commercial at Shell Upstream Americas and head of Global Exploration for Royal Dutch Shell, and a Yale geology Ph.D., David Lawrence was recently named chairman of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute External Advisory Board. With a nearly 30-year career at Shell in various roles, David Lawrence provides advice and support to the Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI) based on extensive global experience in the energy industry, including oil and gas, LNG, renewables, finance, uranium and coal. During his career, Lawrence has worked in academia, government, and the private sector and currently also serves on the Board of Stone Energy Corporation.

In its efforts to enable the world to adapt its energy, economic, and social systems to environmental change, YCEI supports the advancement of interdisciplinary research by Yale faculty and learning opportunities for students to increase their understanding of the interplay between the divergent factors affecting climate change. The programs that are central to YCEI include postdoctoral fellowships; grants for interdisciplinary research, workshops, and forums; and the Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars Program.

The aim of the YCEI-sponsored Energy Studies program is to prepare students for work in energy-related fields through a multidisciplinary approach to the dynamics of climate change and energy production. Energy Studies undergraduates are pushed to extend their scope of knowledge, as they are required to take three of the six courses necessary to fulfill the program in a department outside of their major. These courses, three mandated by YCEI and three electives, are selected from an Energy Studies curriculum divided into the three categories of energy science and technology; energy use and production impacts on the environment and society; and energy policy, economic, and social issues.

In addition to these core projects, YCEI is generating research initiatives including investigating unconventional hydrocarbon resources and the relation between public health and climate systems.

YCEI also hosts an annual conference attended by government, industry, university, and NGO climate and energy experts. The 2014 YCEI Fifth Annual Conference was focused on energy projections for 2030. David Lawrence was a moderator for the “Key Countries Energy Sectors” panel discussion.

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