Student journal examines energy power
A UCLA student group called the Forum for Energy Economics and Development (FEED) recently released a collection of academic articles about renewable solar power.
By BETHANY POWERS
The Forum for Energy Economics and Development, a student organization focused on learning about sources of renewable energy, recently released its first self-produced academic journal on solar energy.
“Solar Energy Solutions” is the first student-produced journal on renewable energy, said the group’s co-founder Igor Bogorad, a second-year biochemistry student. It includes articles and graphics on the scientific, social, economic, and political aspects of solar energy.
The articles in the journal cover a wide array of disciplines. Students in FEED have backgrounds in fields such as biochemistry, economics, engineering and political science. The articles they wrote reflected their areas of study, said Maurice Diesendruck, the other founder of the organization and a second-year economic and international development studies student.
“Each person’s interest is manifested in their article,” Diesendruck said. “There are a wide variety of articles.”
FEED was founded last fall, and the 20 members of the group met weekly throughout the quarter to pull together information from their different fields and discuss a variety of topics, from biofuels to wind power. This January, they decided to gather what they had learned into an academic journal focused specifically on solar energy in order to share it with a larger audience.
“Our journal is something where we can give substantial information and you can learn,” Bogorad said. “Something like a newsletter won’t really give the same amount of information, and (the journal) really focuses on one thing and hits all aspects.”
Throughout winter quarter, the group met once a week, working as a team to come up with ideas and planning and designing the journal’s layout.
Their efforts were directed by Bogorad and Diesendruck. Members of FEED gathered research for their articles and conducted interviews, including an interview with John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company. Bogorad compared the amount of time he spent working on the project to a full-time job.
The group did not aim for the journal to be like a textbook. Instead, the articles include visuals such as pictures and graphs to help explain the stories. Many of the pictures were acquired with help from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“We want students to go back and reference it,” said Bogorad. “It’s not a textbook, it’s fun and filled with art and graphics.”
The first issue of the journal is available for download as a 24-page PDF file from the group’s Web site.
Diesendruck said the group is currently raising money to print hard copies of the journal to distribute to departments and libraries on campus.
He said the journal is aimed toward students who already have an interest in the subject and can use the information to continue their research.
Bogorad said he believes the journal is important because renewable energy is very important for the future of the planet and solving the energy crisis will become more important as the global population grows.
“The population is increasing,” said Bogorad. “There are going to be more cars and more pollution, and it’s only going to get worse. How are we going to give all these people energy?”
FEED member Alex Chapman, a third-year mechanical engineering student, said he appreciated the full experience of working on the project.
“We’re used to being lectured to, but now we have a voice,” he said. “Everything from researching, to collectively discussing issues, to assembling the journal has been an adventure.”
Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2008