Cal Energy Corps
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"I saw people of all ages, newborn children to aging grandparents, and, strangely, they usually said the same things:
There’s not much to do here. It’s hot and we can’t stand it. Can you help us out?
I spent my whole life with uninhibited access to resources. It just felt natural – I never really had to think about it much. But there I was, seeing whole communities of people that devoted most of their daily lives to securing what I paid little attention to. My time with the [local] residents showed me that my work this summer might take one less burden off their residents’ shoulders, so that they can focus and invest more in their futures.
Who knows what kind of wonders they might do without that worry?"
-Aakash Agarwal, 2014 Cal Energy Corps Participant
The Cal Energy Corps program provides students like Aakash with the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and challenge the traditional outlook on global issues. This undergraduate internship program engages the best and brightest undergraduate students from UC Berkeley in the design, development, and delivery of sustainable energy and climate solutions around the world. The program enables students to gain practical experience by connecting social issues and technical solutions in a cohesive learning and leadership environment.
Duration: 8-12 weeks in the Summer
Internship: Opportunity to conduct independent, hands-on research on energy and climate issues including (but not limited to) renewable energy, biofuels, electric vehicles, and sustainable design
Deliverables: Annual Cal Energy Corps Symposium in the Fall following the program where students present their projects to the university community and the public.
The most unique aspect of the Cal Energy Corps program is its founding philosophy that energy and climate issues are part of a larger international agenda. These issues are not geographically specific, and therefore require cross-boundary perspectives in order to achieve true progress. This program provides a culturally immersive internship that allows students to gain first-hand knowledge in the political and scientific context that exist beyond their experiences at Berkeley and more importantly, bring these experiences back home.
Some of the many countries that past Cal Energy Corps participants have conducted research in are shown below:
All undergraduate students at UC Berkeley are eligible for the Cal Energy Corps program - passion for energy is the most important qualification! We have had participants from a variety of majors, disciplines and schools of thought participate.
The wide variety of majors that past partcipants have studied is shown below:
The Cal Energy Corps aims to enable all students to participate in these internships, removing any discouragement because of financial need. All expenses go to students - covering their travel, housing expenses, stipends, and research presentations. Your gift could fund a student for a week, a month, or a full summer of life-changing and impactful experiences:
As you can see, Cal Energy Corps goes beyond the paperwork and errand-running of other internships and pushes students to test their skills and academic knowledge in complex, challenging situations.
Students return from the program excited and passionate about a commitment to sustainable technologies and bring this forward as they apply for jobs, continue onto graduate school, and influence the world.
“I feel more capable of taking on any challenges here at Cal. Seeing the real world impact of engineering is very sobering and motivating. I got to see the faces of the people I was affecting and it gave a whole new meaning to the work I was doing ... where the fruits of my labor were really going to”
- Aakash Agarwal
Beyond personal development, the program has a ripple effect on the University and surrounding communities. Returning students share their experiences with their classmates, professors and coworkers, bringing new meaning and insight to our local community.
Over a period of four years, Cal Energy Corps has already sent 98 students to 12 countries around the world, changing the lives of participating students and contributing to groundbreaking research in energy technology and policy. As the program continues to expand, we hope to offer even more students these transformative internships in an even wider array of countries and fields of research.
Help us take that next step: Donate today.
And, we are excited to share that the power of your donation will be multiplied! Power Standards Lab, an Alameda-based leading provider of precision electric power instruments, has agreed to contribute $10,000 and will donate an additional $10,000 if we can raise $20,000!
Thank you to Power Standards Lab!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit the Cal Energy Corps Home Page
Read about the experiences of the 2014 participants in their blog posts
Cal Energy Corps Facebook page
Cal Energy Corps Twitter
Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI)