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Electricity, flexibility and sustainability: Place-based environmental and sociopolitical impacts of our coming electrical system as seen through hydropower and rivers

Undergraduate Research Assistantship for credit in POLITICAL SCIENCE, 2017-18

Part of a 6-student interdisciplinary undergraduate research team for the academic year

PROJECT: Electricity, flexibility and sustainability: Place-based environmental and sociopolitical impacts of our coming electrical system as seen through hydropower and rivers

2-3 credits per semester for both semesters (6-10 hrs/wk, Sept 2017-early May 2018)

 

The Political Science research assistants will participate in several tasks:

·       Help outline ongoing developments in Massachusetts, Vermont and New England energy policy and markets, dam relicensing, and community/regional economic development related to three Connecticut River hydropower projects, using documentary sources, participant-observation, and interviews

·       Develop an initial outline and history of the Romaine River and the communities around the Romaine Hydropower Complex, Quebec, using documentary, media and web, and academic sources

 

Interdisciplinary Team: This assistantship is one of six undergraduate assistantships offered for 2017-18 in six academic programs. Student assistants in the six programs will work as a collaborative interdisciplinary team. The research areas are: Geography, Geosciences, Political Science, Resource Economics, Fisheries Ecology, and Engineering.

As part of this team, students will participate in a two-day field trip September 1-2 to Montreal, Quebec. There will also be two additional day trips in the fall. The goal of these trips is for all members of the team to get to know some of the key sites, issues and people they will be working on during the year, and to bond as a team. Student costs will be covered for these trips.

During the academic year, all students will meet biweekly (probably Fridays 1:30-2:30) to share progress in their work, and talk about research and research strategies.

All students will be expected to attend the UMass Water Resources Research Center conference in January 2018.

As a part of this research project, students will learn research skills in their field while also gaining skills and practice in thinking and researching across interdisciplinary lines. The topics of research will be both theoretical and practical, so students will gain skills, knowledge and contacts that they can use to leverage future academic work or employment. Students will be encouraged and supported to present their research and findings in Spring 2018.

Supervisor: 

Professor Spector

Contact Email: 

Research Position Title: 

Electricity, flexibility and sustainability: Place-based environmental and sociopolitical impacts of our coming electrical system as seen through hydropower and rivers

Semester: 

Fall 2017

Application instructions: 

Email Professor Spector, and cc Professor Vogel, a 2-3-paragraph statement of why you are interested, and your background skills and experience. Please include an explanation of your interest in the project, your ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, and your specific skills and background in environmental or energy politics or governance, and/or knowledge of New England or Quebec. French language skills preferred for the assistant who would work on the Romaine River component of the project. Please attach a related writing sample (e.g. a class research paper or essay) and give us the name and contact information of a professor or supervisor who can provide a reference.

Applications due May 5.