Dr. Grace Wu kicked off the 2023 Annual Lecture Series with a discussion about the critical planning discussions needed for a clean energy future. The latest energy roadmaps for “decarbonizing” (reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions) predict a three to fourfold increase in wind and solar power infrastructure. This scale of growth also needs to consider the impacts on plants, animals, and humans. While most plans for decarbonizing typically focus on technology and economics, Dr. Wu’s research integrates environmental and social factors. Watch the lecture to learn how we can revamp energy planning processes to better address the land use dimensions of renewable energy infrastructure.
Dr Grace Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara. Before joining UCSB, Grace was a Smith Conservation Fellow at The Nature Conservancy and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. She was also a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis. She was trained in systems thinking and interdisciplinary approaches in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. Grace is interested in the dynamics and drivers of land use change, climate change mitigation, and advancing our ability to plan for sustainable, multi-use landscapes that protect biodiversity and advance climate goals. She uses spatial science approaches to identify and understand the co-benefits and trade-offs between climate solutions and habitat conservation. Her current main research areas are (1) sustainable spatial planning of low carbon energy systems; and (2) designing policy, management, and technology pathways to sustainable land systems.2023 Public Lecture series