Stephens_Jennie HeadshotSocial Dynamics of Energy-Climate Transitions

Research interests: Social dynamics of electricity system change, Smart Grid, wind power, carbon capture and storage (CCS), energy transitions, stakeholder engagement in climate modeling, sustainable energy clusters, shared action learning, social learning, sustainability education, climate and energy literacy

New publication in WIREs Climate Change: Opinion piece on CCS investments

A new publication in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change (WIREs Climate Change) calls for an end to government investment in CCS and a reduction in investments in fossil-fuel perpetuating technologies.

Stephens Jennie C. 2013. Time to stop investing in carbon capture and storage and reduce government subsidies of fossil‐fuels.  WIREs Climate Change  doi: 10.1002/wcc.266

The article is open access.


Posted in News, Publications | Comments Off

Community conversation on Smart Grid

On November 25, 2013 Clark University hosted a community conversation focused on “What is Smart Grid and Why Should We Care?”  Read the Worcester Magazine article about the event.


Posted in News | Comments Off

New publication on Climate Change and Smart Grid

“Getting Smart? Climate Change and the Electric Grid” available open access Full Text can be downloaded here.
This paper explores the complexities of electricity system change, identifying tensions among key societal actors and illustrates how divergent societal priorities are influencing electricity system innovation. The piece characterizes differences among actors’ perceptions of change across two critical dimensions: (1) moving toward more centralized versus more decentralized energy systems, and (2) radical versus incremental change. This article also makes the key point that climate change/sustainability goals are only one set of many considerations motivating innovation in electricity systems, and depending on the path taken, a future “smart grid” could do little to reduce, or could even exacerbate, risks associated with climate change.

Stephens, J. C., E.J. Wilson, T.R. Peterson, J. Meadowcroft. 2013. Getting Smart? Getting Smart? Climate Change and the Electric Grid. Challenges 4(2): 201-216.


Posted in Publications | Comments Off

Stephens’ op-ed on Smart Grid in the Worcester T&G

A commentary on smart grid development in Worcester and beyond highlights the potential and the uncertainty of how electricity systems will change.   Read article here

Posted in Publications | Comments Off

New publication on stakeholder engagement in environmental modeling: understanding the nexus of academic science and decision-making

Integrating stakeholder perspectives is increasingly important in environmental science as a growing number of research projects are justified with a “solutions” orientation prioritizing societal relevance. Dr. Jennie Stephens, Clark ES&P Alum and Washington State University-based graduate student Liz Allen and co-authors Chad Kruger and Fok-Yan Leung examine perceptions of project goals and attitudes about stakeholder engagement among a team of researchers who are addressing water supply and nutrient cycling in the context of climate change in the Columbia River Basin.  A paper on this research has been published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, and is publicly available (open access) here:  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13412-013-0136-x

Posted in Publications | Comments Off