Categorized | Energy, Humboldt State

Yurok And Schatz Join Forces

Upgrades made to energy efficiency and generation across tribal lands

 

By Paul Mann
HSU Now

 

As the sun rises over the mountains, a glimmer of light reflects off the Yurok Tribe building in Weitchpec, Calif. The glint of sunlight bounces off an array of new solar panels, recently installed with the help of Humboldt State’s Schatz Energy Research Center—the newest energy project in a partnership that spans over a decade.

The Yurok tribal building in Weitchpec, Calif., is adorned with a new, 15.7-kilowatt solar electric array. The array, installed by local solar experts Roger and his Merry Band of Solar Installers, is one of many projects in more than a decade of collaboration between the Tribe and HSU’s Schatz Lab.

Since 1999, Schatz Lab has worked with the Yurok Tribe on several grants, studies and energy projects to improve sustainability. Past projects have included a fuel-cell system to provide back up power to a radio repeater station, a feasibility study for hydroelectric and wind energy development and energy audits of over fifty tribal households and multiple government buildings.

Most recently, local solar experts, Roger and his Merry Band of Solar Installers, outfitted the Tribe with a solar electric system. The Tribe also performed energy efficiency upgrades in its Weitchpec tribal office and is working to install energy efficiency upgrades at its Klamath office.

“Stewardship is a huge element of tribal culture,” says Sophia Lay, a tribal planner and the project manager for this undertaking. “The key elements here were to be more sustainable and to lower our energy use.”

Funding for the projects came from the Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Originally, that funding was to be used to conduct a retro-commissioning study for the Klamath office, install a solar panel system and enact certain retrofit projects. Retro-commissioning studies are used to identify existing structures and systems that could be altered to improve energy use. However, from 2005 to 2007, the Tribe and Schatz Lab had already performed an energy-needs assessment to identify such opportunities.

“Rather than spend money on a report to identify issues, we decided to do some of the retrofits we already knew about,” Lay says. Schatz Lab worked with the Tribe to adjust the project proposal and the Department of Energy agreed to award the grant without requiring a retro-commissioning study.
Instead, that funding went to other projects. The tribal building in Weitchpec received energy efficiency upgrades to its heating and cooling systems and occupancy sensors for its lighting system.

“Small changes like this are really beneficial,” Schatz Lab engineer Richard Engel says. “They’re relatively simple. They make sure no equipment is running unnecessarily. And they save energy.”
Additionally, the building received a 15.7-kilowatt solar electric array. That system was increased from a 13.6-kilowatt system after the price of photovoltaic equipment went down.

Schatz Lab engineers also developed an interactive interpretive display for the lobby of the Weitchpec tribal building. The full-color, touch-screen display allows users to get information on the energy efficiency upgrades of the project, including the real-time energy production of the new solar array. Information from the interpretive display will also be accessible online.

“The display definitely catches your attention as soon as you walk in the door,” Lay says. “If the information doesn’t get people’s attention right away, the fact that it’s interactive will.”

Work at the tribal building in Klamath is currently underway. Those energy efficiency upgrades include weatherizing seals on doors and installation of ceiling fans to improve heating and cooling and prevent stratification. In a room with high ceilings like the Klamath building, stratification occurs when warm air rises and doesn’t circulate with the colder air near the ground. On a cold day, that means the heat has to be turned up much higher to heat the air near the ground. Ceiling fans will also help to circulate air and keep people comfortable on a hot day, without resorting to energy-sapping air conditioning.

As this project winds down, Schatz Lab and the Yurok Tribe have already submitted another grant proposal, this one to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to continue to explore and implement actions to create a more sustainable community.

“Personally,” Lay says, “I learned a lot from this project, and that will carry over into my other projects in terms of energy efficiency.”

7 Responses to “Yurok And Schatz Join Forces”

  1. A Little Sunshine says:

    Paul Mann is Humboldt State University’s Public Relations professional charged with prolific perpetuation of one-half of reality that is “positive”.

    This is what makes PR and journalism inherently antagonistic professions and that make a PR/journalist’s writings, (or radio shows), subject to legitimate suspicion.

    Despite the innocuous content of this particular report, every self-respecting media would allow the reader to judge the content’s credibility by DISCLOSING the profession of the “reporter”.

    • If there’s something negative to report on about HSU or its leadership, we’re all ears. In years past we haven’t pulled any punches — Rollin Richmond’s ‘reefer madness’ speech to the Arcata City Council as a case in point.

      • A Little Sunshine says:

        Translation:

        “Yes, Public Relations and Journalism are inherently antagonistic professions and yes, it’s easy to disclose the “reporter’s” profession, but, I’m not going to do it, I’m the gatekeeper, trust me”.

        Assuming there’s nothing negative to report about a contemporary Public campus, because no one’s coming forward to inform you, is astounding. It’s the other half of reality! Get it yet? If a tree falls in the woods and you’re not there to hear it, did it happen, what, exactly makes it “negative” anyway?

        The Dow Jones consistently hovers around 12,000 and none of Wall Street’s vast employee network is complaining… everything must be OK, right? (Right up until the world economy collapses, the worst unemployment since the Great Depression, the highest income disparity since the Gilded Age, the U.S. Treasury is looted…then, it’s back to work at Wall Street, and OTC Derivatives remain unregulated today!).

        Wall Street is a good metaphor for HSU. Nobody’s talking! (Except their prolific PR professional, and the mountains of wrongful termination lawsuits across the state that make tenure meaningless to keep state employees silent and working in constant fear for their careers).

        Campuses in the 1920′s “didn’t notice” the absence of women.

        Campuses in 1930′s Germany “didn’t notice” the purging of Jews.

        In 2011, they “didn’t notice” the gradual elimination of the working class public that can no longer afford the user fees to attend their “public” universities! They “didn’t notice” the massive public investments in sports, entertainment, leisure activities, remodeled venues, multi-million dollar facades, and locked-gate dorms needed to attract the wealthier students, nor the absence of degrees, or prerequisite units in labor history, comparative justice, U.S. imperialism, negotiation and diplomacy, contract law, advocacy, environmental/activism units tailored to every degree, among other degrees and units fundamental to teaching citizens how to assert themselves in society.

        Unless you were purposely bating me, you really need to wake-up chuck!

        • Installing solar panels on tribal lands seems like a cut-and-dry story. If there’s another, separate, story involving HSU that you’d like to turn us on to, we’re happy to listen. We don’t have the resources to assign a full-time reporter to campus — and aside from the campus newspaper and magazines, nobody else does either.

  2. A Little Sunshine says:

    Sorry for the tirade!

    It’s immensely frustrating to watch the New Depression unfold like the old one, with a nation’s productive capacity and public wealth focused on serving the wealthy… big homes, big cars, big medical procedures, big bailouts, and even “public” university’s big costly appeal to the sensibilities of the privileged, alongside big limitations on financial aid, welfare and prohibitive deductables, share of costs, and exclusions of Medicare, or the 2-year delay in disabled Americans to file for medicare….are among countless examples of policies and practices that favor those who are a little better-off rather than those who are actually in desperate need.

    “When an entire nation’s people conspire to propagate gigantic lies, the lies of individual people and organizations become irrelevant”. (Mark Twain).

    More than money, it takes personal resolve and courage to maintain a critical public eye on uncomfortable truths that are fundamental for change to occur.

    But, it costs nothing to disclose the profession of a “reporter” who is also a highly compensated public-relations professional directly connected to the subject, something that mainstream media even manages to do.

    Please, no more silly excuses!

    • We probably have a similar perspective on the unfolding economic collapse — it’s just hard to pin any responsibility for it on Richmond, Mann and the rest. Even the university president’s inflated salary is mere chicken feed to the ruling elite.

  3. A Little Sunshine says:

    Thank you for your responses, but, it appears I’ve provided you ample opportunity to dodge the serious omission by the Sentinel when reprinting a story, to disclose the “reporter’s” profession, ESPECIALLY, when it is directly related to the story’s subject.

    As I (and Mark Twain) pointed out, everyone is hiding the same uncomfortable truth; it is unsustainable for a society’s institutions, industries and public wealth to predominantly serve one class of citizen….including HSU!

    Yet, it is the role of a Public relations professional (opportunist) to ignore, and when absolutely necessary, cleverly dismiss any and all perceived threats to the status-quo by promoting stories that salvage positive imagery regardless of the larger “negative” realities.

    Propaganda professionals in other media venues similarly deluge us with irrational optimism of a “world of plenty for the deserving” in an era rivaling America’s worst.

    That you didn’t know this, is astounding.

    You are the last person I would expect to omit the profession of a “reporter”, especially when his profession is directly related to the story.

    And…it costs nothing.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Israeli president opposes proposed law to give ‘national rights’ to Jews only
    Guardian - Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, has voiced his strong opposition to a controversial proposed new law that would define “national rights” in Israel as reserved for Jews only.The “Jewish nation-state” bill would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and possibly de-list Arabic as a seco […]
  • Study: US could produce 100 times more solar power
    Washington Post - In a new report, the Environment America Research and Policy Center ... argues that the U.S. "has the potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power installations as the nation consumes each year." It adds that every single state could generate more solar electricity than i […]
  • Post literate America
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2007Sitting in Manhattan across from an editor at one of best regarded publishing houses, I asked, "Does good writing still matter?"After a long pause, the editor replied, "Yes, I believe it does."It would be the extended silence and not the words that would remain with me over the next […]
  • Obama's support from whites without a college degree hits new low
    Gallup- President Barack Obama's job approval rating among white non-college graduates is at 27% so far in 2014, 14 percentage points lower than among white college graduates. This is the largest yearly gap between these two groups since Obama took office. These data underscore the magnitude of the Democratic Party's problem with working-class whit […]
  • What's happening Wednesday evening
    Fewer than four in 10 adults in the U.S. (37%) say there is an area within a mile of where they live where they would be afraid to walk alone at night, similar to Americans' attitudes over the last decade and a half. Most Americans continue to feel safe in their immediate communities, with 63% saying they would not be afraid to walk alone there at night […]
  • Morning line
    In our moving average, Romney has a 8 point lead over Bush and Paul. The only other GOP candidates with more than 5 points are Huckabee, Carson and Christie. Clinton has an easy lead among Democrats, 47 points ahead of Warren and 51 points ahead of Biden. She is statistically tied with Romney and has only a single digit lead against other leading Republicans […]
  • Many Walmart workers can't afford to shop at Walmart
    Guardian:A food drive launched by the Dairy Department Manager of an Oklahoma Walmart to assist two employees has again spotlighted the impact of the low wages paid by the nation’s largest employer and, with total revenues of $476 billion, most profitable corporation. Michele Simon, a public health lawyer at Eat Drink Politics, noted in a recent report that […]
  • What banks, academics, the media and politicians don't tell you about money
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesThe privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but is the government's greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. -- Abraham Lincoln Most of what follows is the work of the extraordinary […]
  • What's happening
    The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.9 percent annual rate in the July-September period, even faster than first reported, giving the country its strongest six months of growth in more than a decade.A national poll found that 89 percent of Latino voters support for President Obama’s use of executive authority on immigration. Eighty percent say they are opposed […]
  • Word: Chuck Hagel
    Popular Resistance:Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, an […]
  • A LED bulb that adjusts to natural light
    Tree Hugger - An ex-Tesla CEO has brought something new and interesting to the smart light bulb market and it could prove to be the most energy efficient of all of them. Neil Joseph left Tesla last year to start Stack, a smart lighting start-up. Its first product is called Alba and it's what would happen if you combined a Philips Hue with a Nest Thermos […]
  • How politicians silence the press
    From Jim Romensko: A letter from the head of the NY Press Club to Mayor de Blasio:Dear Mr. Mayor: Eight months have passed since you took office as New York City’s 109th mayor. This organization, which since 1948 has represented this city’s journalists, is deeply disturbed by a pattern that has emerged in the way you deal with reporters seeking information i […]
  • Civilization nearing collapse?
    Guardian - The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has […]
  • Even prejudiced white cops can kill fewer blacks
    Hit & RunPolice officers keep claiming that they genuinely thought their unarmed victims had lethal weapons. Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, claims in his grand jury testimony that Brown put his right hand “under his shirt in his waistband” and then lunged at him—153 feet away. Yet Michael Brown did n […]
  • Nearly half of Americans see climate change a sign of 'end times'Eco
    EcoWatch While 62 percent of Americans say that they believe climate change is a factor driving recent natural disasters and extreme weather—probably a higher percentage than in Congress—49 percent also believe they are caused by “Biblical end times,” with an especially high number of white evangelicals holding that belief. That’s according to a new survey r […]