Apparently not sufficiently burdened by a law student workload, Henry Stern ’09 has opted to tackle some of society’s most vexing problems as co-chair of the Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative (BERC).
A student-led organization that works to connect and educate the UC Berkeley energy and resources community, BERC acts as a bridge between the many schools, programs, and labs on campus. It also forges connections with the larger energy and cleantech cluster growing in the Bay Area and beyond, to foster productive applications of university research and technology.
“I see BERC as the connective tissue of Cal’s massive energy and environmental community,” he says. “There’s so much going on, and academic departments can get insulated from others with similar interests. BERC builds connections through students’ shared concerns about climate change, energy poverty, and natural resource degradation.”
Stern faces a challenging year. BERC will continue to play a key role in planning the annual UC Berkeley Energy Symposium—which set a high bar last year with appearances by Sen. Barbara Boxer and cleantech expert John Doerr.
The group plans to maintain a clean energy and climate law careers guide it had earlier developed, and will provide guidance to public and private organizations seeking to implement green policies. BERC is also developing projects and activities aimed at introducing environmental concepts to East Bay grade school students. Additionally, Stern says, BERC hopes to strengthen a graduate student energy and resource consulting group, and to partner with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in a project that enables students to explore and assess promising clean technologies.
Stern doesn’t seem at all daunted. “With so many incredible projects underway, this is going to be a big year for BERC and a big year for energy and environmental innovation at Cal,” he says. “But we need law students who are willing to think outside the box to help make these projects take off.”
– By Andrew Cohen