Energy & Environment Program

About Us:

We strive to continue Senator Baker’s work in the areas of energy and environmental policy. Among the issues addressed are energy consumption and conservation; nuclear energy; renewable energy; air and water pollution; ecosystem services; and climate change. The Center studies the interaction of energy and the environment to develop economically-sound policies that improve the quality of life of the world’s citizens.


To address critical energy and environmental challenges by creating policy relevant research and educational opportunities that integrate natural, physical, and social science.


Sustainable energy, healthy environments and prosperous communities.

Energy & Environment Research:

The program's research has been supported by private, state, and federal grants and contracts. These grants and contracts allow for faculty and fellows to engage in interdisciplinary projects that have theoretical, empirical, and practical import for scholars and policymakers on topics as wide-ranging as the extraction of rare earth elements from coal ash to the impact of invasive species like asian carp on the ecosystem and tourism.

For a list of research projects, please check here. If you are interested in a potential collaboration please contact Dr. Charles Sims, Director.

Energy & Environment Forum:

With previous support from TNSCORE and the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Energy & Environment Forum has provided a place for the academic community to share their research findings from a broad set of national and international academic departments, researchers, and students with a common interest in energy and environment issues.

An interdisciplinary committee of UT faculty invites four to six speakers each semester from fields such as ecology, economics, urban planning, law, atmospheric chemistry and sociology to present on occasional Thursdays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in the Center’s Toyota Auditorium. For more information on upcoming events visit the events calendar here.

Fall 2021 Schedule:

Energy & Environment Distinguished Lecture:

The program also supports an annual distinguished lecture. Previous lectures have been provided by individuals such as Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, US Amabssador to the United Nations, and Energy Secretary; Dr. Phil Sharp, President of Resources for the Future, ten-term Congressman (R-IN), and policy advisor; and Dr. Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy and Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Check for upcoming events here.

Energy & Environment Targeted Partnerships: