Nov 17, 2010 - Claremont, Calif. -
Members of the HMC faculty are collaborating on the five-college Environmental Analysis Program, coordinated by Pomona College faculty member Char Miller. Hightower will align the goals of the program and the resources available at HMC. Hightower, who studies and designs nano-structured fuel cells and rechargeable batteries, has done extensive research and practical work in renewable energy technology and community-based renewable energy education in Los Angeles and West Africa. A former faculty member at Occidental College, he led groups of Oxy students to communities in Mali, Ghana and Uganda to design and construct high-impact, low-cost renewable energy projects such as solar lighting, solar water filtration, geothermal cooling and fuel-efficient wood stoves. He formed partnerships with solar panel distributors in Los Angeles and with HVAC distributors, solar panel manufacturers and development agencies in Africa. Two students who participated in these projects went on to win Fulbright Fellowships. Hightower is a graduate of Caltech (engineering and applied science), where he also received a Ph.D. in materials science.
During Fall 2010, he is teaching Introduction to Energy System Engineering, and Chemical and Thermal Processes.
In addition to the two faculty members in place to support the Environmental Analysis Program, a faculty committee has developed a single major and is working on developing courses, the first cohort of students completed research projects (overseen by Scripps College) and availability of assistance in global information systems (GIS) has been increased. As part of the new fall 2010 course Introduction to Environmental Sciences, students are trained in GIS, which gives them technological skills that are not taught at the undergraduate level any place else.
With the number of students majoring in environmental analysis increasing--Pomona College saw a 133 percent growth within the last five years--the collaborative Environmental Analysis Program aims to meet the needs of today's students.
Contact: Judy Augsburger