Energy PLUS

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Energy and climate issues play out across our society—in books and film, institutions of higher learning, our democracy, and in the very air we breathe.

Once again this July, Thursdays are Fresh Energy summer webinar series days! Join Fresh Energy and special guests for four separate fun and engaging discussions about the many facets of energy in our lives. Stay tuned to this page for speaker information, topic schedules, and more.

Register here!

Conversations will cover:

July 7 at 12 p.m. Central | Energy + Democracy: Voting rights is one of the most pressing issues of our time. How does voter engagement intersect with action on climate and justice?

July 14 at 12 p.m. Central | Energy + Higher Ed: Minnesota colleges are modeling net zero innovation—and teaching the next generation of leaders. What’s next on the horizon for these important institutions?

July 21 at 12 p.m. Central | Energy + Health: Tailpipe emissions, natural gas in our homes, and other reliance on fossil fuels impacts air quality across the state. How can we incorporate health impacts of energy decisions?

July 28 at 12 p.m. Central | The Arts: From science fiction to popular Hollywood films, energy and climate are part of the arts today. How accurate are these depictions, and can they spur action?


Carolina Ortiz | she/her | COPAL

Carolina Ortiz has been with COPAL since it’s founding in 2018. She led the communications team for two years and is now the associate executive director. Carolina was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and is currently studying communications and women’s studies in Minnesota. A DREAMer herself, her passion for social justice stems from her own experiences and those of her community.

Gabe Chan | Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Gabe Chan is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) area. Gabe’s research examines policies to stimulate innovation in energy technologies and mitigate global climate change in the United States, China, and internationally. Gabe’s research also blends economic methods and theory with a broader set of social science and technical knowledge.

Dominic McQuerry | McKnight Foundation

As a program officer with the Vibrant & Equitable Communities and Midwest Climate & Energy programs, Dominic McQuerry oversees and develops innovative grant portfolios at the intersection of McKnight’s climate and equity goals with an emphasis on strengthening democratic participation and civic engagement. McQuerry is a policy and community engagement professional with a passion for supporting people’s lives and livelihoods, guiding and supporting powerful coalitions in Minnesota on housing, healthcare, child care, and more.

Martha Larson | she/her | RMF Engineering

Martha Larson is currently the Director of Sustainability at RMF Engineering. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1999 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Martha began her career in Chicago as an acoustical consultant and project manager for complex visual and performing arts projects. In 2010, Martha became the first Manager of Campus Energy & Sustainability at Carleton College where she helped the college reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 70%. Notable projects included the Kracum wind turbine installation and an eight-year transition of the College’s district energy system from steam heating to low temperature hot water with geothermal heating and cooling.

Emma Hines | she/her | RMI

Emma Hines is an Associate in RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings program, where she works on the climate, health, and air quality co-benefits of building electrification. Prior to joining RMI, Emma participated in a two-year fellowship with the Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She also previously served as a member of the teaching faculty for the Climate Change and Health Online Certificate Program with the Yale School of Public Health.

Theresa “Tee” McClenty | MN350

Tee has witnessed the impact of the climate crisis first-hand. Her youngest son was born with asthma and continues to experience complications from it as a young adult. This story, she knows, is not unique. Many communities of color are hardest hit by the negative impacts of climate change. Tee joined MN350 in 2022 in a continuation of her career as a servant for all communities. She has dedicated her life to ensuring that all communities have ALL the resources available provided to them. She has worked more than 18 years in emergency medicine, seeing first-hand the impact of climate on people’s health. She has also worked in labor, advocating with school workers and health care union sisters and brothers for improved working conditions. In her most recent role, Tee connected the community to necessary resources in mental and behavioral health, dentistry, and human services.

Ben Weaver | Artist

Ben is a poet, songwriter, letterpress printer/book maker, public speaker, and endurance cyclist. Ben creates work that breaks down the emotional and systemic structures separating humans from the ability to feel our connections to the greater web of life and each other. The songs and poems he writes and performs work to dispel illusions of division. They hold open space for the wisdom that sits within the trees, rivers, rocks, plants and animals to reignite the inherent stories of wildness and mutuality living inside us all.

Rose Patzer | Minnesota State Colleges Energy Center of Excellence

Headshot and bio coming soon!