EMS undergrads research energy, explore regions of Europe through science course

Students and professors stand at the SKB nuclear waste holding facility in Forsmark, Sweden. For their three-semester EMS CAUSE course, students had the chance to learn about the energy industry — both renewable and non-renewable — in a variety of European countries. Credit: Thomas StephensAll Rights Reserved.

Leah Laughlin has always been fascinated by the culture and way of life of Denmark. This year, she had the opportunity to not only visit the Scandinavian country but also learn about its energy sector through a College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) interdisciplinary research course.

EMS’ Center for Advanced Undergraduate Study and Experience (CAUSE) courses are designed to promote undergraduate research and study abroad. CAUSE courses focus on the political, economic and physical environment of a selected country or area.

Through the annual course, students learn how to form scientific hypotheses, develop research projects, collect and analyze data, summarize results and present research findings.

In this year’s CAUSE course, students were charged with exploring and defining key factors contributing to the evolution of energy choices in a variety of countries and, in particular, their efforts toward a sustainable energy future.