Energy Immersion Trips

Immersive, Transformative Experiential Education in the Heart of Energy-Producing Regions

The Energy Immersion Trips program is a collaboration between the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society and the Dartmouth Sustainability Office that provides students in-depth opportunities to examine energy systems from a variety of different perspectives and to explore future pathways through break trips to different regions of the U.S. Students examine first-hand the intersections of natural resource extraction, policy, economics, health, geography, and culture and meet with energy company executives and employees, landowners, decision makers, community organizers, local utilities, watch dog groups, environmental and social justice activists and leaders in the extraction industry. Throughout the trips, students gain skills in problem assessment, creating dialogue across difference, and reflection.

The winterim trip to the US Gulf Coast states of Texas and Louisiana will bring Dartmouth students to an area of the country that is as controversial as it is critical for supplying America's energy needs as we know them. Texas is the country's leading producer of crude oil, natural gas, wind power, and total electricity, while Louisiana consumes more energy per capita than any other state. This trip has been designed to explore the systems, infrastructure, and geological features that have allowed these southern states to become two of the most critical players in the energy sector. Throughout the journey, we will visit sites and hear from energy industry stakeholders about environmental and societal health challenges, the global impacts of our energy needs, and the economics, politics, and engineering that govern the way that our country's energy systems operate. Students will be challenged to think critically about how energy systems adapt and respond to a rapidly changing planet with an ever-increasing demand for energy.

The spring break trip to Appalachia is a hands-on learning opportunity to understand the processes of energy extraction in the region as well as the sociopolitical, environmental, and economic impacts of fossil fuel extraction and the possibilities of integrating renewable energy. This trip will also explore locally based efforts for community and economic empowerment and revitalization.