Professor Mike Emch has been awarded a US$4.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE) program with colleagues from Public Policy and Sociology. The grant titled “Confronting Energy Poverty: Building an Interdisciplinary Evidence Base, Network, and Capacity for Transformative Change” is focused on the problem of energy poverty in southern Africa. Limited access to modern energy services including electricity for lighting, modern fuels for cooking and heating, and energy efficient technologies has serious implications for human health and well-being, the environment, and the stability and growth of national economies. The Energy Poverty PIRE (EPP) involves a wide range of training and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines including geography, public policy, sociology, forestry and environmental science, and engineering. Pam Jagger (Public Policy/CEE) is the Principal Investigator and will serve as the Energy Poverty PIRE Director; Mike Emch (Geography and Epidemiology) and Barbara Entwisle (Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Geography) are Co-PIs on the project. Partners include North Carolina State University, RTI International, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi), Copperbelt University (Zambia), and the University of Zimbabwe.

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