LAS VEGAS - August 6, 2009 - The green job market in Nevada is growing at a rapid pace, and UNLV students will soon gain a competitive edge in this emerging market with the creation of a new degree program in solar and renewable energy.
The Solar and Renewable Energy Minor, made possible by a $500,000 gift from NV Energy, will be available to all UNLV students beginning this fall as a complement to students' existing degree programs. The minor is designed to boost student knowledge in the areas of solar and renewable energy utilization, sustainable building design and global environmental challenges. The gift also includes funding for scholarships, undergraduate research opportunities, demonstration equipment and internships with either NV Energy or local agencies with a strong focus in renewable and solar energy.
"The Solar and Renewable Energy Minor is an ideal industry-education partnership that will provide our students with career opportunities in the booming green job market and supply the workforce needed to support the alternative energy industry in our state and community," said Tom Piechota, UNLV director of sustainability and multidisciplinary research.
The degree program is housed in the UNLV department of environmental studies and consists of both policy and science and engineering tracks. The policy track is open to all majors and includes additional coursework in environmental history, economics and policy. The science and engineering track, which is open to those who have fulfilled the science and engineering prerequisites, includes additional training in solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and design principles of renewable energy.
Scholarships of up to $3,000 will be awarded to 10 students each semester to offset costs associated with the minor. More than $80,000 will also be available each year to support graduate assistantships and undergraduate research opportunities for students to work with UNLV faculty on solar and renewable energy on research projects.
Each semester, four students enrolled in the minor will also have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in emerging green technology fields through internships with agencies such as NV Energy or other public and private sector organizations with a similar energy mission. In addition, local industry leaders from both the public and private sector will be brought in each semester to teach courses or make presentations in their areas of expertise.
For more information on the Solar and Renewable Energy Minor, please visit: environment.unlv.edu/solar