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date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 16:48:59 +0000
from: ian renfrew <i.renfrewatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Possible MSc projects with Global Action Plan
to: Alan Bond <alan.bondatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
Dear MSc students,
I've just been contacted by Global Action Plan, who have worked with ENV
faculty recently to carry out research projects. They are keen to
recruit some MSc students for 2 internships. Details below.
If anyone has not yet chosen a topic, then read the following and please
contact Global Action Plan directly. They seemed very keen to get a good
student - free lunches even!
regards Ian Renfrew
(Acting Director MSc programmes)
2 Internships: Evaluating Pro Environmental Behaviour Change Programmes.
Global Action Plan run engaging and practical behaviour change
programmes based on socio psychological literature on behaviour change
and what we know works over 15 years experience. We run these in
communities (EcoTeams: groups of 6-8 households together), Schools
(Action in Schools), hard to reach communities (Evergreen: Residential
Associations), Small and Medium Enterprises (SmartWorks) and
Corporations (Environmental Champions). For more information please see
our website. We have been measuring the waste usage, energy usage and
waste production throughout all of our programmes. Recently we have
added Psychometrics to our measurement process too but we still do not
feel we are capturing our programme impacts in the most efficient and
We are looking for an MSc student interested in doing research which
would suit their interests and dissertation requirements to evaluate our
evaluation procedure, and produce a small internal report for us on how
we might measure our programmes more effectively in the future. We
believe they are having much greater impacts than we are capturing, and
we would like to know how we might capture these impacts better.
We would seek to begin this work immediately. It would involve working
across all of our teams, and a few of our programmes, with plenty of
desktop based research into measuring methods, and some practical work
going out and seeing how our programmes actually run. It may also
involve speaking and meeting measurement tool providers (e.g. industrial
scale smart meters) to establish costs potential deals for GAP.
This is a rough outline and can be tailored towards a student�s
interests. There are two positions available for this work, with
students able to specialise in the programmes which most closely match
There are a number of voluntary jobs also available but which do not
warrant a full intership or dissertation but that again hopefully
provide the student with valuable insight and networking opportunities
into the environmental field in the UK.
Converting behaviours into carbon savings figures: (Estimated work: 2
hrs per behaviour Max; ideally less)
Please find attached the EcoTeams Questionnaire�The relevant section for
your work will be the actions and behaviours sections.
Ideally I would like a carbon figure for each of these behaviours on the
assumption it at least partially replaces an old behaviour.
Realistically this will not be possible but it would be great to be able
to say we have thoroughly researched each one of these behaviours and
found the carbon equivalent data for every behaviour that data exists for.
The smartest way to do this will be to speak to Sam Balch first. He is
our research and development manager, and has been working on doing this
for a while by taking data from the AMEE database and matching it to our
EcoTeams survey. He already has some carbon convertibles for certain
behaviours, and the first job would be for you to create a spreadsheet
which simply copies of all of the actions and behaviours from the
survey, and matches the carbon reduction figures and assumptions along
side them for easy presentation. He only has a few, and you would have
the job of finding the rest and making the assumptions based on what
he�s already done.
Clearly this will be difficult as it depends on what the alternative
behaviour was and how much the person has improved on it. What we will
need to do is make some assumptions and then when we are reporting on
these we can state the assumptions and report transparently. For example
if we are considering composting�.then we should assume that before
composting the organic waste was being thrown in the regular bin and
going to land fill. Hopefully there are figures out there for this
behaviour. But what if the person has �Improved� what they are doing
rather than simply started the behaviour. What do we assume then; do we
assume a 20% improvement i.e. 20% more organic waste is being sent to
compost than before, or should it be 10% or 50%. I would like you to use
your own initiative as this will be different for each behaviour. Please
state the assumptions you are making and why. So for example:
Putting the lid on the pot when I am cooking: �Started this behaviour�:
A carbon figure for this would assume simply a 100% switch that they do
it all the time now and they are an average UK household.
Putting the lid on the pot when I am cooking: �Improved on this
behaviour�: A carbon figure for this might assume they were already
doing it half of the time and now they are doing it 75% of the time,
meaning we use 25% of the carbon reduction figure as it is an
improvement of 25%.
Desktop based research on Industrial Smart Meters: (Estimated time: 32
hours/ 4 days Max)
Google �industrial smart meters� for a start and have a look at what�s
out there to give you an idea of costing and capabilities of systems. If
need be give the companies a call to ask questions about suitability for
what we want to use it for. We want to use it essentially for measuring
the energy usage in schools, so that we might pick up where our
programmes are having an impact. This means they would have to be easy
to install and then remove so we can take them with us as we move around
schools. They may have to be able to do deal with multiple main
electricity points and be able to aggregate or simultaneously record
multiple inputs (dependant on cost) other wise we will have to report
each one separately which is also possible but means having more of
them. Ideally they would measure and record in real time meaning would
could see night time energy usage and day time energy usage etc and pick
up hot spots of energy use. And their cost would need to be reasonable.
Remember we are a charity when asking about prices so that often we will
get charity prices or discounts.
Once you�ve got a good idea of what�s out there, it might be worth
calling Andrew Ford who knows a lot about energy in schools below. He
knows about GAP Schools programme as we�ve worked with him before and
explain what you have found and see if he thinks it is fit for purpose
of it there is a better way of doing things.
Energy Projects Officer
Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre for London
Green Living Centre
222 Upper Street, London, N1 1XR
t : 020 7527 2022
f : 020 7527 2332
Alternative contact: Energy Centre 020 7527 2121
Whilst working on the schools research, if you do happen to speak to
schools etc, do please be open to giving them information about our
schools programme and putting them in touch with me so that we might
pursue running programmes with any interested parties.
International Data Collation: GAP EcoTeams (Estimated Workload 4 hrs/ .5
of a day as and when information comes in)
As I mentioned I will be talking in Copenhagen in the lead up to the
COP15 negotiations later this year. I will be presenting findings from
our Ecoteams programme across all of our international partners and have
recently requested they send me their reports and data. It would be
great if I had someone to bring this together for me and perhaps even
create a visual that easily shows the programme impacts across all of
our international partners. I am waiting on data from India and Spain
this week and will forward this onto any interested parties to work on.
Transporting our Interactive displays in an EcoFriendly way: (Estimated
workload 16hrs/ 2 days Max)
At the moment we move all of our interactive displays (Eco Driving
Simulator/ Energy bike/ Carbon Gym) by public transport as we simply
assumed that public transport was the most enviro friendly way to get
these to events. A debate at the pub last night with the director, Gav
(who you met yesterday re the EcoDriving Simulator) and some others led
us to question that assumption however. A typical journey for any one of
our Interactive displays involves a taxi ride followed by a train ride,
followed by another taxi ride. We are wondering if there is perhaps a
place for an extremely eco efficient vehicle to be driving these things
to events instead.
Calculations to figure this out would probably involve 5 scenarios of a
typical journey for our simulators that are representative of their
travelling. Across these 5 scenarios public transport (taxi and train)
would be compared against a range of vehicles�.you would need the
dimensions of the interactive displays to ensure they would fit in
whichever vehicle that is chosen. I�m certain they would fit in a small
van, but perhaps they would even squeeze into a car with drop down seats
opening the possibilities to far more efficient vehicles. Or indeed
would electric vehicles fit our purpose, be affordable, and be able to
do the distances required.
Ideally a very small report at the end would give us the appropriate
option and cost for each type of journey along with associated cost as a
comparison against our current methods. This would look something like:
London event: Hybrid = 1KG of Carbon from return trip
of less than 30 miles and cost �20.
Compared to return Taxi of 5Kg and �25
Outside London short distance = Small Van 3Kg for 60 mile return trip
and cost �25 Compared to return taxi of 4 miles plus
train of 25 miles return at �40 total.
Long distance = Train and Taxi as before.
Costs would assume the attendance of 2 Eco Educators along with the
interactive display e.g. 2 train fares at economy rate etc.
This would allow us to always transport our displays in the most
environmentally friendly way possible; which we are not sure we are
doing at the moment. We would also be looking for companies who would
help us fulfil these travel plans e.g. green tomato cabs run Hybrid
Taxi�s in London and I�m sure there must be Electrical Hire vans,
otherwise there are some quite efficient vehicles within the StreetCar
car club company.
OK, That�s all.
I�m sorry it�s so lengthy. I wanted to be clear about the projects.
Please do contact me directly if you are interested in gaining some
experience working with us.
Behaviour Change Researcher
Global Action Plan � creating the climate for change
8 Fulwood Place, London WC1V 6HG
t - 020 7025 3960| f - 020 7831 6244 | e -
scott.davidsonatXYZxyzbalactionplan.org.uk | w
Winners: the Ashden award for sustainable energy Finalists: Creating
the Future Awards
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Dr Ian A. Renfrew
Reader in Climate System Dynamics
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
tel: 01603 592557
fax: 01603 591327