Student Stories: Assessing Decarbonization (and the Rodeo) in Wyoming

Ryosuke Shimizu photoRyosuke Shimizu is a second-year MPA/ID student at Harvard Kennedy School. He was accepted into the Growth Lab's 2022 Summer Internship Program and contributed to our policy engagement in Wyoming. Initial work will focus on understanding the causes of economic stagnation that have resulted in a deficit of job opportunities. We will also examine the risks and opportunities for the future of Wyoming’s economy, including automation and global decarbonization.

Why did you apply to be a Growth Lab intern?
The Wyoming project is a unique opportunity to analyze an economically stagnant region in a developed country. What I found very interesting is that the project also focuses on the impact of decarbonization trend on local economies. I thought that learning about the role of public policy in the energy transition process would be a great experience for my future career in the public sector.

What did you work on this summer?
I conducted research about Wyoming's energy strategy in response to decarbonization and the latest demonstration projects being conducted in Wyoming (e.g., rare earth extraction technologies). I also assisted a researcher at the University of Wyoming in writing an economic analysis report.

In what ways were you challenged?
In order to understand the current state of the energy transition process in the U.S., it was necessary to research a wide range of topics, including various energy technologies and federal/state government policies.

What was your most exciting experience?
I watched the rodeo festival held once a year in the town where I was staying in Wyoming. It was exciting to experience the essence of western culture in the U.S.

What advice would you give future Growth Lab interns?
I recommend examining the project topic in advance and choosing a project in your area of interest.

What's next for you?
Energy transition has become a common challenge for governments around the world. I would like to use the knowledge gained through this project in my future research activities in public organizations.