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Small World Department

When Laura Henson, a 2008 graduate of Washington and Lee, began graduate studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, Calif., she found herself in a challenging quantitative-modeling course required for all incoming students.

Turns out, her professor was Jim Williams, of W&L’s Class of 1980. Laura aced the course.  “She got 100 percent on a difficult final exam and had by far the best overall course grade out of 32 students,” Jim says, with a burst of W&L pride.

Laura, an avid scuba diver, is pursuing her passion for ocean conservation in the marine policy program at the MIIS’ new Center for the Blue Economy. She majored in English literature and environmental studies and, after graduation, spent two years in Mozambique with the Peace Corps.

A physics major, Jim leads the energy and climate change track of the International Environmental Policy program at the Monterey Institute. He has worked in the fields of energy and climate change for more than 25 years as a researcher, teacher and consultant.  He specializes in energy technologies, markets and policies for electric power systems, with experience ranging from regulatory policy and carbon-market design to grid integration of renewable energy, transmission planning, energy efficiency and demand response, electric vehicles, energy storage and distributed generation.

In addition, he is chief scientist of the San Francisco consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics (E3). He has just published a research article in the Jan. 6, 2012, edition of Science about the long-term technology and policy changes required to deeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.