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July 25, 2012
By Megan Akers
The University of Nevada, Reno's National Geothermal Academy has been recognized as an outstanding leader in national geothermal education programs. The academy will be honored as a finalist in the Geothermal Energy Association's second annual GEA Honors awards, which recognizes companies and individuals that have made significant contributions during the past year in advancing technology, spurring economic development or protecting the environment.
The second annual National Geothermal Academy, currently underway at the University of Nevada, Reno, is one of eight finalists in the Special Recognition category of the GEA Honors. The Special Recognition honor will be awarded to just one finalist for outstanding achievement in the geothermal industry. The GEA additionally named finalists in the categories of Technological Advancement, Economic Development and Environmental Stewardship.
"The companies and individuals who were nominated demonstrate the significant progress being made in the U.S. geothermal industry," stated Geothermal Energy Association Executive Director Karl Gawell. "We are proud to recognize those companies and individuals who have otherwise made notable advancements and achievements for geothermal energy."
The National Geothermal Academy offers an eight-week intensive course throughout the summer in all aspects of geothermal energy and development and utilization. Topics covered during the course include geothermal energy utilization, geothermal geology and geochemistry, geophysics, drilling and reservoir engineering, power plant design and construction and environmental and business policy principles.
The University was chosen to host the academy by a cooperative of top geothermal schools because of its expertise in geothermal research and exploration and the abundance of geothermal activity in Nevada. Nevada has the largest amount of geothermal energy in the country, making programs such as the academy critical to the development of geothermal research.
"We are creating a program that will benefit geothermal development not just in the state, but nationwide and worldwide," Wendy Calvin, director of the University's Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, said. "This year, 16 of the 44 students involved in the academy come from countries scattered around the world, including places such as Kenya, Japan, India and Saudi Arabia."
Though the National Geothermal Academy is a relatively young program, it has already attracted national and worldwide attention that has positively accelerated overall geothermal education and earned the academy special recognition.
Winners of the GEA Honors awards will be announced at a special dinner at the GEA National Geothermal Summit Awards Dinner in Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 7.
Megan Akers is a student writer for University Media Relations.