Kathryn Sparks (RECS 2014)

Program Assistant, Energy & Environment Program, The Atlantic Council (2014)

With a background primarily on policy, RECS 2014 provided me with the opportunity to not only learn the technical side, but also see CCS in action. Visiting Plant Miller, Plant Barry, the National Carbon Capture Center, and Kemper Country IGCC Power Plant, allowed me to understand the full CCS chain. Hearing about site assessments for carbon storage and reading about the regeneration cycle in carbon capture can only go so far. RECS gave us the opportunity to study geological cores in the Alabama Geological Survey, rock formations out in the field in Alabama, and walk through a carbon capture facility to complete the picture. In addition to technical content, RECS had many experts discuss my particular interests in policy, regulation, site monitoring, and public communications. Driving innovation in climate change mitigation can sometimes be a dauntless and  speculative task. RECS allowed me to see CCS work in action, speak to experts in the field, and realize CCS is real, is now. Climate change is happening and CCS is a practical and necessary step towards meeting climate goals.