STEP Seminar: Clean Energy Resource Teams Panel

Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy
November 15, 2021 - 12:30 pm CST
- 1:30 pm
Josie Johnson Community Room 180, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
A lawyer, a community organizer, a former mayor, a writer, a geologist, and a community and economic developer walk into a bar–or rather, a clean energy partnership. Come visit with Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) members to learn more about this partnership, how it works to advance community-driven clean energy, and the various paths that brought folks to this work. 

Register to Attend

This panel will be offered both in-person and via Zoom, as part of the weekly STEP Seminar series hosted by the Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. STEP Seminars are free and open to the public. Find the full STEP Seminar Calendar here.


Register to Attend


Meet the panelists (read more here): 

Melissa Birch
Central CERT Coordinator
UMN Extension RSDP (Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships)
Melissa has worked and volunteered in research, non-profit organizations, natural resource management, and education in locations ranging from Mexico to Massachusetts to Minnesota. She is passionate about finding ways that clean energy can help meet communities’ needs.


Fritz Ebinger
CERTs Rural Energy Development Program Manager
UMN Extension RSDP
Fritz works on energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives with agricultural producers and rural businesses to reduce farm and business production costs and advance utility conservation planning.  Fritz served as a law clerk in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District before starting his clean energy career in wind and rural energy matters. 


Joel Haskard
CERTs Co-Director
UMN Extension RSDP
Joel has over fifteen years experience coordinating and managing community and economic development activities in the U.S. and abroad. A jack of all trades, Joel works across CERTs programming, and his current focus areas include MN Energy Stories, electric vehicles (EVs), and partnering with utilities on energy efficiency outreach.


Peter Lindstrom
CERTs Manager of Public Sector & Community Engagement
UMN Extension RSDP
Peter spearheads outreach and education to local units of government about approaches for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Peter also represents District 10 on the Metropolitan Council, and served as the mayor of Falcon Heights for 10 years. Most recently, Peter was Assistant Dir. of the Center for STEP at the Humphrey School, Executive Dir. of SciMathMN, and VP of Public Affairs at the MN High Tech Association.


Diana McKeown
Metro CERT Director
Great Plains Institute
Diana has led the Metro region of CERTs since 2007, during which time she has coordinated and participated in a number of clean energy initiatives. Diana has also collaborated on the launch of a number of projects/programs including GreenStep Cities, Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon, and a variety of energy savings measures through CERTified Campaigns. Prior to joining the CERTs team, Diana worked for over 14 years at Clean Water Action. Diana has extensive experience building strategic campaigns and coalitions. 


Lissa Pawlisch
CERTs Statewide Director
UMN Extension RSDP 
Over the past fifteen years Lissa has guided CERTs. After an environmental consulting stint, she got her Masters in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy. Lissa is passionate about working directly with communities to help them understand their energy options, the values that drive their projects, how technologies and practices can be deployed, and how to harness community capacity to affect change. 

Contact Info
Questions? Contact [email protected]