Huxley Speaker Series - The Salish Sea
Energy, Economics and Electoral Politics

Montage of solar array, wind turbine, stock market chart, engraving of Ben Franklin

Thursday, January 7, 2021
4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

On Zoom



There are no shortages of policy proposals and carefully constructed models to transform our energy system in response to the climate crisis. The problem has been turning these policies into law, even when the American public has been supportive of environmental protection.

State Representative and Western professor Sharon Shewmake talks about what she has learned working on policy in academia and what are the challenges faced in Olympia. 

More information about the speaker series is available here.

Sharon Shewmake

Dr. Sharon Shewmake


Sharon Shewmake (“shew-maik”) is a professor of environmental economics, urban economics, and energy policy at Western Washington University in Bellingham, and a children’s book author, spouse, and mother of two young boys. She completed Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University, and continued her education at the University of California at Davis, earning her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Before moving to Washington, Sharon taught environmental economics, econometrics, labor economics, and conservation policy at UC-Davis and Vanderbilt University, and in Botswana (through the Experiment in International Living). These areas of academic focus dovetail nicely with her appointments to the House Transportation Committee and the Environment & Energy Committee, and her position as vice chair of the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources — key concerns for Whatcom County and the entire state.  She is also vice chair of the House Children, Youth, and Families One Table — a round-table that regularly brings state legislators together with advocacy and stakeholder organizations to facilitate targeted conversation about bills that are being drafted or considered by the Legislature.

Sharon is a member of Bellingham’s Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association, a union member, a faculty advisor for Western Washington University’s Women in Economics and Finance Club, and a member of Whatcom County Climate Change Impacts Committee, the Riveter’s Collective, Walk Bike Bus Bellingham, and the Washington State Adult Soccer Association.

Upcoming Talks

January 14, 2021
Speaker: Drew Harvell, Cornell University
Title: To Be Announced 

January 21, 2021
Speaker: Ruth Miller
Title: To Be Announced 

January 28, 2021
Speaker: Adam Huggins & Mendel Skulski, Co-Hosts, Future Ecologies Podcast
Title: Scaling Change: Imagining Future Ecologies

Questions and Accommodations

Stefan Freelan is the coordinator of the Huxley Speaker Series. Feel free to email or call (360) 650-2949 if you have questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.