900 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045

Winds of Change: Rural Kansas and the Clean-Energy Transition


Michael Holtz (Journalist), Simons Public Humanities Fellow

TUE FEB 6, 7:00 PM   
Hall Center Conference Hall


The first large-scale wind farm in Kansas was built in 2001, and since then the state has become one of the top five producers of wind energy in the United States. Last year, the state's largest wind farm to date, High Banks Wind, came online. Located in the counties of Republic and Washington, in the north-central part of the state, High Banks is one of the most controversial projects either county has ever seen -- and the focus of nearly two years of reporting by Michael Holtz. The history of the project offers a compelling case study in how America's clean-energy transition is playing out at the most local of levels. In his talk, Holtz will share stories from his reporting and discuss what the fight over High Banks reveals about the fight against climate change.  

Holtz is a freelance journalist based in Kansas City whose reporting has focused on human rights, the environment, and rural communities. Most recently his work has been in the New Yorker and Atlantic, and he has been supported by grants from the Pulitzer Center, the Gumshoe Group, and the International Reporting Project.


After graduating from the University of Kansas with bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science, he worked at the Chicago Tribune, and Associated Press, and as the Beijing bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor.


Simons Public Humanities Fellows are individuals "of experience and accomplishment from outside the university" who participate in the intellectual life of the university while conducting research in residence.

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