Dr. Stephen Bird has a primary focus on energy and environmental policy. His current research is focused on microgrid governance, energy conflict and social acceptance, Smart Housing and split incentives, fracking, green data centers, activism and social movements, social influence, and policy learning. He is a Research Faculty Affiliate with the Positive Energy Project, and a Fall 2016 Fulbright Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance, both at the University of Ottawa. He completed his PhD on energy policy, social networks, and interest groups at Boston University in 2009. He received his Masters’ from Harvard University (extension) in 2003, was a Kennedy Rappaport Fellow in 2004, and worked for Harvard’s Electricity Policy Group from 2001-2010. Currently he is PI or Co-PI on a variety of research projects for New York State and the National Science Foundation with research partners that include IBM, AMD, and National Grid. Other engagements include the U.S. State Department, the European Commission, Massachusetts’ Environmental Affairs, and Mass Energy (a consumer’s energy non-profit). He is an avid outdoors person (climbing, hiking, ice climbing), advisor to the outing club, loves smashing a racquetball often, and plays electric bass in a variety of jazz and rock settings in the north country.

Education Background

Ph.D. - 2009 Boston University
A.L.M - 2003 Harvard University
B.A. - 1989 Berklee College of Music

Courses Taught

  • Energy Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • US Politics
  • Public Policy
  • Happiness

Research Interests

Scholarly Interests

Energy and environmental politics, social networks, public policy, U.S. electricity policy, democratic participation, political behavior, and pedagogy.



  • 2015-2018 - National Science Foundation (NSF). Developing Advanced Resilient Microgrid Technology to Improve Disaster Response Capability. Co- PI, (lead: Tom Ortmeyer) $1 million.
  • 2010-2018 - National Science Foundation (NSF). Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), Advancing Sustainable Systems and Environmental Technologies to Serve Humanity (ASSETs to Serve Humanity). Investigator (undergraduate research support);Sustainability Seminar.
  • 2016-2017 - New York Department of Public Service / National Grid / New York State Energy Research Development Agency (NYSERDA). Potsdam REV Demonstration Project. 2016-2017. New York Prize (Microgrid) Stage 2. Co- PI, (lead: Tom Ortmeyer) $220,000 (anticipated), with GE Energy Consulting.  
  • Clarkson University Institute of Sustainable Environment. Revealed and Stated Preference Approaches to Predicting Residential Solar PV Adoption. Co- PI, $25,000.
  • 2013-2015 - New York State Energy Research Development Agency (NYSERDA). Clean Energy and Smart Student Housing: Motivational Interventions for Improved Energy Efficiency in University Housing. $120,000. PON 2631. PI: Stephen Bird; Lisa Legault & Sue Powers –co-PIs.
  • Leveraging Existing Campus-Wide Wireless Network and Ubiquitous Mobile Devices to Predict Room Occupancy and Save Energy in HVAC. $100,000. PON 2606. PI: Daqing Hou. Co-PI: Stephen Bird et al.
  • FLIR Systems. Thermo-Imaging analysis for behavioral energy efficiency. $50,000 (under contract agreement). PI: Phil Hopke. Co-PIs: Stephen Bird et al.    
  • 2011-2014 - New York State Energy Research Development Agency (NYSERDA). Green Data Center Computing: A Demonstration Project. $350,000. Co-PI; PI: Pier Marzocca.
  • 2013: $50,000 Supplemental for Policy, Economic, and Market Analysis, PI: Stephen Bird.


Selected Publications

  • Bird, Stephen, and Chelsea Hotaling. forthcoming 2017. “Multi-Stakeholder Microgrids for Resilience and Sustainability.” Environmental Hazards, Special issue on Sustainability and Environmental Hazards, Peter Walker, Guest Editor.
  • Bird, Stephen, and Martin D. Heintzelman. 2017 (forthcoming). “Canada/U.S. Transboundary Energy Governance.” In Transboundary Environmental Governance Across the World’s Longest Border, edited by Stephen Brooks and Andrea Olive. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.
  • Cleland, Michael, Stephen Bird, Stewart Fast, Shafak Sajid, and Louis Simard. “A Matter of Trust: The Role of Communities in Energy Decision-Making.” Ottawa Canada: University of Ottawa and Canada West Foundation, October 2016.
  • Bird, Stephen. “Gas Fired Power Facilities Case Study: Oakville and King Township Ontario.” A Matter of Trust: The Role of Communities in Energy Decision-Making. Ottawa Canada: University of Ottawa and Canada West Foundation, October 2016.
  • Amanda K. Sherman, Stephen Bird, Susan E. Powers, Alexandra J. Rowe, Lisa Legault. “Motivational orientation explains the link between political ideology and proenvironmental behavior.” Ecopsychology. Forthcoming. Accepted September 2016.
  • Stephen Bird, Dan Kolundzic, Martin Heintzelman, Nik Nanos, and Bill Olson. Nanos Clarkson Research Collaboration, “Exploring the impact of the proposed Galloo Island energy project” for the Town of Henderson, NY. April 2016.
  • Walsh, Patrick J., Stephen Bird, and Martin D. Heintzelman. 2015. “Understanding Local Regulation of Fracking: A Spatial Econometric Approach.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 44 (2): 138–63.
  • Distributed (Green) Data Centers: A New Concept for Energy, Computing, and Telecommunications.” Bird, Stephen, Ajit Achuthan, Othman Ait Maatallah, Wenjin Hu, Kerop Janoyan, Alexis Kwasinski, Jeanna Matthews, David Mayhew, Jay Owen, and Pier Marzocca. (2014). Energy for Sustainable Development 19 (April 2014).
  • Agitation with a Smile: The Legacies of Howard Zinn and the Future of Activism. Stephen Bird, Joshua Yesnowitz and Adam Silver, eds., and co-authors. Paradigm Publishers, CO, 2013. Contributing authors include Frances Fox Piven, Martín Espada, & Noam Chomsky.
  • Policy Options for the Split Incentive: Increasing Energy Efficiency for Low-Income Renters.”
  • Stephen Bird and Diana Hernández. Energy Policy 48, September, 506-514 (2012).
  • “Energy Burden and the Need for Integrated Low-Income Housing and Energy Policy.”
  • Hernández, Diana, and Stephen Bird. Poverty & Public Policy 2, no. 4 (2010).
  • “The Structural Underpinnings of Policy Learning: A Classroom Policy Simulation.” In From Sociology to Computing in Social Networks: Theory, Foundations, and Applications, ed. Reda Alhajj and Nasrullah Memon: Springer, 2010.



Office Phone Number: 315/268-3990

Office Location: 271 Bertrand H. Snell Hall

Clarkson Box Number: CU Box 5750