People / Students

Chelsi Sparti

Chelsi is Indigenous, belonging to the Winnemem, Nomtipom, and Nomsus bands of the Northern Wintu people, and is of European descent. She carries out collaborative research with island residents to examine how Puerto Rican communities – on island and in diaspora – recover livelihoods and electric grid operations after repeat extreme events. Chelsi’s work aims to identify opportunities to decarbonize the grid through disaster recovery. Her other research interests include electric grid modernization, climate justice, disaster studies, and anticolonial science.

Chelsi is a Graduate Student Research Assistant at Berkeley National Laboratory in the Electricity Markets and Policy Group. She works on teams providing technical assistance to Tribal Nations, states, and territories who are developing cutting edge hazard mitigation and energy equity plans. Her current regional emphasis is on Hawai’i and California.

Prior to graduate studies, Chelsi managed environmental nonprofit programs, advanced energy policy on high-level radioactive waste storage at civilian nuclear power plants, served as co-author of the 2020 Congressional Task Force Report on Nuclear Waste with Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49), was recognized with a Women’s History Month Award by California Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (CA-39), and was a Fulbright Scholar to Borneo, Malaysia. Chelsi earned a Bachelor’s in Biology and is pursuing a Master’s of Energy & Resources.

Support for Chelsi’s work comes from The Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Scholarship Fund, Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI), Society of Women Engineers, Motorola Solutions Foundation, UC Berkeley Diversity Scholarship, and Fulbright via U.S. Department of State.

In her free time, Chelsi enjoys digging in the soil, spending time in advocacy efforts, visiting family in Mexico, and playing the harmonica to accompany her singing dog.

Research Group(s):

  • EMAC (Energy Modeling, Analysis and Control – Callaway)
  • Jones Lab