People / Alumni

Chelsi Sparti

Chelsi belongs to the Winnemem, Nomtipom, and Nomsus bands of the Northern Wintu people, and is of European settler descent. She carries out collaborative research with Puerto Rican residents to examine how communities on the island recover livelihoods and electricity after repeated extreme events. The work aims to identify opportunities to decarbonize the electric grid through federal disaster recovery appropriations. Her other research interests include electric grid modernization, climate justice, and disaster studies.

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 Native 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.

In the decade prior to graduate studies, Chelsi managed environmental nonprofit programs, advanced energy policy at all levels of government on radioactive waste storage at civilian nuclear power plants, served as a 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 Senate District 39), and served as a Fulbright Scholar to Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. Chelsi earned a Bachelor’s in Biology from Point Loma Nazarene University and is pursuing a Master’s of Energy & Resources at UC Berkeley.

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

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


  • CalMatters – Utilize Knowledge of Indigenous People to Prevent Wildfires (
  • CalMatters – Add Nuclear Waste to List of Social Injustices (
  • Congressional Task Force Report on Nuclear Waste

Research Group(s):

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