Back to Top
Skip to main content
NETL Scientist Participates in Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration Program
Gail Choisser

Through the RECS Program, young professionals like NETL’s Gail Choisser, an NETL geo-data scientist, expand their outlook on technology, policy, social and environmental justice and how they can be factored into carbon capture and storage. 

An NETL researcher gathered invaluable knowledge and experience by participating in the annual Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS) program — a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) education program designed to help graduate students and early career professionals expand their knowledge and grow a collaborative network.

Gail Choisser, an NETL geo-data scientist, was the latest Lab researcher to participate in the widely respected RECS program that was founded in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) and NETL.

CCUS is a combination of technologies that capture, compress, transport, use and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large, stationary energy and industrial facilities. The RECS program also addresses removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

According to Choisser, the RECS program included interactive content on a range of CCUS topics and included site tours of a power plant specifically outfitted to integrate testing of carbon capture technologies, a coal mine, a CO2 capture facility and two injection wellheads as well as geology field exercises, live lectures, discussions and group projects.

Participants also toured the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility (ESIL), the ION Clean Energy Facility, the Global Thermostat Direct Air Capture Plant, and one of the NETL-supported CarbonSAFE storage sites in Gillette, Wyoming.

Some of the nation’s leading CCUS experts from DOE National Laboratories, the energy industry, CCUS project developers and academia provide valuable input for the program each year and lead key discussions of CCUS research, development and demonstration projects, commercial deployment trends, and policy and business impacts in the field.

More than 150 applicants sought to participate in the 2023 version of RECS. Choisser was selected as one of 31 participants who converged on NREL in Denver, Colorado, to participate in the program.

In addition to supporting RECS, NETL has a distinguished history with the program. Two NETL carbon storage researchers now serve as mentors to individuals who participate in the event.

Kelly Rose, Ph.D., NETL’s Science-Based Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Institute (SAMI) director, serves as a RECS mentor.

“With almost two decades of DOE and industry support, the CCUS industry plays a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and initiating the shift to clean energy,” Rose explained. “By partnering with RECS, FECM and NETL are furthering the commitment to accelerating a safe, reliable and technology-informed CCUS commercial sector.”

Ale Hakala, Ph.D., is a veteran speaker for RECS and currently serves as a senior fellow for geologic and environmental systems at NETL.

“NETL is committed to the next generation of energy and environmental innovators,” Hakala said. “I found the RECS program to be very effective and I’m excited to see the success of the program. RECS participants have been able to take the knowledge they gained in RECS and apply it to groundbreaking CCUS research and development.

RECS participants are graduate students or early career professionals who are based in the United States. RECS encourages people with backgrounds in geology, chemistry, hydrology, physics, engineering, natural sciences, and related fields to apply. Enrollment is limited and tuition is free. 

NETL is a DOE national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By using its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant, and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.