Samantha Lindgren, Ph.D.

A current Link Foundation Energy Fellow, Sam’s current research aims to broaden our understanding of the role of youth in advancing sustainable energy in rural households in low- and middle-income countries. Specifically, she examines whether children’s attitudes about energy affect household behaviors such as the adoption of efficient cookstoves or solar cookers, or decisions about fuel selection and use. She also works with informal educators at camps in rural Illinois and in Namibia, and at a high school in Cambodia, to assess how youth’s attitudes about topics in sustainable energy and agriculture change after participating in activities that are focused on conservation, and aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and Education for Sustainable Development framework.

Elsewhere on campus, she is the Coordinator of STEM Teacher Development at the Office for Mathematics, Science & Technology Education in the College of Education. Lindgren is the PI on current, and past, grants from the Illinois EPA, bolstering the state’s efforts at incorporating environmental education/education for sustainable development in Illinois schools.

Research Topics:

  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a framework for engaging youth in international engineering and sustainability projects
  • The role of youth in advancing sustainable energy choices and behaviors within rural households

Selected Publications and Presentations:

Lindgren, S., Morris, K., & Price, A. (under review). Increasing students’ proenvironmental attitudes through the integration of environmental education into formal science curriculum: Pilot results from a middle school science storyline. Journal of Environmental Education.

 Lindgren, S. (under review). Defining and Engaging Stakeholders in Improved Cookstove Adoption Programs: A Critical Review. Energy Research and Social Science.

Lindgren, S. (October 21, 2018). The effectiveness of education and behavior change communication in cookstove adoption: a proposed research agenda. Paper presented at the 7th Annual Sociology of Development Conference: Obstacles to Development, Urbana-Champaign, IL.

Lindgren, S., Jahnke, K., Alonso, M., & Elliott-Litchfield, B. (January 18, 2017). Maintaining traditional cooking with stored solar thermal energy. Poster presentation for the 6th Annual Solar Cookers International World Conference, Gujarat, India.

Lindgren, S., Jahnke, K., Alonso, M., Floess, E., Bond, T., Elliott-Litchfield, B. (November 12, 2015). Cooking with stored solar energy. Poster presentation for the Nutrition, Health and Gender in Sub-Saharan Africa, Urbana, IL.

Hu, Y., Valocchi, A., Lindgren, S., Ramos, E. and Byrd, R. (2015). Groundwater Modeling with MODFLOW as a Web Application. Groundwater. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12372


  • PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, expected May 2020
  • M.Ed. in Science Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota, 2007
  • B.S. in Astrophysics, University of Minnesota, 2002


  • Link Foundation Energy Fellowship
  • UIUC Grad College Dissertation Travel Award
  • ComEd Female Founder Award
  • Gulfstream Navigator Award
  • Cozad New Venture Competition Energy Award