I am an environmental science major here at HSU with a focus in energy and climate and a minor in environmental ethics. This is my last semester as I'll be graduating in May. I intend to begin work towards a Masters degree this fall in environmental science or management. Also, Kucera is a Czech last name and is often mispronounced. It is Coup-chur-uh.
Appropriate Technology is interesting in being able to help people be self-sustaining. Small communities don't necessarily need to be connected to the main power grid if they can generate their own power through micro-hydro or something similar.
Apart from humanitarian reasons that appropriate technology can help the human condition (by bringing electricity and its associated technology to regions that don't have it), appropriate technology seems far more environmentally benign than the standard run of technologies we find in the United States.
Until fusion becomes viable, I think that nuclear power and geothermal are two interesting sources of energy that aren't being aggressively pursued in the United States (although they have been in other countries). I like to see the effects of California's global warming law in how it is spurring development of solar (such as Ivanpah) and other renewable energies in the state.
When I was in high school I went on a service trip to Tecate, Mexico to build homes for the homeless. We had no electricity while doing this. While the people we built the houses for were thankful, by American standards the houses could be considered large sheds.
Also when I was in high school I participated in a competitive robotics team through the FIRST organization (team #1138). I've forgotten a lot of what I learned since being on the team but I guess it helped me learn how to put things together.