ESF was proud to learn recently that we, along with our partners, have received a USDA, National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Higher Education Challenge grant. As Dr. Tim Volk, Co-Director of the State University of New York Center for Sustainability and Renewable Energy and Senior Research Associate at ESF explains,
“Development of renewable energy sources is a critical national and global issue due to concerns about the quality and quantity of fossil fuel resources, energy security, and potential human health and environmental impacts. In order to meet this growing demand for renewable fuels, educators must prepare students with an understanding of the complexities of production and conversion of different forms of bioenergy, current and future supplies and the associated environmental impacts.” The primary focus of this project is on woody biomass from forests and perennial energy crops grown on marginal agricultural land that is not being used for production of food crops.
Dr. Volk will lead this project called From Farm and Forest to Fuel: An Integrative and Experiential Approach to Bioenergy, Biofuels and Bioproducts Education. We will develop and distribute a series of systems-based case studies that portray the complex relationship among ecosystem services, bioenergy production, and energy markets. And we will enhance preparation of professionals through a collaborative internship program with bioenergy organizations throughout New York State.
Along with Dr. Volk and myself, project leaders represent a collaboration between ESF and our partners, including
- Mr. Frank Caliva, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Talent Initiatives at CenterState CEO
- Mr. Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Director, Syracuse CoE Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE)
- Mr. Michael Kelleher, Director of Renewable Energy Systems, SUNY ESF
- Dr. Richard Beal, Assistant Dean, Educational Outreach and Credit Programs, ESF Outreach
The Project team will include
- Mr. Tim Benson, Building Manager, SyracuseCoE
- Ms. Tammy Rosanio, Project Manager/Assistant to the Executive Director, SyracuseCoE
- Ms. Carissa Matthews, Outreach Program Manager, SyracuseCoE Center for Sustainable Community Solutions
- Ms. Ana Fernandez, Associate Director of Administration and Project Manager, SyracuseCoE
- Ms. Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Director of the Center for CleanTech Entrepreneurship, the Tech Garden, CenterState CEO
- Ms. Virginia Williams, Associate Director for Professional Education and Non-credit Programs, ESF Outreach
- Ms. Emily Gillis, Project Coordinator, ESF Outreach
- Ms. Katherina Bendz Searing, Graduate Assistant, ESF Outreach
- Mr. Paul Otteson, Assistant Director of Communications and Web Coordinator, SUNY ESF
- Dr. Deborah Storrings, Instructional Specialist, Department of Landscape Architecture, SUNY ESF
We look forward to sharing more about this project as we work to develop authentic learning experiences that will prepare future professionals to address bioenergy challenges and opportunities.
Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach