CSU seminar on forestry contractors & forest health

Hey CSU BANRians- another project-relevant Wednesday forestry seminar:

The Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship presents Damon VaughnGraduate Research Assistant, Forest & Rangeland Stewardship Department, Colorado State University

Wednesday, December 10, 12:00-12:50 PM, Forestry Building room 127

Characteristics of Colorado Forestry Contractors and Their Role in Current Forest Health Issues

This talk will present results from a survey of Colorado’s forest harvesting contractors and explore their capacity to address current forest health issues. Recent wildfires have received national attention and inspired large public expenditure into community wildfire mitigation projects. This in part has inspired forestry contractors in the state to shift away from traditional logging and toward service type projects such as forest thinning and defensible space. The contractor survey revealed a diminished workforce which has struggled to find identity following policy changes and economic events of the 21st century.

Hope to see you there!

Two seminars of interest @ CSU this Wed.

Hey CSU BANRians- there are two seminars this Wednesday that may be of interest:

  1. The Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship presents Jamie Dahl, Experiential Learning Coordinator at the Colorado State Forest Service

    Wednesday, December 3rd 12:00-12:50 PM, Forestry Building room 127

    Connections through research and teaching provide mutual benefits to Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado State University

    Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) outreach efforts are amplified by its strong relationship with Colorado State University (CSU) and the Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR). The CSFS utilizes opportunities in both teaching and research to further develop and deliver accurate, clear, and consistent messaging. The CSFS and human dimensions researchers in WCNR have teamed up to explore knowledge transfer, in order to bridge the gap between scientists, practitioners and homeowners.  The take home message: knowledge transfer should focus less on delivering specific knowledge and more on developing and strengthening networks with community members, practitioners and scientists.

    Experiential learning is powerful teaching tool that the CSFS employs to help bridge the knowledge transfer gap. The CSFS coordinates various experiential learning programs, through which, students of all ages learn by doing. These hands-on, real world applications allow students and volunteers to experience forest stewardship, forest management and outreach through active participation. This investment in experiential learning not only benefits the students, but it also provides a strong link between the university and external partners, including agencies, industry, and other stakeholders. CSFS is involved in several experiential learning programs that benefit CSU students: the CSFS Volunteer Program, internships and seasonal positions, undergraduate and graduate research projects, student club targeted activities, and Tree Campus USA.

  2. The Bioenergy at CSU seminar series presents Dr. Karl Albrecht, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Wednesday, December 3rd  11 am, Lory Student Center 304-306.

    Advanced Biofuel and Biochemical Production at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing enabling technologies for the conversion of biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals via several pathways.  First, a brief overview of research currently underway at PNNL will be presented.  Topics will include bio-oil hydrotreating/upgrading; alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) processing; fungal biotechnology methods to produce chemical precursors; syngas conversion to chemicals and fuel intermediates; and the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of terrestrial and aquatic biomass.  The majority of the presentation will focus on HTL processing.  HTL is a biomass liquefaction process similar to fast pyrolysis (FP) in that an organic biocrude phase is produced.  HTL and FP both capture about 50-65% of the biogenic carbon in the intermediate biocrude or bio-oil.  However, 60% of the carbon reports to the upgraded organic phase after hydrotreating compared to only about 35% of carbon after hydrotreating FP bio-oil.  Furthermore, HTL produces a more stable biocrude intermediate compared to FP bio-oil, allowing for single-stage hydrotreating with significantly lowered capital costs.  When applied to aquatic biomass, HTL is an extremely efficient lipid extraction process as both neutral and polar lipids are converted.  Additionally, the carbohydrates and proteins present in the algal biomass report to biocrude.  Capturing the non-lipid fractions of the algal biomass significantly improves the yields possible when utilizing HTL compared with traditional lipid extraction.  As with terrestrial feedstocks, hydroprocessing of aquatic biomass-derived biocrude is feasible in a single temperature hydrotreater with 95% of the C reporting to the upgraded organic phase.

Hope to see you there!

How will you celebrate National Bioenergy Day on Oct. 22?


Next Wednesday, October 22 is the 2nd annual National Bioenergy Day!  Check out this website to learn more about learning and outreach events happening around the country:



A few highlights:

Colorado – USDA Forest Service Region 2 will be hosting a free event on small-to-district-scale heating from forest biomass at their Golden headquarters from 10am-2pm.  “A Conversation on Conversion” will feature speakers introducing biomass heating projects from all around the state, focusing o:

  • the benefits of using forest biomass to provide heat
  • how and why forest biomass was is currently used in some long-standing, successful regional examples to lower heating costs while improving forest health at the same time
  • what resources are (and will be) available to assist you with your own conversions

Download the agenda here, and note that while the event is free and open to the public, an RSVP is required.

Montana – National Bioenergy Day falls during Montana Forest Products Week, so check out the state Department of Natural Resources website to learn more about celebrations and activities occurring all week across the state:  http://dnrc.mt.gov/forestry/assistance/biomass/forprodweek/default.asp

On the web – Our NIFA CAP colleagues at the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest project will be hosting a webinar at 10am Pacific time entitled Biofuels Policies: Why a Clean Fuels Standard and Other Government Policies Are Important to Bringing the Advanced Biofuels Industry to Scale in the Northwesthttp://hardwoodbiofuels.org/event/biofuelpolicies/

Note that pre-registration is required.


Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Meeting

Golden, CO – June 26, 2014

The Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR) was well-represented at the June meeting of the Jefferson County chapter of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES).  The meeting provided an introduction to the potential agricultural and climate benefits of biochar to members of the public through a screening of a video of excerpts from the 2012 US Biochar Initiative (USBI) Conference at Sonoma State University, edited by James Shikada.  Mike Rocke, VP of Business Development at Cool Planet Energy Systems (CPES), introduced the video and provided commentary throughout.  In addition, BANR Project Manager John Field introduced audience members to the alliance and recruited volunteers to participate in the BANR stakeholder engagement group.

Video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPJsYZLU_sM

Video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPJsYZLU_sM

Other experts were on hand to share their thoughts and answer questions on biochar, including Dr. Helena Chum of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Jonah Levine of The Biochar Company, and Dr. Paul Belanger of the Denver Climate Study Group.  A more detailed description of the event is available in the CRES newsletter:

http://cres-energy.org/july-2014-cres-newsletter/ – Jeffco

Thanks to CRES co-founder and SERI/NREL alumnus Dr. Ron Larson for organizing and leading the meeting!