Symposium toward Sustainable Bioenergy Production Systems

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
1:00 – 5:30 PM
Seay Auditorium
Agricultural Sciences Building North

Invited Speakers

Elliott Campbell, UC-Merced.
Life Cycle Analysis
EHarsh Bais, Univ. of Delaware
Rhizosphere Processes
Charles Brummer, Univ. of Georgia
Plant Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding
Morgan Robertson, Univ. of Kentucky
Ecosystem Services
Sandy Bell, Univ. of Connecticut
Learning Theory and Behavioral Sciences
Tim Cross, Univ. of Tenn.
Agricultural Extension

Everyone is welcome.

Symposium: Toward Sustainable Bioenergy Production Systems in the Southeastern U.S.

Energy security and global climate change are two significant factors that have contributed to an increased focus on U.S. bioenergy production from clean, renewable fuel sources. Increased bioenergy production can benefit agriculture and rural economies by boosting demand for renewable energy feedstocks (e.g. woody biomass, perennial grasses) and, with sound management strategies, also enhance soil carbon sequestration and promote or preserve biodiversity. However, the required scale of proposed production systems to meet the federal mandate of replacing 30% of petroleum-based with bio-based transportation fuels by 2030, raises concerns about the impacts on competing food, feed, and fuel markets. Additionally, questions arise concerning the long-term sustainability of the soil and water resources necessary for future food and energy production along with those related to the impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function.

The Southeastern (SE) U.S. is anticipated to be an epicenter of bioenergy feedstock production due to the large land area not optimized for row crop production or in forest management along with the sufficient moisture and long growing seasons within the region. Nevertheless, developing sustainable bioenergy production systems in the SE U.S. and implementing them on the scale and in the time frame required to meet federally mandated production targets presents a formidable challenge. To meet this challenge a concerted trans-disciplinary initiative that integrates research and development activities in plant, soil, agronomic, and ecological sciences together with the economic, social and behavioral sciences, must be initiated in order develop scientifically-based policies that appropriately incentivize the development of sustainable bioenergy production systems. Concomitantly, in order to rapidly develop and implement these sustainable production strategies, new models must be developed which promote rapid outreach to and engagement of producers and other stakeholders at all points along the production and supply chains. This symposium is designed to examine the state of the science and policy surrounding bioenergy feedstock production in the SE region and identify the priority issues, questions, and challenges that will need to be addressed to develop and implement sustainable bioenergy production systems within the decade.

Speakers

1:00 – 1:30 pm Paul Bertsch Univ. of Kentucky Opening Remarks and Overview
1:30 – 2:00 pm Elliott Campbell UC-Merced Life Cycle Analysis
2:00 – 2:30 pm 2:00 – 2:30 pm Univ. of Delaware Rhizosphere Processes
2:30 – 3:00 pm Break
3:00 – 3:30 pm Charles Brummer Univ. of Georgia Plant Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding
3:30 – 4:00 pm Morgan Robertson Univ. of Kentucky Ecosystem Services
4:00 – 4:15 pm Break
4:15 – 4:45 pm Sandy Bell Univ. of Conn. Learning Theory and Behavioral Sciences
4:45 – 5:15 pm Tim Cross Univ. of Tenn. Agricultural Extension
5:15 – 5:30 pm Paul Bertsch Univ. of Kentucky Closing Remarks

© 2013 Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment