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AHB Newsletter – Volume 4, No. 2 [Summer 2015]

Editor’s Notes

In this summer edition of our AHB Newsletter we feature the exciting high school Challenge program at Oregon State University where students focused on bioenergy and which types of feedstocks would be best for different communities. A landowner’s survey provides perspective on growing poplar-for-biofuels and bioenergy. In another article hear from Bobby Kirtlan, poplar farmer, about his experience with the project at the AHB demonstration site in Clarksburg, California. Our field tour season kicked off with a group of college students eager to learn more about bioenergy at our Stanwood, Washington site. And discover how University of Washington grad student Erik Budsberg provides valuable Life Cycle Analysis data that helps both industry and educational partners.

Betsy Fradd
Washington State University

Oregon High School Students Make Case for Community Specific Biofuel Production

Solving future bioenergy needs in Oregon may be a little easier thanks to the innovative efforts of a large group of teenagers concerned about the environment.
A group of men and women gathered in a field.

Washington Landowners Take on Bioenergy Crops

In the Pacific Northwest, a poplar-based bioeconomy starts with the growers producing the feedstock. Addressing their perceptions, misconceptions, opportunities, and concerns related to biomass production is vital to the success of the industry.
Two California Landowners with their poplar trees

Growing Poplar – A Landowner’s Perspective

Sixth generation farmer Bobby Kirtlan and his dad, Bob, have traditionally grown sugar beets, corn, tomatoes, and safflower in California's Sacramento Delta. So when the opportunity came to grow poplar specifically for bioenergy for an Advanced Hardwood Biofuels demonstration site, they were eager and enthusiastic.
Students from Western Washington University on a field tour at the Pilchuck site

Field Tour Season Kicks Off with Students Concerned about Energy and the Environment

A group of enthusiastic college students curious about the impact of poplar and bioenergy visited an outdoor classroom eagerly asking plenty of questions. Western Washington University (WWU) Environmental Studies students toured the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) Pilchuck demonstration site in late May and discovered how growing hybrid poplar is advantageous as a short rotation, woody energy crop and the different ways sustainable production impacts soil, water, and wildlife.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Erik Budsberg

After graduating from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Geology and a keen understanding of the limited availability of fossil fuel resources, Erik decided to work in an area where he could make a difference in the growing field of biofuels. He earned an M.S. in Bioresource Science and Engineering from the University of Washington (UW) in 2013, and he is now is a PhD student at the Biofuels and Bioproducts Lab at the UW School of Environmental and Forest Services. His work focuses on life cycle analysis (LCA) of biofuels, specifically those produced from poplar and willow trees.
Washington State University