Title: SFRC newsletter for alumni and friends
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089452/00005
 Material Information
Title: SFRC newsletter for alumni and friends
Series Title: SFRC newsletter for alumni and friends
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: School of Forest Resources and Conservation. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida
Publisher: School of Forest Resources and Conservation. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: April 2007
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089452
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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April 2007

FRC Newsletter
...for alumni and friends

Cellulosic ethanol
Energy crops
25 x '25
Wood pellets or Co-iarilng
power plants
Net metering

This is some of the diverse vocabulary being used in many of
the important local, national and global discussions onbioenergy.
The SFRC is deeply involved in these discussions because forest
biomass is a promising source of energy for electricity, heating
and transport fuels. In particular, energy from forests has the
potential to help:
Reduce reliance on traditional energy sources like coal and
* Promote rural economic development by keeping dollars spent
on woody biomass and energy in the local economy;
Sustain forested ecosystems by providing landowners with
new markets;
Improve forest health and reduce fire hazard by creating a
market for small trees and understory shrubs;
Mitigate global warming by reducing greenhouse gas
emissions through use of carbon-neutral feedstocks; and
Promote energy independence from foreign sources.

Yet, as with any new, emerging industry there are many
questions to be answered both for the industry as a whole and
for each new facility that is planned: (1) What are the best
feedstocks and will their supply be sustainable in the long term?
(2) Under what conditions are new facilities economically viable?
(3) What will be the environmental impacts to soils, wildlife, water
and air? (4) How will the new industries influence competitiveness
of existing industries that depend on the same feedstocks? (5)
Do life cycle studies indicate a substantial net savings in energy
and carbon emissions compared to traditional sources? (6) Will
production of bioenergy result in reduced efforts to conserve
SFRC faculty and staff are conducting research to address
some of these questions and are providing information through
Extension programs to inform citizens, landowners and policy
makers. This issue of the SFRC Newsletter highlights a few of
our on-going efforts in this area, and more new projects are
planned. Overall, UF/IFAS has more than 100 scientists working
on various aspects of renewable energy. It is clear that Florida
has the potential to be a major contributor to the production of
biomass energy, and it is important to have as much information
as possible to help guide policy development and decisions about
our energy future. We welcome your comments, questions and

Tim White

EconomicAnalysis of Bioenergy

The feasibility of bioenergy depends largely on the economic
availability of woody biomass. Many projects have estimated
the total amount of biomass available in a given area but have
failed to take into account varying cost of transportation and
types of biomass (urban waste vs. forestry
residues). The School of Forest Resources and -
Conservation, the USDA Forest Service's
Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interface -
Research and Information and the Southern
States Energy Board coordinated efforts to _
determine the economic availability of woody "
biomass in 27 counties across the southeast. -.: ]-._.
The economic availability of woody......-

allowed researchers to assign speed limits and determine road
length and to calculate haul times rather than just hauling
distances. Haul time calculations were increased by 25 percent
to account for operational delays. All of the data were then used
to create supply curves that express the price of a resource at a
given quantity of demand. The project concluded that electricity
.., -- could be produced at a particular price as
--, --' long as the specific types of biomass were
-- -T. -1 transported within a given distance.
.. The information available through the
. -. internet allows this type of analysis to be
i replicated for any area of the United States
Sand the U.S. Forest Service Inventory and
Analysis Program is developing a national
biomass dataset that could improve the

biomass considers the total cost of delivered biomass, including: effectiveness of the analysis.
procurement, harvest, and transportation costs. Procurement For full article see http://www.esri.com/news/arcuser/1006/
areas and transportation costs were evaluated using GIS. GIS biomasslof2.html
The School of Forest Resources & Conservation Newsletter is published to inform alumni and friends. Comments and information to share
should be directed to the Main Office: phone (352) 846-0850, fax- (352) 392-1707, email- sfrc@ifas.ufl.edu. Visit our website at www.sfrc.ufl.edu.


The SFRC has approximately 140 undergraduates,
which are mostly juniors and seniors studying one of
three majors: Forest Resources and Conservation,
Geomatics, or Natural Resource Conservation. The
SFRCfaculy have approximately 90 graduate students
pursuing masters and doctoral degrees.

Global Energy Issues

Global Energy Issues was a new course
held last spring on the Plant City Campus.
The seminar was led by MichaelAndreu as a
direct outcome of his research interest
investigating biomass to bio-methanol
production from small scale mobile
conversion processors. Through reading and
discussions, the class explored issues related
to climate change and potential mitigation
effects that renewable energy and specifically
biomass can provide. Throughout the
semester students were engaged in
discussions ranging from the ecological
impacts to the policy, economic and social
impacts of biomass and bio-energy
production. The class supplemented
readings and discussions with two field trips
including participation at the two day meeting
Fueling the Future: The Role of Woody
Biomass held in Gainesville as well as visiting
Wheelabrator Ridge Energy Inc., a generating
facility in Polk County, Florida that uses
woody biomass as a feedstock to produce
electricity. The course was designed so that
students would leave the class with a better

understanding of the tradeoffs and barriers
associated with energy production
worldwide. Student Jonathon Wright
summarized the sentiments of the class well
when he stated at the end of the semester
evaluation, "When the course began, I had
no idea what biomass is, now I can carry on a
conversation with professionals in the
industry and know what I am talking about."
It is our hope that we can continue to expose
students to new ideas and ways of thinking
about natural resources and the role they play
in providing solutions to future energy needs.

Fulfilling Our Mission

The SFRC has 41 research faculty that generate over
- million annually to conduct research in five focus
areas: (1) Forest systems biology; (2) Human dimen-
sions broadly defined to include social sciences, econom-
ics, recreation, andpojiy related toforest resources; (3)
1 and tropical forest; (4) Urban forest
and the ildland-urban interface; and (5) Geomatics.
Janaki R.R. Alavalapati and Wayne H.
Smith, University of Florida, Gregory S.
Amacher, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
State University, and Sayeed R. Mehmood,
University of Arkansas have launched a
research project to "determine optimum
incentives to promote bioenergy and
sustainability of non-industrial private
forests inthe U.S. south". This is a $821,019
three-year project funded jointly by the US
Department of Energy and US Department
of Agriculture with cost-sharing
arrangements from the University of Florida,
the University of Arkansas, and Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University.

This project will determine the optimum
mix of policy instruments that can bridge
current management and sustainable forest
management of non-industrial private forests
with wood energy as a product in the U.S.
South. Specifically the effect of the following
scenarios will be investigated in Arkansas,
Florida and Virginia.
Technical support and cost-share or
price support for thinned material to improve
the health of forest ecosystems.
Incentives to cover the cost of biomass
transportation, a production subsidy for
wood energy, and cost-sharing capital
investments in building wood fueled
distributed plants or retrofitting existing coal
and/or natural gas plants.
Investments to advance technologies
of biomass production and its use in energy
Price support for bioenergy and/or a
tax on conventional energy to reflect the
societal benefits of bioenergy production.
Households' willingness to pay a
premium for bioenergy reflecting their
preferences for green energy.

The SFRC has 9 extension specialists throughout
the state. Extension secialsts develop a wide variety
ofprograms and material to be used by county ex-
tension agents. In developing material the pecial-
ists work with state agencies andprofessional organi-
Wood to Energy Outreach
Woody biomass is a promising source
of energy for electricity, heat and power.
In many southern communities, where
working forests are close to expanding
communities, there are cost-effective
opportunities to use this carbon-neutral
form of energy. One barrier, however, is
that people aren't aware of this potential.
Martha Monroe, Associate Professor in
SFRC, is overseeing a large project
dedicated to improving public awareness
about the possibilities of using wood for
energy in the southern wildland-urban
interface. "Our research on public
perceptions of using wood for power
suggests that respondents are very
concerned about losing nearby forests
and polluting the air, but also very
interested in using waste resources if it
can be economical," she said. Additional
research, led by Doug Carter and Matt
Langholtz (SFRC,'05) and Alan Hodges
(UF) identified the communities in the
South that are likely to be able to use
wood and analyzed their road system,
wood supply, and local economy to
determine the cost and availability of
wood as well as the economic impact of
using it (see front page).
In addition to raising awareness among
the public, the project will help
community leaders consider strategies for
using wood for generating electricity, for
powering industry, or for heating schools,
hospitals, or prisons.
The materials (fact sheets, case studies,
and economic profiles) will be distributed
by a network of trained Biomass
Ambassadors people interested in
woody biomass opportunities such as
local foresters, extension agents, regional
planners and energy specialists.
Project materials and strategies were
pilot tested in Gainesville in a series of
community forums. "Our experience with
the forums suggests that people want
information, do not trust the persuasive
debate format, and arrive full of questions.
They want to be involved in planning the
system," explains Monroe.

Above: Alan Shelby, Jeff Doran, Gail Kimbell (Chief, USDAForest
Service), JackVogel ('69) and Marsha Kearney attend the National
Association of Universities with Forest Resources Programs in
Washington, D.C.
SElwyn Spence passed away in
C Congratulations to Scott Sager & Julie
Helmers('02) for the birth of Bennett
James on April 6, 2007.
SLaura Paterson and Ethan Sadowski
(right) were married in Pensacola, FL on
March 31,2007.

Dave Gibson (left) was named one of the "Surveying
Profession's 25 Most Influential People" by
Professional Surveyor Magazine in August 2006.
This award was made as a result of a national poll
of professionals and their
leaders. P.K. Nair (right) was
awarded the prestigious
Humboldt ResearchAward in July of 2006 for his
work in agroforestry. Dr. Nair's research was
examined by scientists from multiple countries
and was found to have great international
Shibu Jose received a grant from the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services to conduct research on the ecology and management of
hardwood forests in Florida in collaboration with the Division of
Martha Monroe, Lauren McDonell, and Annie Hermansen-
Baez produced the Changing Roles: Wildland-Urban Interface
Professional Development program that won the Gold Award for
Training Materials from the National Association of Natural
Resource Extension Professionals in May 2006. Greg Starr was
awarded a grant from the National Institute for Climatic Change
Research to conduct research in the Florida
Sherry Tucker (middle, left) received the
2007 Superior Accomplishment Award from
IFAS. Wayne Smith was recently named a
Fellow in the Society of American Foresters
and became Chair of the Southeastern Society of American
Foresters in January 2007. John Davis and Alison Morse have been
mentoring Katie Termer from Clay County High School. She won
first place in her category at the Clay Regional Science and
Engineering Fair and will be attending UF this summer.

UF has a new student chapter of the Society of American Foresters
in Plant City. The founder and chapter chair is Mindy Napier.
Carolyn Cheatham Rhodes, Mary Thornhill and Erin Brown (above)
attend the Annual Southeastern SAF meeting in Auburn.
The UF Forestry Club
--- attended Conclave in
Tennessee March 16-
17. Congratulations to
the following students
who placed in their
events (left): Yarrow
Titus, Jared Nobles,
Colin Gordon, Aaron
Trulock, Gary Johns and Eric Thomas. Solomon Haile's poster
entitled "Soil Carbon Stabilization and Sequestration in Tree-based
Pasture Systems" earned first place in the poster contest at the
American Society of Agronomy, Crop Sciences Society of America,
and Soil Sciences Society of America annual meeting.

Without the support of friends we could not maintain our level of
academic excellence. Thanks to all our supporters. Thanks to the
following for their contributions to the SFRC's Unrestricted Fund:
The Rayonier Foundation, William Bennett('54), Greg
Driskell('88), Paul Mott('67), Donna Legare('75), Joseph
Walthall('76), Roger Bollinger('61), Andy('03) & Julie Ruth,
Cierra('06) & Seth('03) Ward and Richard Fisher. Thanks to the
following for their contributions to Project Learning Tree:
Packaging Corporation ofAmerica, International Paper Company
Foundation, Florida Forestry Association, Plum Creek Timber
Company and Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation. Thanks to the
following for their contributions to the University of Florida Forest
Stewardship Program: Marden Industries, Inc., Farm Credit of North
Florida, DuPont, Farm Credit of Northwest Florida and Blanton's
Longleaf Container Nursery. Thanks to Wayne Smith & Mitzi
Austin, Larry Harris and Norma Horan-Vogt for their contributions
to the John Gray Endowment for Excellence in Forest Resources
and Conservation. Thanks to Rand & Geraldine Edelstein and Melda
Bassett, in memory of Paul Shelley, for their contributions to the
William Paul Shelley, Sr. Memorial Fund in Forestry. Thanks to the
Florida Surveying and Mapping Society, Inc. for their contribution
to the Surveying Support Fund. Thanks to Mr. & Mrs. James H.
Lybass Jr. for their contribution that supports the 2007 Jim & Joh
Lybass Scholarships. Thanks to Muthiah Govindarajan for his
support of Dr. Nair's research in agroforestry. Thanks to Wayne
Smith & Mitzi Austin for their contribution to the Wayne Smith
Student Leadership Fund. Thanks to Jack & Kathy Ewel for their
contribution to the Learning Center Fund in memory of Marie Louise
Wesley "Mickey" Swinford. Thanks to Wayne Smith and Mitzi Autin
for their contribution to the turpentine restoration project.



Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
PO Box 110410
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410

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