Spring 2016
Tom Richard
Director of Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment
The Pennsylvania State University
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Forests and grasslands are the climax ecosystems for terrestrial landscapes and store substantial amounts of carbon, both above ground and below. However, at quasi-steady-state the net carbon accumulation of a mature ecosystem eventually declines to zero. Management for biomaterials and bioenergy can keep forests in a state of rapid carbon accumulation indefinitely, transferring much of the carbon captured by photosynthesis into bio-based materials or energy that substitute for greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive concrete, steel, and fossil fuels. This seminar will discuss important factors that affect the net GHG impact of managing ecosystems for bioenergy, biomaterials, and ecosystem storage in the NE United States.

Dr. Tom Richard is a Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and also serves as Director of Penn State’s Institutes for Energy and the Environment. He received a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research and teaching focuses on biomass energy systems, carbon and nutrient cycling, soil and water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. He is an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and is a Fellow and Past President of the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE).