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A reflection on what seems to be an inflection point

Event Type
Department of Crop Sciences
W109 - Turner Hall
Nov 8, 2023   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Dr. Andrew VanLoocke
Originating Calendar
CPSC Seminars CSPC

There will be time for interacting with the speakers after the presentation.

A reflection on what seems to be an inflection point in the science and practice of using recently fixed carbon to make and do more things: and data from my lab of course

 The renewable fuels standard used to be the starting point in any publication or presentation about the future of the bioeconomy.  Then the topic of where and how to produce the raw material for a 21st century bioeconomy would quickly move to where, focusing on competition with existing land use practices. Over the last decade and a half, as the scientific and agricultural communities watched things unfold, it became increasingly clear that the intros to our papers and the mandates of the federal government, however eloquently worded and firmly rooted in U.S. policy they may be, really did not pan out.  But my recent experiences suggest this is not the end of the story, but an inflection point toward a new one.  What seems to be happening now is a lot less cathartic and monolithic than the original narrative but rather grass roots (pun intended), exciting, and moving really quickly. In my presentation, I hope to start a conversation about what happens next.  I will make the case using research and data from my lab and numerous collaborators that the path forward, whatever it may be, should be paved with spatially explicit and multi-faceted assessments of ecosystem services of growing biomass and bioproduct feedstocks domestically.  Pushing the boundaries of the bioeconomy will likely require pushing the boundaries of ecosystem science in a way that crosses disciplines and eliminating short circuits between developers and deployers of renewable supply chains.   I’m also quite curious to hear what you all think.

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