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April 15, 2013   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | BSRI retreat will focus on sustainability of bioenergy
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Virginia Dale

BSRI retreat will focus on sustainability of bioenergy

Terry Hastings

Director of Research Communications

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By Terry Hastings | April 15, 2013

The sustainability of bioenergy, including its socioeconomic and environmental components, will be the focus of UGA's Bioenergy Systems Research Institute annual retreat May 13 at the Georgia Center.

The daylong retreat is open to all UGA faculty, staff and students.

"This year's retreat recognizes the importance of renewable replacement of the fossil fuel economy to leaving our children and grandchildren a world in which they can continue to thrive," said Robert Scott, associate vice president for research and executive director of the BSRI. "This is the essence of sustainability. BSRI is part of a larger conversation at UGA into all aspects of energy, environmental and socioeconomic sustainability."

The annual gathering of UGA and regional bioenergy researchers will bring together scholars. Representatives of the bioenergy industry and government agencies also will participate. The retreat's goal is to facilitate collaborations among a spectrum of bioenergy research efforts by providing UGA faculty and other interested stakeholders with a venue for discussing their research interests and BSRI research focus areas. In addition to sessions on bioenergy and sustainability topics, the retreat will include a strategic planning session, lunch and a reception/poster session.

Poster abstracts are invited from undergraduates and graduate students, postdocs and faculty members. Abstracts must be submitted April 26 by 5 p.m. Awards will be given for the best poster in each category.

Virginia H. Dale, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Center for Bioenergy Sustainability, will give the keynote speech titled "Sustainable Bioenergy Challenges and Perspectives."

Dale also is ORNL corporate fellow and the 2006 Distinguished Scientist for the laboratory. Her primary research interests are environmental decision-making, forest succession, land-use change, landscape ecology, ecological modeling and sustainability of bioenergy systems. She has served on national scientific advisory boards for five federal agencies and recently served on the committee of the U.S. National Research Council on Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuels Policy.

More than 200 UGA faculty, postdocs and students are engaged in bioenergy and sustainability research.

Faculty represent the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Odum School of Ecology, the College of Engineering and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences as well as several centers and institutes.

The agenda, registration and poster abstract information are at

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