Meeting notes (9/10): biochar and CO2

September 15, 2009 at 4:28 am Leave a comment

Present: Mariah, Josh, Erin, Claire, Julie, Alan

Alternate meeting times were briefly discussed. The Doodle poll had produced a couple of alternatives to Thursday at noon, with Wednesday noon and several times on Friday looking about as promising. Because of some schedule disruptions in coming weeks (see below), we won’t do anything about our meeting time for now.

Julie called two upcoming seminars in environmental chemistry to our attention.

  • Prof. Lynn Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography & UC San Diego, will be speaking on Thursday, September 15, 4:15 PM.
  • The following week, Prof. Kris McNeill (Reed ’92), U. Minnesota (but soon-to-be ETH in Switzerland) will be featured as the Thomas Dunne lecturer on Thursday, September 22, 4:15 PM.

Since each seminar offers an opportunity to meet with prominent environmental scientists on the same day that the Green Science Project would normally meet, we decided to cancel our Sept. 15 and 22 meetings in order to encourage group members to attend events connected with the seminar. Students can go to lunch with Dr. Russell (and the chemistry department will foot the bill) by showing up in the chemistry lobby at 11:50 AM. A similar encounter with Prof. McNeill will also be available and possibly a chemistry-sponsored dinner as well. Contact Julie for more details.

Finally, we turned to a discussion of some newsworthy stories. Claire alerted us to an article in The Economist (Tuesday, Sept 15, 2009) “The Virtues of Biochar”. Biochar is a substance produced by pyrolysis of agricultural materials, e.g., corn stover, that enhances the fertility of soils and also absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Next, Alan took us through his “high-carbon” lifestyle and sorted out the CO2 emitted by a year’s use of natural gas and electricity around the house, gasoline from his car, and jet fuel from airplane trips. The details are intricate so they will be presented in a separate post.


Entry filed under: In the News, Meeting notes, On Deck!.

Meeting notes (9/3) + preview (9/10) Russell and McNeill seminars

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