Generosity of local farmer creates national impact

Harold and Edythe Marshall’s gift of their 300-acre farm to Michigan State University has been a major boon to understanding the ecology of new biofuel crops, producing research results with national impact by scientists at MSU's Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). Under a unique partnership between the Marshalls and MSU, the farmland east of Hickory Corners in Barry County is enabling scientists from the KBS Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) to conduct unique biofuel research with funding from the US Department of Energy

Paradigm shifts: Re-envisioning agricultural landscapes to optimize ecosystem services

In 2013, the United Nations released a report projecting that the global population will reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050. This increase of 2.4 billion people between now and then is already beginning to challenge the world’s agricultural communities to provide adequate food, fuel and fiber while employing sustainable practices that conserve natural resources. The feat becomes more complex when coupled with the increasing demand to grow more bioenergy crops, combat biodiversity declines and regenerate the habitat of agriculturally important insects. Doug Landis, Michigan State University

CO2 flux towers help assess the sustainability of biofuels

This news piece by KBS LTER volunteer and retired journalist Bill Krasean. If the United States is to develop sustainable biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol as alternatives to grain-based ethanol and the burning of climate-changing fossil fuels, there are still many questions yet to be answered. Key among those questions is where best to grow biofuel crops without sacrificing valuable farm and forestland, says Jiquan Chen, Distinguished University Professor in Environmental Science at the University of Toledo and investigator in the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Great Lakes

Undergraduates conduct biofuel sustainability research at KBS

Cait Gallagher and Tamira Vojnar had the unique experience of gaining hands-on research experience as undergraduates at the KBS LTER this summer. Gallagher and Vojnar were part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that brings undergraduate students from across the country to KBS every summer. The ten-week REU program was funded by the Department of Energy through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). Gallagher, a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Vojnar, a junior at Bowdoin College in Maine, were at KBS from May through early

Job Opening – Postdoc in Terrestrial Ecohydrology

The DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC; has a postdoctoral opening at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station for research on the environmental sustainability of cellulosic biofuel cropping systems. The focus of the position is crop water use across a variety of perennial systems (herbaceous and woody). The position should start before Spring 2013. We require a PhD and experience with field and lab measurements in ecohydrology or aquatic biogeochemistry. KBS ( is located in SW Michigan midway between Detroit and Chicago, about 60