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

Fertilizing to help the planet

This news piece by KBS LTER volunteer and retired journalist Bill Krasean. Researchers at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program have helped develop a way for farmers to reduce crop-related emissions of a greenhouse gas while potentially lowering fertilizer costs, maintaining crop yields, and getting paid to do so. KBS scientists have developed a program to reduce farm-related emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas that also destroys ozone in the stratosphere. Using data collected from Michigan farms,

Discussion series gives agricultural community a chance to weigh in on climate change

A series of meetings designed by the Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research (KBS LTER) program and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension to deepen the conversation between farmers, scientists, and agricultural professionals on a wide range of issues is proving quite a hit. In a continuing effort that began in 2012, KBS LTER Education & Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Julie Doll, and her colleagues from MSU Extension hosted three discussion events in March 2013 focusing on climate change, alternative energy, and the impacts they may have on Michigan’s agriculture and

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

Workshop helps scientists and journalists improve climate change communication

This piece is authored by David Poulson, Associate Director of MSU's Knight School of Environmental Journalism. It was originally published on July 2, 2013 at http://j-school.jrn.msu.edu/kc/2013/07/02/workshop-helps-scientists-and-journalists-improve-climate-change-communication/. This workshop was a collaboration between the Knight School, the KBS LTER, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. __ Susan White peered through her Skype hookup in Brooklyn at the journalists and scientists gathered on the other end of the connection in West Michigan. “Can I first say hello to

New tools to measure greenhouse gases

KBS LTER volunteer and retired journalist Bill Krasean reports on new tools we are using to measure greenhouse gases from agricultural lands. His piece was published today in the National LTER Newsletter and reprinted here. When the plants and microbes exhale on the 1,700-acre W. K. Kellogg Biological Station’s hundreds of plots, Sven Bohm, Kevin Kahmark and a team of fellow researchers sniff their breath. Not literally, of course. Rather, using the latest and fastest instruments and software -- much of it based on their own ingenuity -- the team continually samples and analyzes

KBS LTER participates in Carbon, Energy and Climate Conference

Last fall, the KBS LTER had an exciting opportunity to collaborate with the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, or NCR-SARE, program to address issues related to agriculture and global change. An extensive, 2 ½ day Carbon, Energy and Climate Conference was held on September 26-28, 2012 at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). NCR-SARE is organizing a two-year professional development and training initiative around carbon, climate and energy issues, and September’s conference launched the initiative. One-hundred and thirty-three speakers and participants

New fact sheet – Climate Basics

The KBS LTER and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) have published a new fact sheet, Climate Basics (Extension Bulletin E-3151), as part of a Climate Change and Agriculture fact sheet series. Julie Doll, KBS LTER Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Claire Layman, MSUE Public Policy Specialist, have worked together to engage producers, scientists and other decision-makers in discussions about the relationship between climate change and agriculture. As a result, a series of informational fact sheets have emerged as outreach components of projects funded by Project GREEEN,

Guest blogger Bill Krasean on climate

Contributed by Bill Krasean If computer models of changing climate are accurate -- and they get better all the time -- Michigan's weather in less than a century may be similar to Oklahoma's today. With little question summers will be hotter and there will be far fewer -- if any -- bitter cold spells in winter. Although predictions about precipitation are less reliable, there may be longer periods of drought and short, intense periods of heavy rain and snow. That according to Dr. Perry Samson, professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan and noted

Climate Change Resources Now Available in Spanish

This spring the KBS LTER has translated a series of climate change fact sheets into Spanish. Julie Doll, KBS LTER Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Claire Layman, MSU Extension Public Policy Specialist, have worked together for three years with the intent on finding ways to engage farmers, scientists, and decision makers in discussions about the relationship between climate change and agriculture. As a result, a series of informational fact sheets have emerged as outreach components of a research projects funded by Project GREEEN, Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative at MSU, and a