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Biofuels & Biometeorology Subject of Campbell Lecture, Oct. 23

PULLMAN, Wash. — John M. Baker, research leader with the U.S. Department of Agricultural Research Service, will deliver the fourth annual Campbell Lecture at 4:10 p.m., Monday, Oct. 23, in room 203 of the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education.

Baker, whose research has focused on the impact of farm management practices on the cycling of carbon and other greenhouse gases in agricultural systems and the development of farming practices to improve water quality, will discuss biometeorology and biofuels.

Biofuels are renewable fuels derived from agricultural crops, such as soybeans, rapeseed and from biodegradable materials, such as crop residue, animal manure or sewage.

The U.S. Department of Energy has set a target of supplanting 30 percent of the nation’s petroleum consumption with biofuels. A feasibility study has concluded that is possible, assuming that a substantial portion of these fuels will come from processed crop residues.

The production and use of biofuels largely depends on climate and weather. Biometeorology is the study of the relationship of climate and weather on plants and other organisms. Baker will highlight the interactions of weather, climate and biofuel production.

The Campbell Lecture in Environmental Soil and Water Science was created to help further understanding of environmental soil science. It is named for Gaylon Campbell, who spent nearly 30 years as a professor of environmental biophysics and soil physics in WSU’s crop and soil sciences department. He retired from WSU in 1998 to become vice president of engineering of Decagon Devices, a local manufacturer of biophysical research instrumentation. The lecture was created through gifts from Campbell Scientific, Inc. and Decagon Devices, Inc.

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