From Farm and Forest to Fuel:
An Integrative and Experiential Approach to Bioenergy, Biofuels and Bioproducts Education

Summer Biomass Internships


To meet the growing demand for renewable fuels, educators must prepare students with an understanding of the complexities of production and conversion of different forms of bioenergy, current and future supplies, and associated environmental impacts.

This project builds upon our institutional expertise to develop authentic learning experiences that will prepare future natural resource professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to address bioenergy challenges at the nexus of social and environmental disciplines. We will develop a series of systems-based case studies that portray these challenges throughout the entire bioenergy system. These case studies will illustrate the complex relationships among ecosystem services, bioenergy production, and energy markets. They will be incorporated into current natural resource courses, and disseminated widely through the project website.

Studies indicate that real-world case studies are an effective learning tool to develop student leadership, critical thinking ability, and decision making skills. To enhance this experiential learning, we will also establish a collaborative internship program with bioenergy organizations throughout New York State and abroad. Please use the links above to explore our exciting 2013 internship opportunities.

The project will be implemented from 2010-2013. Project outcomes will include increased student exposure to the emerging bioenergy field, increased quality of natural resource education, increased industry-based student experiences, and strengthened and expanded partnerships among educators and leaders in bioenergy industries and organizations.

Results (Deliverables):

  • Industry-informed, systems-based case studies
  • Internships in the bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts industries
  • Web infrastructure for dissemination of information & materials


This initiative is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Higher Education Challenge Grants Program.

Project Leadership

  • Dr. Timothy Volk (PI), Co-Director of the State University of New York Center for Sustainability and Renewable Energy and Senior Research Associate, SUNY-ESF
  • Mr. Frank Caliva, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Talent Initiatives, CenterState CEO
  • Mr. Mark Lichtenstein Execuitve Director, Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, Syracuse Center of Excellence
  • Dr. Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach, SUNY-ESF
  • Mr. Michael Kelleher, Director of Renewable Energy Systems, SUNY-ESF
  • Dr. Richard Beal, Assistant Dean, Educational Outreach and Credit Programs, SUNY-ESF

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State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
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