January 29 - Keith Kline presented a talk titled Bioenergy sustainability criteria and oil palm while participating in meetings for NSF PIRE Project in Tabasco, Mexico.

November 17 – Yetta Jager presented “Designing Landscapes for Wildlife” to the BETO Hydrology/Water Quality Modeling Group webinar.

October 9-17 – Keith presented “Biomass for bioenergy: resources today and in the future,” as invited lecturer in the “São Paulo Advanced School on the Present and Future of Bioenergy” at University of Campinas (

September 19, 2014 - Tim Theiss presented "The Role of Biofuels in the US Sustainable Transportation Challenge"

Dama Abulebdeh poster presentation "Measuring SOC in USA and Brazil: Varying methods and implications"

April 21, 2014 - Keith Kline presented "Multi-Disciplinary Research: Bionenergy, Land Use Change and Food Security." Plus Global Calculator at the Climate Change Science Institute.

February 24-28, 2014 - Keith Kline presented on Biomass, Bioenergy and Land Use for the "Pathways to Climate Solutions: Assessing Energy Technology and Policy Innovation" in Aspen, CO. The primary objectives of the meeting were to review current pace and scale of the climate challenge and identify viable pathways to decarbonize the economy , including technological and policy options.

February 25, 2014 - Virginia Dale gave a presentation on “Incorporating Bioenergy into Sustainable Landscape Designs” at the National Institute for Mathematics and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

February 5-7, 2014 - Keith Kline gave a presentation on "Vital Signs Trade-Offs Workshop: Review of selected research at ORNL" at Oxford, United Kingdom.

November 8th, 2012 - Virginia Dale presented "Environmental and Socioeconomic Indicators for Bioenergy Sustainability as Applied to Short Rotation Woody Crops" at the Short Rotation Woody Crops Operation Working Group Workshop hosted by Mark Downing (ORNL) and Tim Rials (UT).

September 18, 2012 - Rebecca Efroymson presented “Sustainability Indicators for Bioenergy Systems and Applicability to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)” at the 12th International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms in St Louis, MO.  The talk was in a session entitled “Symposium on Biofuel Crop Risk Assessment – Regulatory, Industry, and Academic Perspectives.”  Rebecca participated in a panel discussion, along with the other speakers from USDA, Canadian Forest Service, Ceres, Inc., Virginia Tech University, and University of Florida.

August 5-10, 2012 – Several ORNL staff participated in the 2012 Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.

  • A Special Session, "A Debate on the Sustainability of Biomass Production for Energy", focueds on the proposition “Producing bioenergy can be sustainable for habitat availability and biodiversity, and can eschew the risk of new invaders.” This formal debate allowed opening statements by each of six experts, followed by rebuttals, with audience questions entertained during the final 30 minutes.  The audience was polled before and after to determine the winners.  H. Jager was an organizer and R. Efroymson represented the “for” position.
  • Virginia Dale spoke in the Symposium "Bioenergy and Biodiversity: Oxymoron or Opportunity?" on “Environmental and socioeconomic indicators of bioenergy sustainability.”

Fundamental for Life: Soil, Crop and Environmental Sciences
October 16 - 19, 2011 San Antonio Texas
2011 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA) International Annual Meetings in conjunction with the Canadian Society of Soil Science.

Previous Symposia

Biomass Energy Systems: Research Needs to Address Policy Issues October 31 - November 3, 2010 Mark Downing (ORNL) and Michael Casler (Agricultural Research Service [ARS] Research Geneticist, Madison, Wisconsin) organized a symposium, Biomass Energy Systems: Research Needs to Address Policy Issues, at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America (ASA-ASSA-CSSA) Joint Convention in Long Beach, CA.

Presentations Included: - Are Our Research Needs Driving Policy? or Is Policy Driving Our Research? given by Mark Downing. - Bioenergy Research and Strategic Planning: The Need for Both Proactive and Reactive Research given by Robert Mitchell, USDA-ARS; Kenneth Vogel, USDA-ARS. - The Tyranny of Big Ideas in Environmental Policy given by Alan Lucier, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI). - TNC Perspective given by Jimmie Powell, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

2010 U.S. International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) Twenty-fifth Anniversary Symposium April 6-10, 2010
One symposium, Reshaping Landscapes: Bioenergy and Biodiversity, included a presentation by Laurence Eaton, Peter Schweizer, Rebecca Efroymson, Henriette Jager entitled, Assessing watershed benefits of bioenergy crops: Recreational and subsistence value of fishes,” and another presentation by Peter Schweizer, Henriette Jager, and Latha Baskaran entitled, “Forecasting changes in water quality and aquatic biodiversity in response to future bioenergy landscapes in the Arkansas-White-Red River basin.”

US chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecology
- Reshaping Landscapes: Bioenergy and Biodiversity
- Reshaping Landscapes: Bioenergy and Land-use Change
- Photos

A second symposium, Reshaping Landscapes: Bioenergy and Land-use Change, included a presentation by Gbadebo Oladosu, and Keith Kline entitled, “Modeling direct and indirect effects of US bioenergy policy on global land use,” and another presentation by Keith Kline, Virginia Dale, and Gbadebo Oladosu entitled, “Models, science, and the precautionary principle: Land-use change and the sustainability of biomass systems.”


P. Schweizer, H. Jager, L. Eaton, R. Efroymson. "Watershed valuation - understanding spatial variation in value derived from fish diversity". Presented at the 2012 Annual Symposium of the US Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, Newport, RI.

Stephen Kaffka and Keith Kline - May 24th, 2011: Vantage Point: Views on Food, Fuel and Land Use

November 29-December 6, 2010: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) organized a study tour for approximately 30 representatives of the China National Energy Administration and Chinese bioenergy companies. Tour stops included bioenergy related sites in Nebraska, Iowa, and Tennessee and meetings with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C. Yun Wu of ORNL served as an official host and translator throughout the duration of the tour; Erin Webb co-led organization of the study tour; Becky Bowman assisted with coordination of the tour and organized Tennessee events; Robin Graham, Brian Davison, Keith Kline, and Laurence Eaton gave technical presentations highlighting ORNL bioenergy research. Other Tennessee activities for the China delegation included a tour of the DuPont Danisco biorefinery and Genera Energy switchgrass production sites in Vonore.
- ORNL Presentations

Keith Kline - May 24 2011: Bioenergy, Land-Use Change and Food Security

Kaleb Little - May 24 2011: Experts: Bioenergy leading to more efficient and environmentally friendly energy future

Stephen Kaffka - May 24 2011: National Biodiesel Board: Food and Fuel

Lawrence Eaton, et al - December 2010: The economic effects of biofuel feedstock production on gamefish distribution

‘Debo Oladosu, et al – November 2010: Empirical Analysis of the Sources of Corn Used for Ethanol Production in the United States: 2001-2009

Jonathan Overly from the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (DOE Clean Cities) gave an overview of the RFS2 standard and the implications on the use of biofuels in the US on May 14, 2010, at the National Transportation Research Center
- RFS2 – A Bridge to a More Sustainable America



Sustainability Webinar Recording Available The recording of the BETO webinar “Biofuels for the Environment and Communities,” originally broadcast on April 22, 2015, is now available on the BETO Webinar Page.

Workshop Report from the IFPRI Bioenergy and Food Security Interactions conference made public. Click here for full report. For more information on the conference click here.

SURVEY - Share your views on the international biomass trade. Click here for more information and the link to access the survey.

Virginia Dale and Erin Webb welcome two Fellows of the Southeastern Energy Development (SEED) Fellowship starting a ten-week program beginning May 15th. Click here for more information.

The World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will be held this July 19-22, 2015. For more information and registrations see this announcement.

The 3rd annual National Bioenergy Day is planned for Wednesday, October 21, 2015. Click here for more information.

Federal suit filed against three counties in Iowa over nutrient runoff from agricultural drainage. Click here for more information.

Bioenergy Jeopardy!  Helps kids and adults learn about Southeastern Bioenergy. Click here to play.


CBES Forums

The CBES Forums for June consisted of two separate events. The first speaker was Amy Fletcher, an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Dr. Fletcher’s topic was titled Engaging Extinction:  De-Extinction, Sustainability and Society.  De-extinction is a new and controversial approach to sustainability that foresees using advanced biotechnologies to reverse the biodiversity crisis and perhaps even to resurrect extinct species.

Click here for abstract - For More about Amy Fletcher click here

Chris Lituma is scheduled to speak at the CBES Forum on June 29th at 3:30pm. in Building 1505, Rm. 189. Chris is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center for Native Grasslands Management, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His talk is titled Multi-scale Assessment of Wildlife Sustainability in Switchgrass Biofuel Feedstock Production.

Click here for abstract - For more about Chris Lituma click here