Office of Energy and Environment Faculty/Staff News

July 9, 2018

Office of Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment News and Updates

Center for Applied Plant Sciences Offers Ideation Workshop, Seed Grants

Recognizing that plant-derived products and applications are focal points of the university’s Discovery Theme Initiatives and strategic plan, the Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS) seeks broad participation in identifying strategic investments and novel opportunities for both basic and translational research. CAPS is teaming with KnowInnovation to host a one-day workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 10 to define priority areas of engagement and support among Ohio State faculty as well as external partners. This interactive event promises to highlight the emerging technologies, innovations and collaborative teamwork needed to address major challenges and funding opportunities. Follow-up sessions later in the year will help nucleate interactive working groups and strategies for sustained CAPS investments. Please RSVP.

In addition, the 2018-2019 CAPS Seed Program Request for Applications is now open. Letters of intent are due Aug. 6.

Energy Department Funds Ohio State Biomass Research

Ohio State researchers have received $1.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop processes that use microorganisms to convert biomass and CO2 into high yields of ethylene and propylene. Over 200 million tons of these compounds are required annually for the production of plastics.

F. Robert Tabita, Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of microbiology and director of Ohio State’s Plant-Microbe Genomics Facility, and Kelly Wrighton, assistant professor of microbiology, will find ways to use bacteria to produce important precursor molecules used in the synthesis of these industrially significant compounds. The bacterial process will supplement the use of fossil fuels in this multibillion dollar industry for production of compounds used for packaging, transportation and electronics.

Ohio State breaks ground for Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building

Friday, June 29, marked the start of construction of the new venue for OSU Extension’s cutting-edge research and community engagement in Franklin County. The 10,500-square-foot Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building is the first of three new facilities planned for Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory at Ohio State. This new building is made possible thanks to an $11 million gift from Patricia Brundige, which will also support two endowed Franklin County 4-H educator positions and an endowed Franklin County support fund.

Ohio Lake Erie Commission Request for Proposals: Agricultural Use of Dredged Material from Ohio’s Toledo Harbor

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission seeks proposals for the Lake Erie Protection Fund to study and inform agricultural uses of Toledo Harbor dredged material and seeks proposals to access the Center of Dredge Innovation located in Toledo, Ohio. The commission is specifically looking for research to determine the benefits and appropriateness of applying Toledo Harbor dredged material to farm fields in Northwest Ohio. Possible submissions might consider research in the areas of crop yield evaluation, field dewatering techniques, quality or nutrient evaluation, material application or incorporation techniques, and nutrient containment techniques.

Available Grants:

Projects of up to $50,000 will be considered for funding through the Lake Erie Protection Fund, with funding available through December 2019. All projects require a 25% match and indirect costs are limited to 10%. For projects awarded under this Lake Erie Protection Fund RFP, proposals may request a grant period up to 18 months if needed to encompass a full growing season. Proposals are due Aug. 3. Contact: David Emerman, 330-963-1283.

Available Research Field:

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, using Heathy Lake Erie Funds, recently completed construction of a farm field dredge research site, the Center of Dredge Innovation. Located on the western bank of the Maumee River, the 10-acre site consists of four cells (filled with 70,000 cubic yards of dredged material) and two edge of field treatment cells. The facility is now available for farm field research.

Making Headlines

Ohio State’s energy experts are in the news. The following articles have been published by media recently. Read more news coverage of the university’s energy, environment and sustainability activities on our website.

From spark plugs to software: The brains behind smart cars

Lima News

June 28, 2018

Featured expert: Maryn Weimer, senior associate director, Center for Automotive Research

The Earth Below West Antarctica Is Rising Shockingly Fast

Popular Mechanics

June 25, 2018

Featured expert: Terry Wilson, earth sciences

Will Congress pass a new farm bill, or punt?

The Columbus Dispatch

June 21, 2018

Featured expert: Carl Zulauf, agricultural, environmental and development economics

Thaw of Antarctic Ice Lifts Up Land, Might Slow Sea Level Rise

The New York Times

June 21, 2018

Featured expert: Terry Wilson, earth sciences

Global warming impacts everything from birds to allergies

The Columbus Dispatch

June 19, 2018

Featured expert: Chris Tonra, avian wildlife ecology

Is an electric car right for you? Early adopters share the pros and cons

Columbus Dispatch

June 17, 2018

Featured expert: Ramteen Sioshansi, integrated systems engineering

‘Smart City’ future promising big changes in how we get around

Columbus Dispatch

June 17, 2018

Featured expert: David Staley, history, design and educational studies

Biology: Extra carbon dioxide from climate change will mean less-nutritious rice

Columbus Dispatch

June 17, 2018

Featured expert: Steve Rissing, biology

Trump’s Coal Gambit May Yield Political Points But Not Mining Jobs


June 14, 2018

Featured expert: Paul Beck, political science

Trapping carbon pollution underground for thousands of years is key to fighting climate change


June 12, 2018

Featured expert: Jeffrey Bielicki, civil, environmental and geodetic engineering, and director, Energy Sustainability Research Laboratory

Upcoming Events

EPN Breakfast Field Trip Wetlands, River and Restoration: A Walking Tour of the Lower Olentangy, July 10

Join environmental scientists and field specialists for a walking tour of the Lower Olentangy River, featuring learning modules on wildlife, forestry, invasive species, water quality and the impact of lowhead dam removals on riparian ecosystems.

Forecast for Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie 2018, July 12

The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant will host NOAA’s annual Lake Erie Harmful Algal Blooms Forecast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 12 at Stone Lab.

Forum on Water Research, Feb. 8, 2019

The Middle East Studies Center, the Mershon Center, International Programs in Agriculture, and the Office of Research in the College of Arts and Sciences will host this forum to gather faculty input on the purpose and direction for a research community focused on water protection. RSVP.