Media Tip Sheet: Clean and Renewable Energy Experts at Colorado State University

Note to Editors: With Earth Day around the corner and renewable energy a hot topic around the globe, the following Colorado State University experts are available to discuss clean and renewable energy solutions and policies. The list is intended as a resource for reporters and is not for publication.

Global clean energy solutions – cookstoves, biofuels and two-stroke engines

Bryan Willson, mechanical engineering professor, is founder and director of Colorado State’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, the largest independent laboratory of its kind in North America and a world leader in the study of large engines, natural gas engines, two-stroke engines and hazardous air pollutants. He is founder and board member of Envirofit International Ltd., a private non-profit that has commercialized CSU technology to solve global problems such as air pollution. He also is co-founder and co-director of the Global Innovation Center for Energy, Health, and the Environment.

To reach Willson, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or


Ken Reardon, professor of chemical and biological engineering, can talk about the types of organic materials that scientists are using in biofuels and the viability of various biofuels. His biofuels-related research, which began more than 20 years ago with a project on the production of butanol from sugars, now includes studies on bioreactor design and algae. Reardon is the CSU site director for the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, or C2B2. C2B2 was founded in March 2007 by the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.

To reach Reardon, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Global environmental governance

Michele Betsill, associate professor of political science, teaches courses in international relations, global environmental politics and qualitative research methods. Her research focuses on the governance of global environmental issues, with particular emphasis on the politics of climate change from global to local levels. Prior to coming to CSU, she was a post-doctoral fellow with the Global Environmental Assessment project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

To speak with Betsill, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Biofuels and greenhouse gas emissions reductions

William Parton, senior research scientist at NREL can discuss how different crops used for biofuels have varying effects on decreasing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Parton can also talk about the effects global warming will have on the eastern plains of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the western parts of North and South Dakota. Additionally, he has experience studying the potential impact of climatic changes for forest and savanna systems on local, regional and global scales.

To speak with Parton, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or


W.S. Sampath, mechanical engineering professor, spent 16 years perfecting his solar-cell technology and waiting for the solar market to mature. AVA Solar Inc. will start production by the end of this year on the pioneering, patented technology that he developed. Sampath developed a continuous, automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a cadmium telluride thin film instead of the standard high-cost crystalline silicon. The process can be completed more cheaply than existing technologies because the process produces high efficiency devices (ranging from 11 percent to 13 percent) at a very high rate and yield.

To speak with Sampath, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

New materials and processing methods for polymer-based photovoltaics

Travis Bailey and David Qiang Wang, assistant professors of chemical and biological engineering, can talk about strategies for creating new polymeric materials for use in photovoltaic devices and novel methods of processing those materials that may lead to enhanced performance and overall efficiencies. Their research is focused on the synthesis and modeling of semiconducting block copolymers and the study of the self-assembly behavior of those materials in the presence of applied magnetic fields. Their efforts represent a mix of both experimental (Bailey) and computational (Wang) approaches.

To speak with Bailey or Wang, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Clean energy’s role in Northern Colorado economy

Martin Shields, regional economist for the CSU Office of Economic Development and the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., can talk about the clean energy industry cluster in northern Colorado and its impact on the region and the state. The region is well positioned to become a leader in the growing global market for clean-energy technologies.

To speak with Shields, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Sustainable businesses

Paul Hudnut, a longtime entrepreneur currently teaching management in the College of Business, works with business and engineering students to develop sustainable business plans for technological advancements emerging from the university’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory – plans that are in use in such countries as the Philippines, India and Nepal. He is a founder of the business college’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise master’s degree program and the Global Innovation Center for Energy, Health and the Environment in the engines lab.

To reach Hudnut, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Environmental politics and energy policy

Kyle L. Saunders is associate professor of political science whose interests within environmental politics include energy policy and the politics of resource depletion and "peak oil." Saunders is currently writing a book on energy policy and the frames used in the public and political debates on alternative energy in the United States. He also is an expert in other fields of American politics, including U.S. and Colorado elections, parties and public opinion.

To speak with Saunders, contact Kimberly Sorensen (970) 491-0757 or

Renewable energy/environmental policy

Robert J. Duffy is a professor of political science at Colorado State. Duffy’s research and interests include American politics with particular emphases on elections, interest groups and energy policy. He also is interested in renewable energy and environmental politics and policy issues.

To speak with Duffy, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Greenhouse gas management/agriculture

Rich Conant is a research scientist at the university’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. His expertise is in agricultural and grazing land carbon dynamics and greenhouse gas management. He contributed to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change documents and greenhouse gas inventory development, was a lead author for the recently published U.S. State of the Carbon Cycle Report and is co-principle investigator on a project to document carbon management and emission reduction opportunities for Colorado’s agricultural, grazing and forest lands.

To speak with Conant, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Stephen Ogle, research scientist at CSU’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, studies the impact of land use and management on greenhouse gas emissions. He currently leads U.S. assessments of soil nitrous oxide emissions from U.S. agricultural lands, which is used for national greenhouse gas reporting and climate change policy. His research also includes evaluation of bioenergy crop production on greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils.

To speak with Ogle, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Environmentally sustainable building design

Brian Dunbar is executive director of the Institute for the Built Environment and professor of construction management at Colorado State. Dunbar’s teaching, research and project work focuses on environmentally sustainable design and construction materials, methods and systems. He also coordinates the graduate emphasis in sustainable building at Colorado State and has developed university and professional courses on sustainable building. The Institute for the Built Environment is an interdisciplinary research institute that teaches students and industry professionals healthy and sustainable building strategies. Brian is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED faculty member with the U.S. Green Building Council and serves on the Greening Schools committee for the Colorado Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

To speak with Dunbar, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Smart grid

Wade O. Troxell, associate dean for Research and Economic Development in the College of Engineering, studies "smart power grid" applications that are necessary for improving the critical U.S. electric power infrastructure. Through his research, he explores networked distributed energy resources related to the environment and renewable technologies, stable and firm power systems and the integration of renewable energy such as wind and solar into the power market.

To speak with Troxell, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Peter Young, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, works on the  development of analysis and design techniques for large scale uncertain systems, and robust learning controllers, as well as a number of specific application areas.  These include control of HVAC systems, power system distribution grids and sustainable energy, and control of biological systems.

To speak with Young, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Energy policy

Bill Farland, vice president for Research at Colorado State University, serves as co-chairman of President Larry Penley’s Committee on Sustainability and the Environment. Before joining CSU in late 2006, Farland was the highest ranking scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency. His 27-year federal career has been characterized by a commitment to the development of national and international approaches to interdisciplinary research in addition to testing and assessment of the fate and effects of environmental agents.

To speak with Farland, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Sustainable range management

Lou Swanson, vice provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships, serves as co-chairman of President Larry Penley’s Committee on Sustainability and the Environment. Swanson is a sociologist whose research has focused on locality-based policy for sustainable range management and community development, rancher and farm perceptions of cooperatives, and the transition of ranching and rural life in Colorado. Swanson also has been talking with agricultural groups across the country about the transition from a supply-driven domestic food system toward demand-driven global food systems.

To speak with Swanson, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Traits of crops used for biofuel

Jan Leach is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State. A microbiologist and plant pathologist, Leach is an authority on the molecular biology of how plants and pathogens interact; she studies how plants defend themselves against pathogens. Leach has examined issues surrounding rice as a grass model for discovery and testing.

To speak with Leach, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Colorado State researchers, through the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and the CSU Agricultural Experiment Station, have conducted research to determine oilseed yields on several varieties of crops including sunflowers, mustard and canola that are used for biodiesel production.

For information and contacts about a particular crop, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Carbon sequestration and agriculture

Keith Paustian, soil and crop sciences professor and senior research scientist at Colorado State’s Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory, or NREL, can discuss the role the agriculture industry can play in greenhouse gas mitigation. Paustian also can talk about agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration for the United States inventory. Paustian is involved in developing accounting tools for farmer and ranchers to receive credit under the United States voluntary greenhouse gas reduction program.

To speak with Paustian, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Environmental ethics

Holmes Rolston III is widely recognized as the father of environmental ethics as an academic discipline. He has shaped the essential nature, scope and issues of the discipline. A University Distinguished Professor of philosophy at Colorado State and a noted author, Rolston said he’s seeing an evolution of clergy concerned about better stewardship for the Earth. He teaches environmental ethics at Colorado State.

To speak with Rolston, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Renewable energy and the impacts on wildlife

Ken Wilson, wildlife professor and department head, is available to discuss the possible effects of wind farms on wildlife. He has also studied the impacts of large antennas and power lines on migrating birds.

To speak with Wilson, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Renee Rondeau, director of the university’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program, can discuss a number of renewable energy issues and their related environmental impacts.

To speak with Rondeau, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Chris Myrick, fisheries associate professor, is available to discuss the potential impacts of hydroelectric development on wildlife and possible ways to mitigate those impacts.

To speak with Myrick, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or