Doctoral candidate James Spartz participates in bioenergy futures workshop

LSC doctoral candidate James T. Spartz will join scientists from a range of disciplines this week to take part in a workshop, “Bioenergy Futures: Technical Feasibility Meets Social Sustainability,” from November 29 to December 1. The invitational workshop is sponsored by the Sustainable Michigan Endowment Project (SMEP) and will be held at Michigan State University.

The three day workshop emphasizes interactive conversation and discussion among people with technical science and engineering ability, social scientific and scholarly expertise and experiential knowledge relating to the social sustainability of bioenergy.

“This workshop is an exciting opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other people working on bioenergy issues in the Great Lakes region,” said Spartz. “Collaborative workshops like this offer a lot in terms of practical movement forward for academic research on sustainable energy as well as ‘on the ground’ leadership.”

Following the workshop organizers will prepare a report identifying areas of consensus and dissensus, and indicating key areas where new research, communication and policy could enhance the implementation of future bioenergy technology from the perspective of social sustainability.

According to Spartz, participating in the Bioenergy Futures workshop is an opportunity to advance his dissertation research on public perceptions and framing of forest and agricultural bioenergy in the state.

“My dissertation work is a mixed-methods regional case study looking at public perceptions, issue framing, and trust and information-seeking behavior surrounding forest and agricultural bioenergy issues in southwest Wisconsin,” said Spartz. “This workshop is also a great networking opportunity and will help contextualize my own dissertation work within the larger Great Lakes socioecological region.”

You can read more about Spartz’s work on his blog here and follow him on Twitter at @JTspartz.