To prepare the next generation of bioenergy scientists, the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) provides interdisciplinary research opportunities to graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scientists. Hands-on "Farming for Fuel" lessons educate students in the fourth-sixth grades about a biobased fuel economy. Working with the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, BESC has reached 100,000 (~20,000 in 2013 alone) students, teachers, and parents nationwide. A free iPad app featuring a Biofuel Road Trip Challenge is available for download under the education category on iTunes.
Student and Post Doc Training
BESC has trained about 50 graduate students and almost 100 postdoctoral researchers who perform research in a multi-institutional and interdisciplinary environment that prepares them for future bioenergy-and research-related jobs. They have opportunities for presentations at BESC retreats and during monthly conference calls to exchange ideas, network, and provide ideas for the scientific management of BESC. Several postdocs have traveled among BESC institutions for research or training. They have also been provided with leadership opportunites including coordinating research and key discussion tasks and organizing and running their own sessions at BESC retreats.
Postdocs and graduate students trained in BESC laboratories receive a unique cross-training experience. Pretreatment engineers learn about the structure of cell walls and how microbes degrade them. Microbial geneticists learn about the enzymology of plant cell wall biosynthesis and biochemistry. Our students will be an important part of the work force for the bioenergy industry and provide leadership for this industry as it develops.
For information about graduate research opportunities in the emerging areas of genome science, proteomics, computational biology, bioinformatics and bioanalytic technologies, see the University of Tennessee Genome Science and Technology program.
To see additional listings of opportunities for students and faculty, visit the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) website (www.orau.gov/orise/edu/ornl) or contact Lee Ann Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 865-574-7294.
Dr. Janet Wespheling (email@example.com)
Activity Lead for BESC Education and Outreach activities
Genetics Department, University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30622
Visit the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Education and Outreach Programs website