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AHB Newsletter – Volume 6, No. 1 [Spring 2017]

Editor’s Notes

For those in western WA and OR, it’s been a very wet winter. (Yes, even by PNW standards.) So, it’s fitting that two of the articles talk about water. And we are hosting an event on April 25 about poplar’s ability to improve water quality, among other benefits.

Do you know what happens to water you send down the drain? If you live in the Hayden, Idaho region, your wastewater might be irrigating poplar trees. Learn about the Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board’s experience with poplars and AHB.

Poplar trees may not mind the extra rain, but it impacts harvest efficiency. Read about this year’s harvest in Jefferson, OR.

The Extension and Conversion teams joined forces to help high school students survive a zombie apocalypse, or at least to get them excited about renewable energy and biofuels.

Water is important, but so is soil! Meet Jessica Sarauer, a Ph.D. student at University of Idaho who is unearthing the mysteries of soil.

Where will you be on April 25th? We hope you’ll be at the TREES Summit in Woodinville, WA. We will be discussing how to turn the idea of growing poplars for bioenergy and ecosystems services into a reality for the PNW. If you’re interested but not registered, please contact me at!

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the making of the video “The Story of AHB,” as well as AHB members past and present. The video reflects on how much the project accomplished in 5+ years of successful collaboration across a diversity of interests, as well as what the future might hold.

Wishing you a sunny spring,
Noelle Hart

The view driving up to the Hayden demonstration site, with poplars growing on both sides of the road.

Everyday Environmentalism: Using Poplars to Soak Up Wastewater in Hayden, Idaho

AHB researchers and industry partners have uncovered a number of environmental benefits to growing poplar since the precipitous drop in oil prices have made the commercial production of biofuels economically difficult. Wastewater treatment plants, in particular, are excited about the potential for poplars to help filter and use treated wastewater.
The yellow forage harvester mowing down and chipping a row of poplar trees at the Jefferson, Oregon demonstration site.

Poplars for Bioenergy Harvested at Jefferson Demonstration Site

GreenWood Resources recently began harvesting a 35-hectare (86-acre) hybrid poplar bioenergy demonstration farm located near Jefferson, Oregon.
A YMCA Earth Service CORPS sign set up outside of Mary Gates Hall, pointing students in right direction to attend the workshop.

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse:

The AHB Extension Team taught students how to make biodiesel and survive the zombie apocalypse at the YMCA's Earth Service Corps (YESC) Environmental Symposium, held at University of Washington on March 24th.
Jessica Sarauer

Graduate Student Spotlight: Jessica Sarauer

Jessica Sarauer is currently a Ph.D. student in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. Her research focuses on greenhouse gas emissions and microbial communities in forest soils.