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ESSAY ASSIGNMENTS Forest Products
Readings for Week 3: Forests and Forest Products in Washington
Tuesday, April 16Today we cover four topics, three dealing with forests as sources of energy and one dealing with forests as sources of ecosystem services.
Background: Biofuels and the world energy budget
First have a look at some statistics on world and US energy use, by dinking around on the International Energy Agency 's Key World Energy Statistics and the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Review . Pay particular attention to the sources of energy and the proportion of biomass energy, which is growing but still small. When you've finished reading and dinking, but in no event later than 7:00 a.m. today, you should post a short piece (200-300 words, unless you're really inspired) on what you've learned from reading about world energy trends and how it makes you feel. We will not spend class time specifically on this topic; it is background that you need to know when you consider the role of forests in energy production.
Class segment 1: Two kinds of biomass energy
There are two basic kinds of biofuel production, if we look at it from a cross-scale ecosystem point of view.
First look at two good overviews of biofuels, and notice the difference between the two most important types of biofuels: those generated from crops grown specifically for that purpose, and those generated from residues of other kinds of operations:
Class segment 2: Forest residues as biofuels
In this unit on forest products, we are primarily concerned with the second kind of biofuels: those generated from residues. We will have an opportunity to see this kind of biofuel production both on our April 20 trip to the Yakama Nation and on our June 1 trip to the Lynden dairy farming region. To get a good idea of these and where they fit in both our energy budget and our forest ecology, read
Class segment 3: Forests and ecosystem services
Here we take time to introduce the concept of ecosystem services, by reading the two scholarly articles from a special issue of Ecological Economics volume 69 (2010):
Thursday, April 18For the second section of the class, we turn our attention to uses of a particular forest--again, wood, energy, and ecosystem services, pointing toward our Yakama field trip. First learn something about the Yakma Nation: