BOONE, N.C. — An interdisciplinary team of Appalachian State University faculty received $6,610 in funding from The Clabough Foundation to develop the OFFSET — Offsets for Future Forest Stewardship and Education Together — Workshop.
They are Dr. Tatyana Ruseva, associate professor in Appalachian’s Department of Government and Justice Studies, Dr. Brian Bulla, assistant professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies, Dr. Eric Marland, professor and chair in Appalachian’s Department of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Gregg Marland, adjunct in Appalachian’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Dinesh Paudel, assistant professor in Appalachian’s Department of Sustainable Development, and Jason Hoyle, research assistant within the Appalachian Energy Center.
Graduate student researchers involved with the project include Erin Bishop and Kayla Young ’16, political science majors with a concentration in environmental policy. Bishop is a native of Chapel Hill, and Young is from Mars Hill.
The Clabough Foundation grant will allow faculty and students at Appalachian's Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics (RIEEE) to organize an educational carbon offset workshop called Offsets for Future Forest Stewardship and Education Together (OFFSET) for forest landowners in the High Country and Blue Ridge Mountains area.
According to Ruseva and her project collaborators, the purpose of the workshop is to provide forest owners and managers with an overview of forest projects that can offset emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and the mechanisms for participation in such projects (e.g., forest conservation, reforestation, improved forest management).
In addition to supporting carbon sequestration and storage, Ruseva said, “Forest carbon offset projects can promote forest stewardship and retention in the High Country region, enhance the recreational and intergenerational value of forestland, and provide additional income to families.”
The OFFSET Workshop at Appalachian will disseminate information about the mechanisms for participation in forest carbon offset projects and support learning and education among private forest owners, which, according to the North Carolina Forestry Association, collectively hold over half of all forestland in North Carolina’s Mountain Region.
The workshop will provide an overview of different carbon offset programs, voluntary and compliance carbon markets (such as the one initiated by the state of California), and the rules, regulations and guidelines for participation by forest owners. Presenters will provide participants with an outline of different types of forest offset projects, description of the stages in the lifetime of a project, accepted carbon registries, carbon stock assessments, verification and current trends in the program.
Appalachian faculty will share findings from their research on California’s forest carbon offset program, such as baseline assessments of carbon stocks and an accounting methodology for forest offset activities that could occur in North Carolina, but be eligible for use in California’s carbon market.
About the Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics
Since 2008, Appalachian State University’s Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics (RIEEE) has fostered interdisciplinary research on the environment, energy and economics, especially the areas in which these subjects intersect. The institute serves as an umbrella organization for three centers: the Appalachian Energy Center, Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis (CERPA) and the Southern Appalachian Environmental Research and Education Center (SAEREC). The work supported by RIEEE is integrated into Appalachian’s academic programs, used to facilitate discovery among K-12 student students and teachers, and employed in the region’s economic development. Learn more at https://rieee.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Government and Justice Studies
Appalachian State University’s Department of Government and Justice Studies offers undergraduate programs in political science and criminal justice, and graduate programs in political science and public administration. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the department has over 600 undergraduate majors and more than 70 graduate students. Learn more at https://gjs.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Mathematical Sciences
The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers undergraduate degrees in actuarial science and mathematics, with concentrations in business, computation, life sciences, physical sciences, secondary teaching and statistics, plus a general, self-designed concentration. The department also offers the Master of Arts in mathematics, with concentrations in college teaching and secondary teaching. Learn more at https://mathsci.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
Located in Western North Carolina, Appalachian State University provides the perfect setting to study geological and environmental sciences. The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences provides students with a solid foundation on which to prepare for graduate school or build successful careers as scientists, consultants and secondary education teachers. The department offers six degree options in geology and two degree options in environmental science. Learn more at https://earth.appstate.edu.
About the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University prepares students to thoughtfully analyze human development while focusing on the applied practice of pursuing transformative, community-driven development and social change. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable development with concentrations in agroecology and sustainable agriculture; community, regional and global development; and environmental studies; as well as a Bachelor of Arts and minor in sustainable development. Learn more at https://sd.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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