Meet Dr. Michael Blazier

Michael Blazier, Attaway, Denise, Ensley, Carlen  |  8/6/2014 5:54:02 PM

Dr. Michael Blazier

HOMER – Dr. Michael Blazier is a forestry specialist involved with the production phase of the Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative (SUBI). He is working with Dr. Hal Liechty of the University of Arkansas at Monticello on the carbon sequestration and life cycle assessment task.

The carbon sequestration and life cycle assessment task involves annual sampling of energycane and sweet sorghum to test plant weight and carbon concentrations. In addition, researchers will analyze other factors such as microbial activity to help determine proper land management practices to use when growing energycane and/or sweet sorghum. This component of the project will help in addressing the practices for producing energycane and sweet sorghum that can sustain or enhance soil health and sustainability.

Carbon is an important issue for the biofuels industry. Private and public investments in biofuels are influenced by the potential for biofuel crops to be grown, processed, and used in a “carbon neutral” fashion, in which emissions of carbon from producing and using biofuels is offset by the carbon captured by the crop biomass and soil. Crop management influences these carbon dynamics. In the video, Role of Carbon in the Biofuels Industry, Blazier discusses the role carbon plays in the biofuels industry.

Blazier is stationed at the LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station in Homer, La. He has worked for the LSU AgCenter since July 2003, all at the Hill Farm Research Station. Prior to his professional career, Blazier obtained his master's and doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech University.

In addition to the SUBI project, which is funded by a grant through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) program, Blazier also works with Liechty and others on another project that also involves studying carbon sequestration. This project focuses on carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions associated with cellulosic bioenergy feedstock production on marginal agricultural lands in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, and is funded through the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA AFRI).

Blazier also has been involved with studies that focus on switchgrass production for biofuels, developing agroforest systems for bioenergy crop production, and other projects involved with the biofuels industry. In addition, he has written numerous publications and has presented information at several conferences.

For more information about what Blazier and his fellow researchers are doing in relation to biofuels, go to www.lsuagcenter.com/subi.

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