Deep Dive: Biomass to Biochar

California is waging war against the three largest environmental issues of our time: severe catastrophic forest fire, drought and climate change. These issues are linked. With climate change comes drought, and with extremely dry conditions come extremely large, hot burning fires. Forest maintenance is critical to fire prevention and mitigation, but can present its own hazards through the resulting debris. While there are several approaches to dealing with that debris, one has the potential to keep carbon from escaping into the atmosphere and potentially add to soil health, without the use of heavy equipment: converting biomass to biochar. Come learn about biochar, its characteristics and benefits, and see a demonstration of biochar production in a portable kiln on site in the Usal Redwood Forest in northern Mendocino County.


Karen Youngblood, Forest Conservation Specialist, and Linwood Gill, Chief Forester, Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. with Kelpie Wilson, engineer and analyst of Wilson’s Biochar, LLC; Debbie Dumroese, Research Soil Scientist U.S. Forestry Service; and Raymond Baltar, Grant Manager, Sonoma Ecology Center

CEI is a sponsor of this demonstration, "Down to Earth: Biomass to Biochar and Storing Carbon in Forest Soils," which is a joint project of the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI), the Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the North Coast Resource Partnership. This event will preview a joint RFFI and CEI field-based education program at SSU’s Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in Fall 2021.


No previous experience or knowledge is required. This event is recommended for ages 16 and up. Instructions for joining the event will be available after registration.

How to Sign Up

Register at Attendance is free.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

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Wednesday, March, 10, 2021, 2:00pm to 3:00pm