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Saturday, March 7, 2015 (snow date March 8)

All day - Common Ground Education Center, Unity 

MOFGA's 2015 Spring Growth Conference will focus on facing the challenges of climate change and land use change.

This year will feature a keynote presented by John Aber and a panel of farmers discussing climate change adaptation and mitigation.

John Aber, MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference keynote speaker, joins us from the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire. He will speak about meeting the challenges of climate and land use change. He will set the stage for the conference by discussing future climate and land use scenarios and put that into the context of the wildlands and woodlands and Food Solutions New England vision. He’ll then lead attendees into a discussion of ways to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of milk and vegetable production by closing cycles, using his innovative composting experiment as an example.

Aber has a bachelor’s degree from Yale in computer science and master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale in forestry and environmental studies. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Lab at Woods Hole, Mass.; assistant professor at the University of Virginia and assistant and associate professor in the forestry department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


An associate professor and then professor at UNH since 1987, Aber first coordinated the cross-college program in environmental science there; then chaired the Ph.D. program in natural resources and earth system science; was vice-president for research and public service; and provost and vice president of academic affairs. In 2013, he returned his full attention to research, focusing on the sustainability of UNH’s innovative Organic Dairy Research Farm.


Aber has received several awards and fellowships, including the Charles Bullard Fellow from Harvard University, the Distinguished Professor Award from UNH and the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University.


He received a Northeast SARE Agroecosystem Research and Education grant  entitled “A closed system energy independent organic dairy farm for Northeast US.” This led to subsequent grants from the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station for a study on “Closing Nutrient and Energy Budgets on a New England Organic Dairy Farm: A Wood-Bedding-Compost System.” He is also involved in a study of “An Integrated System for Providing Bedding and Energy Using On-Farm Forest Resources and an Experimental Aerobic Composting System.”


Aber has hundreds of publications to his credit, including coauthoring the textbook “Terrestrial Ecosystems” and the book “Forests in Time: The Environmental Consequences of 1000 Years of Change in New England.” He has also written about heat recovery from compost facilities.





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