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Ag students study bioenergy crops in Europe

NDSU students learned about bioenergy in Austria, Germany and Italy.

With the hopes that NDSU students will become ambassadors for new ways to use bioenergy in the U.S., plant sciences associate professor Marisol Berti is leading her first study abroad course in Austria, Germany and Italy. The group of eight undergraduate and eight graduate students in agricultural and biosystems engineering, agribusiness, crop and weed sciences and animal science will combine class time and bioenergy research site tours with tourist activities June 22 to July 7.

Key research facility visits in Austria will include the European Center for Renewable Energy in G├╝ssing, the Sonnenerde Biochar Production facility in Rieldlingsdorf and the University of Hohenheim Bioenergy Center and Experiment Station. A week of classes is scheduled at the University of Bologna in Italy.

Berti has worked with Gerald Marinitsch of the European Center for Renewable Energy, Iris Lewandowsky at the University of Hohenheim and Andrea Monti at the University of Bologna, among others, to plan the tour and class. Scott Pryor, NDSU agriculture and biosystems engineering associate professor, also helped coordinate the experience. Pryor presented a pre-travel seminar to the students in June.

The course is worth four course credits. Berti will provide course updates on the NDSU College of Ag Facebook page while traveling.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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