Tag: environmental science

The Hotchkiss School Carbon OffsetForest Update

Hotchkiss School forest site

Hotchkiss School forest site

Captured CO2 in the Hotchkiss School carbon offsett forestTHE HOTCHKISS SCHOOL CARBON-OFFSET FOREST, THE PASTURE WE PLANTED IN JULY, 2007.  In this RTT UNFCCC program, pastures are reforested to capture CO2 for its US sponsors and to earn income for participating farmers.  Each project is a research forest to develop economically sustainable farm forests that meet the needs of emitters and farmers.  This 2½-acre site above was planted in July, 2007 for the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. The site is shown below after reforestation when the forest was 6.49 years old with 106 MT of CO2e already captured. The chart also shows the participation of the different trees species used in the mixture. Because Hotchkiss was the sponsor of this forest, it has the rights to the CO2 captured in the forest for 25 years to balance its school emissions in the U. S.  We estimate that the forest will capture 20 metric tonnes of CO2 annually on the average during the 25-year agreement RTT signs with the farmer on behalf of the US sponsor.   Another goal in this applied research program is to develop economically sustainable forests that are partially harvested or thinned every 5 years for farmer income and that can store CO2 for over 100 years.  Reforest the Tropics (RTT) is a U. S. non-profit organization that manages this UN environmental education and research & demonstration program.  Photo below, Sept. 17, 2012.

Hotchkiss School Forest

Hotchkiss School Forest

In this photo, the forest is 6 years and 2 months old and is presently capturing CO2 at the annual rate of above 28 metric tonnes/year for the account of Hotchkiss.

HOW MUCH CO2 HAS THIS 12-YEAR OLD FOREST CAPTURED?

Fausto in Hotchkiss School forest

Fausto in Hotchkiss School forest

 Measuring trees in RTT School projects provides data on how much CO2 the forest has accumulated for the school’s CO2 emission account.  Here, Fausto measures a Pilon tree. Below, Dr. Barres lectures to an AP Science class last April in Hotchkiss.  There are 4 elements in RTT School projects: an annual CO2 emissions inventory done with students, teaching sessions, teacher training in the forests in Costa Rica and a 2 1/2 –acre school forest to capture CO2 for the school account and to produce logs for the farmer to sell. For more information, contact Dr. Herster Barres, cell 860-912-7706 in Mystic, CT.

Dr. Barres at Hotchkiss School

Dr. Barres at Hotchkiss School

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Case Study # 10

The sign reads “A Forest to Sequester Atmospheric Carbon”
The sign reads “A Forest to Sequester Atmospheric Carbon”

RTT CASE STUDY #10: DR. WOLF’S 6.64-YEAR OLD CARBON-OFFSET FOREST IN COSTA RICA, August 17, 2009

In 2002 Dr. Eric Wolf, dermatologist in Groton, CT, sponsored a research carbon-offset forest in Costa Rica to balance the greenhouse gas emissions from his office operations.  Reforest The Tropics, a CT-based non-profit organization, offers this opportunity.

An inventory of the operation of Dr. Wolf’s office and vehicle showed annual emissions of 22.6 metric tonnes (MT) of CO2 in 2008.  The sources are emissions from the generation and use of electricity in Connecticut, 11.1 tonnes, and emissions from commuting to and from work (9 persons) of 11.5 tonnes.

To balance these emissions, 2 ½ acre forest was established on July, 2002 on a pasture in the Las Delicias Farm in cooperation with the owners, the Rojas Family.  A donation to RTT from Dr. Wolf provided a grant to the farm to cover some of the costs of establishment and the management of this long-term research project by RTT.

This graph shows the amount of current annual sequestration and total CO2 storage in this forest through the first 6.64 years.  The current sequestration, the amount sequestered in the last 12 months in the forest, was 52.1 tonnes of CO2. The total amount stored in the forest in the past 6.64 years is 183 tonnes of CO2, balancing the emissions of Dr. Wolf’s office operations since the project began. The average capture per year is 27.6 tonnes compared to 22 tonnes of emissions.

Long-term management and profitability for the farmer are the keys to long-term carbon storage in sustainable forests. This project is managed by RTT under an initial 25-year contract between RTT and the farm owners. The forest belongs to the farm while the rights to the CO2 sequestered belong to Dr. Wolf through the RTT agreement with the farmer.

The goal of the specialized management plan is to produce significant income for the farm even while sequestering CO2 indefinitely in the forest stand for the US sponsor.  The income is expected to come from the sale of frequent and light thinnings to keep the forest healthy and growing well. This forest has not yet been thinned. The forest is designed using a mixture of tree species selected for biodiversity, biological stability, for fast-growth for early farmer income and for longevity for long-term carbon sequestration.  The Rojas family farm hosts 20 projects, each with a different design for creating sustainable forests for long-term income and CO2storage.

In the RTT model, after the first 25-year contract, the farmer may be able to continue selling additional verified offsets to the same sponsor or sell them on the world market.  By then, we trust that carbon offsets will be established as a new, valuable product from tropical farms.

This is a UNFCCC-AIJ applied research program to develop and demonstrate an advanced carbon capture and storage forest model and its management for the tropics. For more information, contact hbarres@aol.com or call Dr. Herster Barres at 860-572-8199.  Our web site is reforestthetropics.org.

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Case Study # 09

This forest was planted in August of 2002 to offset the CO2 emissions of the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT
This forest was planted in August of 2002 to offset the CO2 emissions of the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT

RTT CASE STUDY # 9: PRECOMMERCIAL THINNING OF THE MOHEGAN-OFFSET FOREST AT 6.8 YEARS OF AGE.

This forest was planted in August of 2002 to offset the CO2 emissions of the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT.  The forest contains 4 tree species, Deglupta, Chancho, Klinkii and Mahogany.  This was a pre-commercial thinning, taking out the badly formed trees to favor the better formed.  You can see that the two felled trees in this photo were forked at a certain height.  They had little or no potential commercial value while the others left behind, did.  Those left behind can now grow faster with less competition.

The reason these felled trees are forked was wind damage to the tips when they were younger.  This site used to be a pasture.  All of the carbon in the stand, including in the roots, is additional.  This forest had stored 200 tonnes of CO2/ha when it was 6.5 years old.  Farmers will eventually be paid to store carbon (REDD) in forest stands, so information like this is important..

Notice the small Klinkii trees in the lower level of the forest.  These shade-tolerant trees will now start to grow faster with the additional light.  The role of this tree in the mixture of species is to grow to very large sizes for long-term CO2 storage, part of this RTT design.

We expect to thin this fast-growing forest commercially starting at age 8-10, and again thereafter every 3-5 years.  The thinned logs will be sold by the farmer for income, each time leaving the best trees behind in the live forest stand to grow larger. If space appears below the stand, as we expect, other shade-tolerant trees will be underplanted.  Their slower growth in that partial shade may produce finer and more valuable hardwood.

These forests were sponsored by US emitters as part of their GHG management plans. This forest was sponsored by the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT.  The forests serve as training sites for farmers, students and foresters showing them how to manage farm forests for income and for efficient CO2 capture and storage.

Seated on the log is Rolando Camacho, RTT forester.  The farm, Hacienda Las Delicias, is owned by the Rojas Family.  Over thirty designs of mixed-species forests are being tested by RTT for efficient carbon capture, long-term storage and for farmer income for sustainability.  This is a UNFCCC-AIJ program to develop, demonstrate and apply improved models of carbon-offset forests to manage US CO2 emissions.  Photo: June 23, 2009 in Costa Rica.

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Hotchkiss School

Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CTElsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT

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RTT Education

Climate Change and the Role of Tropical Forests

Offset2

  • Free classes on climate change and the role of tropical forests.
  • A school forest on a farm in Costa Rica with animals, birds and trees.
  • A sign with your name on it.
  • Capture and store 20 tons of CO2 each year for your greenhouse gas account.
  • A 25-year agreement with the farmer.
  • The farmer benefits from selling some of the production from the managed forest.
  • Your forest is managed by the staff of RTT. A free CO2-emissions inventory done by your students under RTT guidance establishes a baseline for your school or classroom.  Can you become greener?
  • E-mail reports and photos for your class.
  • Watch the forest habitat grow.
  • Monkeys, Toucans, Armadillos, Parrots and more!
  • Participate in our research to develop a better forest.

Forest Habitat and Support Projects Photo Gallery

Forest Butterfly

Walking in the forest allows students to see more than just the trees.

Poison Dart Frog

Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT
Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Foreground food crop background the forest is growing
Foreground human food crop background the forest is growing.

New London Public School's SEMI students raised funds to offset carbon emitted by the school system.

The SEMI program at New London Public Schools forest is changing as the trees grow

SPONSOR A CARBON-OFFSET FOREST FOR YOUR SCHOOL
A pasture to a forest in less than 6 ½ years A research forest in Costa Rica

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