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Training Opportunities

NARA Education

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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Program participants conduct research pertaining to various aspects of the biojet fuel production pathway including sustainable feedstock production and transportation, chemical processing and co-product development, or education and outreach about renewable energy. Research may be conducted at various locations, including Washington State University (Pullman and Tri-Cities campus), Penn State University, McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), University of Wisconsin, Oregon State University and University of Washington. Location depends on the research project selected and where the faculty mentor is located. Upon admission into the program, we will coordinate with each student to identify a project that is interesting and available and that the student is well suited for. Students do not need to be a US citizen to be eligible for this program, but they will need to ensure all appropriate VISA materials are in place prior to the start date of June 1, 2016. All students, regardless of where they conduct research for the 9 weeks, will travel to Pullman, WA for the conclusion of the program. Travel (up to a limit) and housing expenses will be paid for by the program, in addition to the stipend. Please review posters from previous years for a better understanding of the various research products (http://nararenewables.org/features/posters#sure). We will begin reviewing applications in mid-March and all applicants will be notified of acceptance or denial by the end of March. Deadline for ALL application materials is March 1, 2016. Students are paid a stipend of $5000 for the summer (June 1 to August 3) and are expected to work full time.

Questions? Contact Shelley Pressley at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Explore other WSU internship opportunities 2013 NARA SURE participants
Shelley Pressley (third row, center) and the 2015 NARA SURE students.

Articles about the SURE program:

Project area descriptions:

  • Feedstock development: Take a multi-pronged approach for the development and sustainable production of feedstocks made from wood materials, including forest and mill residues, municipal solid waste, and specialty energy crops.
  • Sustainable feedstock production: To assess availability and cost of forest/energy crop biomass to support a sustainable regional biofuel industry with minimal environmental impact.
  • Feedstock logistics: To assess the harvesting and transportation methods needed to support a woody biomass supply chain, in part, dedicated to fuels and chemical production.
  • Biomass conversion/refining: To provide facile, economic and technological means for biomass-derived replacement of aviation fuel and various petrochemicals.
  • System Metrics: To provide state of the art factors needed to assess the economic viability, social perceptions, and environmental burdens for a fuels and chemical industry based on woody biomass.
  • Energy Education: Engage citizens, meet future workforce needs, enhance science literacy in biofuels, and help people understand how they're going to fit into the new energy economy.
  • Outreach: Serve as a conduit between researchers and community stakeholders, helping to transfer the science and technology of biofuels and important co-products to communities in the Northwest.

Interdisciplinary Graduate Training

  1. Create graduate students with the integration, teamwork and communication skills needed to be leaders in the bioenergy and bioproducts economy.
  2. Build multicultural perspectives into the graduate study
  3. Improve the diversity of STEM graduate programs.
  4. Disseminate research, technology, and economic development opportunities to diverse stakeholders

NARA Affiliated Universities and Colleges

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NARA's Five Teams

To meet its mission's goals, the Alliance is broken down into specific areas of focus: