Paul Smith, professor of forest products marketing in the Penn State School of Forest Resources, leadsNARA’s Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP) group within the Systems Metrics Team.

Recognizing that knowledge of market needs and consumer preferences is important to gain public acceptance and ensure success of a future biofuels industry, the EPP group will work to identify attitudes, perceptions, and current understanding of biofuel-based products by the public and policymakers. This knowledge will be used to develop insight into how perceived societal benefits might influence customers’ decisions in accepting and buying a bio-based product.

The multi-institutional EPP group also will seek to provide focused information on environmental impacts in a way that is meaningful for industry and government leaders and for consumers. The researchers hope to define environmental values and determine how those values influence purchasing decisions for biofuel-based products.

For nearly 100 years, the Penn State School of Forest Resources has educated professionals to manage the state’s critical natural resources. The school, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the state’s leading research institution providing science-based information on understanding, sustaining, and managing forest and aquatic ecosystems for industry, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners.

Penn State is a multicampus public research university that improves the well being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, Penn State engages in collaborative activities with industrial, educational, and agricultural partners here and abroad to generate, disseminate, integrate, and apply knowledge that is valuable to society.