College part of regional $6 million biofuel, carbon capture modeling project

Agricultural economists in the college will generate models of what economies in the Upper Missouri River Basin might look like if raising biofuels and carbon capture technologies were implemented.

They are part of the four-year, $6 million National Science Foundation project working with Montana State University and the University of South Dakota to determine if changes in commodity production and capturing carbon are sustainable, or even feasible, in the basin.

Researchers across several UW departments and centers are involved. Ben Rashford, associate professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, is leading the UW effort in economic modeling. Others from the department are Associate Professors John Ritten and Roger Coupal, research scientists Amy Nagler and Anna Clark, and graduate student Eilish Hanson.

Also involved are Windy Kelley, Regional Extension Program coordinator for the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub; Shannon Albeke, ecoinformatics research scientist with the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center; and associate professor Robert Godby and Dayana Zhappassova, Ph.d. student, in the UW Department of Economics and Finance.

The group includes more than 31 private, state, and federal institutions and more than 50 people. Project organization began last year. The project’s website is

Each university is receiving $2 million. UW’s role is developing the economic models.

Ben Rashford headshot
Ben Rashford
Windy Kelley headshot
Windy Kelley
John Ritten headshot
John Ritten
Roger Coupal headshot
Roger Coupal

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