03/17/2009 Richland Community College Selects Alcohol Can Be a Gas Book as Core Curriculum


New Curriculum Seen as Instrumental in Helping Richland and Sister Illinois Community College Members Establish New Global AgriBiz and BioEnergy Corridor

CHICAGO, IL March 17, 2009 -- International Institute for Ecological Agriculture (IIEA) announced today that Richland Community College has selected Permaculture and Biofuel expert David Blume's Amazon.com best-selling book Alcohol Can Be A Gas, (http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com) as course text for its new BioFuels Program. Under the auspices of its Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Solutions administration the Decatur Illinois-based College has launched a new course offering in the current semester to help retrain and supplement victims of recent area industrial market layoffs.

"Richland is committed to providing educational opportunities that prepare our students for careers that leverage and build on the core strengths of our economic region," said Dr. Douglas Brauer, Vice-President of Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Solutions at Richland Community College. "We are putting together programs to give our students portable skills based on knowledge and expertise that can link them to many industries. Our new BioFuels course is an example that we feel offers tremendous near and long term opportunities".

Richland is a member of the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network and is taking an active role in helping develop the state's leadership position in AgriBusiness and BioEnergy. Promoting best practice agriculture and BioFuels programs via on-line collaboration links schools and provides for fully accredited and degreed programs in growth industries the area, state and nation so desperately need.

In his 7th term at Richland teaching Horticulture, Agriculture and now BioFuels Engineering Technology, David Bowman brings a wealth of expertise to the newly forming BioFuels Curricula. "I read David Blume's Alcohol Can Be A Gas and attended a two day intensive workshop with him recently. I came away convinced his book was the essential curriculum text for our new introductory BioFuels studies," said David Bowman, BioFuels Program Coordinator for Richland Community College. "With over 3,000 recent layoffs in our community, Richland is focused on finding ways to quickly augment and repurpose existent skills. From Permaculture science to BioFuels production Blume's book provides the foundation for a wide range of training. Over the next few terms I envision Richland offering accredited courses that will lead to two and four year degree programs and that will plug a highly skilled workforce right back into this dynamic agriculture and industry community".

Bowman's current course centers on three lecture and 2 lab classes a week and will provide course graduates with 3 credits toward their elected degree program and a certification of completion for workforce participants. The Richland bookstore carries Alcohol Can Be A Gas (a book Bowman considers "worth its weight in gold" to those pursuing a career the new fields of Ag and Energy).

Bowman feels it is important to enhance old style teaching practices by injecting real-world experience along with a degree of entertainment, especially in work with continuing Education programs. "Blume's book is 600 pages of technical data covering every aspect of our course, but he also uses humor to help convey important points. When you are dealing with lots of data and science, I think this is a tremendous way to maintain interest and focus".

Bowman uses Blume's book in his BioFuels course to provide an introduction to the history of BioFuels and Ethanol production, debunk the old school myths about alcohol fuel (including energy use requirements and food versus fuel) and to teach the fundamentals of Permaculture applications for optimized sustainable food and Biofuel source production.

"We are working tirelessly with Public Libraries, agricultural organizations such as the American Corn Growers Association and schools to provide the foundations for the Renewable Energy and Rural Revitalization movement," said David Blume Executive Director of IIEA. "We have had tremendous reception and interest from Community colleges across the country from Cabrillio College in California to Richland in IL and have spoken at Kankakee Community College, Illinois State University in Bloomington IL and the enthusiasm for this information and the recognition of its value is tremendous. We provide a number of incentives for libraries and schools to help get our resource out to their constituents and it is so gratifying to work with people like Dr. Brauer and Mr. Bowman who truly get the importance of making changes now."

Blume's work readily demonstrates how we can:

    - Improve and optimize sustainable food and fuel production

    - Create millions of new non-exportable job opportunities

    - Create new industry with sustainable technologies

    - Revitalize our rural heartlands

    - Leverage sustainable solutions to cut off OPEC dependence

      (and establish true homeland security both here and abroad in less

      time than it took Brazil, Sweden and China)

    - Put an end transportation pollution impacts on climate change

About Richland Community College:

Founded in 1971, Richland Community College is a comprehensive community college offering baccalaureate, technical, continuing education, and community service programs. The College has an "Open Door" policy that allows anyone within the district that could benefit from a higher education to be admitted to the College. The purpose of a comprehensive community college is to serve all who then can serve to build a better society. Richland Community College, One College Park, Decatur, IL 62521 www.richland.edu, (217) 875-7200.


For more information about IIEA or David Blume please contact: Tom Harvey, theCommunications, (530) 257-3533, thcommunications@gmail.com, or visit www.alcoholcanbeagas.com.


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