Change is in the Air

By Rona Johnson
There has been a subtle change in my title that is not so subtle when it comes to my duties here at Biomass Magazine. My title has changed from features editor to editor, which means that from now on I will be assigning and editing the features, news and contributions. This work was previously divvied up amongst three editors. While this may sound like a lot of extra work, it isn't because before this title change I was the features editor for three magazines. Now I will be working with only one magazine. I think it's a positive change because it will allow me to be even more involved in the biomass industry.

There has also been a change in the titles and duties of our staff writers. If you are an avid reader you are probably familiar with Anna Austin, who is now an associate editor. Bryan Sims, who is also an associate editor, will continue to write for Biomass Magazine, but only for a short time. He is a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard and will soon be shipping off to Kosovo for a year. We wish him well. Susanne Retka Schill's byline has appeared on many industry news stories and now, as assistant editor, she will be producing features as well, and helping me with some editing chores. As you may have noticed, we include the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of our staff at the end of each feature so that you can contact them if you have questions or concerns about their articles. Although they may not be able to answer all of your questions, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

These changes are also good because they will allow us to easily ramp up as the magazine and the industry grow. I know this economic situation has taken the wind out of a lot of sails but it can't last forever. We need to be ready for the day when the world realizes that new biomass-based industries are among some of the answers to our economic and environmental woes. I'm not saying it will be be easy, but we do have political momentum, and our legislators seem perfectly happy to throw good money after bad. Now we just have to convince them to throw our tax money into viable industries. OK, that's the last jab I will aim at the federal government, at least in this column.

In the meantime, the focus of this month's magazine is anaerobic digestion and there are several features that you will want to read. This issue also includes a contributed article about Marlborough, Mass.-based Ken's Foods, which uses an anaerobic treatment technology developed by ADI Systems Inc. and Kubota Corp. to handle wastewater with high concentrations of organic matter.

As always, let me know if there is anything more we can do to meet the needs of the biomass industry.

Rona Johnson