Mr. Rasmussen is the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities at UMM and has more than 30 years experience in physical plant management in both private and public venues. He is currently responsible for approximately 1 million square feet of campus space including heating and cooling operations, staffing, energy management, resource procurement, and capital planning/project management. Rasmussen has managed over $50 million of construction and renovation projects, and supervises an annual operating budget of over $4 million.
Dr. Joel Tallaksen is a renewable energy Scientist working on a number of projects centered on energy resources available in the West Central Minnesota area.. Employed at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Joel is active in different apspects of the construction, research, and outreach tasks for these projects. He has BS degrees in Plant Sciences and Genetics & Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Plant Biological Sciences. As an applied scientist, Dr. Tallaksen's efforts focus on using the most up-to-date science with new technologies or in new applications. Joel's agricultural upbringing has played an important role in how he approaches developing biomass energy for the improvement of the environment and rural economies.
Dr. James Barbour, Emissions Technician, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Agronomy, focusing on the ecology of crop/weed interactions. While there, he developed his skills in trace gas analysis studying photosynthesis in peanuts and associated plant competitors. Jim earned his BS and MS degrees from North Carolina State University in Crop Science with emphasis in plant physiology. He is excited to be returning to research after more than a decade teaching chemistry. This project's blend of new technology, agriculture, hands-on chemistry, and environmental benefit "was too good an opportunity to pass up."
Matt Zaske is the Technology Transfer Coordinator for the University of Minnesota, Morris biomass gasification facility. He is responsible for collecting and managing numerical data and video streams for educational and public consumption as it is gathered at the gasification facility. This allows users worldwide to observe and obtain run-time data from the facility over the Internet through an interactive web application. Prior to his involvement with the biomass gasification facility he spent several years as Chief Software Engineer/Architect in private industry, developing highly-scalable agricultural data management systems centered around the needs of agronomists and production growers.