Associate Professor speaks at 'Renewable on Parade' conference in Iowa

Marietta College's Dr. Eric J. Fitch, associate professor of environmental science and leadership, was an invited speaker at "Renewable on Parade" a major conference on renewable energy development held in Washington and Riverside, two towns in Washington County, Iowa, on Sept. 20-23.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) endorsed the conference and its focus was on America's future through renewable energy resources.

Keynote speakers were R. James Woolsey, former CIA director, Chuck Peters, President/CEO of Gazette Communication, Sano M. Shimoda, President of BioScience Securities, Inc. and Martin L. Andreas, former President of ADM Corn Division and Senior Advisor to CEO, ADM.

Fitch, who is also an associate editor of the journal Water Resources Impact, was invited to speak to the issue of water resource availability. The title of the presentation was "Is there enough water?" Current processes for growing and distilling ethanol are highly water intensive.

Fitch spoke to the issue of the tradeoffs, especially in light of projected climate change, of energy and water resources to grow and refine these products and water availability in Iowa and throughout the United States. The conference had several hundred attendees and a business expo that drew upward of 3,000 as part of the activities.