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Dairy Environmental Systems
Water  •  Air  •   Renewable Energy

formerly Manure Management Program


Curt Gooch          
Curt Gooch Cornell University
425 Riley-Robb Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-5701
Phone: (607) 255-2088
Fax: (607) 255-4080

Curt Gooch, P.E. (MD registration No. 22020) is an Agricultural Engineer in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. Curt heads up the dairy facilities engineering component of Cornell's PRO-DAIRY program, a joint-venture educational program by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Curt is responsible for the development of educational and training programs related to dairy housing and waste management systems. He also conducts applied research with the goal of furthering the understanding of dairy housing and waste management systems and their effects on dairy animals and farm profitability. Curt has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park.

 > Curt Gooch's CV 
Jenny Pronto              
Jenny Pronto Cornell University
425 Riley Robb Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 227-7943
Fax: (607) 255 4080

Jenny Pronto is a Research Assistant in the Biological and Environmental Engineering department at Cornell University. Jenny currently works with the Dairy and Environmental Systems group at Cornell University. She has worked on anaerobic digester-related projects including: digester performance monitoring, greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon credits, and a regional AD feasibility study. She has written and co-written several documents for technology transfer, outreach and education. Current efforts include developing anaerobic digester workforce training programs and curriculums, and the facilitation of the first farm-based anaerobic digester discussion group. Jenny received B.S. degrees in Environmental Engineering and Science of Natural and Environmental Systems (focus: Sustainable Development) from Cornell University in 2007. She has worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell since 2007.
Tim Shelford
Tim Shelford Cornell University
425 Riley Robb Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Fax: (607) 255 4080      

Tim Shelford is a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. Tim’s duties within Cornell PRO-DAIRY have included developing a white paper outlining the challenges facing small farm anerobic digestion, assisting with the organization of a national Manure Management conference, monitoring existing AD projects, and various other AD projects. Tim graduated from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in 2010 in Biological and Environmental Engineering with a focus in Controlled Environment Agriculture where he gained experience in modeling agricultural production systems and instrumentation and control. Previously, Tim received a bachelors (1997) and masters (2000) of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia, in Bio-resource Engineering. Before that Tim grew up in Vancouver, BC where he was exposed to production agriculture through his uncle’s 200 cow dairy and the research labs of his father (a former professor of Dairy Nutrition at the University of British Columbia.)
Rodrigo Labatut              
Rodrigo Labatut Cornell University
425 Riley Robb Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Fax: (607) 255 4080      

Rodrigo received a B.S. and an Eng. Degree in Aquacultural Engineering from Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile, where his work was primarily focused on wastewater treatment technologies and recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) using biological filtration and advance oxidation processes (AOP). Rodrigo moved to the U.S. to begin graduate studies in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. Under the guidance of Mike Timmons, he pursued a M.S. which he directed on the study of the hydrodynamics of aquaculture tanks using experimental and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods. Motivated by his interest in bioenergy, he helped to write a proposal which provided funding to pursue a Ph.D. in the same department. Under the direction of Norm Scott, Rodrigo’s work was mainly focused on the co-digestion of dairy manure with high-strength substrates; specifically, to develop an understanding of how different chemical components in the influent material affect biodegradability and biogas production under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. Currently, Rodrigo holds a position as a Research Associate at Cornell University where his work is focused on the monitoring and evaluation of commercial-scale on-farm anaerobic digestion systems in New York State, and the training of anaerobic digester operators in management and process control.
Sam Steinberg              
Cornell University
425 Riley Robb Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Fax: (607) 255 4080      
Sam Steinberg is a Dairy Facilities and Environmental Systems Engineering Associate with Cornell’s PRO- DAIRY Program. His responsibilities within PRO-DAIRY include advising dairy farms on various aspects of project development and management, assisting in the preparation of design drawings for dairy housing and manure handling and processing systems, and participating in the conduct of educational programs related to facilities and manure systems engineering. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from the University of Michigan. His previous experiences include working for a barn equipment company and at Cornell’s research dairy farm.  


Norm Scott              
Norm Scott Cornell University
Professor Emeritus

"I have been involved in bioengineering research and teaching throughout my academic career. Research has focused on thermoregulation in poultry, biomechanics of machine milking of dairy cows and electronic applications in agriculture, with particular attention to automatic identification and estrus detection of livestock. A principal theme of this research is biothermal engineering for plants, animals and humans.

I have now redirected my research and teaching interests to sustainable development. I believe "sustainable development" is the dominant economic, environmental and social issue for the 21st century. To meet this challenge requires an entrepreneurship, which combines energy, environmental, industrial, and agricultural knowledge and innovation. The objective is to combine science, engineering, technology, economics, and social principles to "engineer" new ecologically sustainable communities. The concept represents the epitome of systems analysis- a challenge combining the insight from the physical sciences with those of the biological and social sciences. Characteristics of a sustainable community will be based in biologically-derived fuels, renewable energy, recycling, energy conservation, reduced transportation, managed ecosystems, advanced housing systems and sustainable agriculture. "

Lars Angenent
Lars Angenent Cornell University
Associate Professor

Lars Angenent is interested in converting organic materials with undefined mixed cultures, defined mixed cultures, or pure cultures of microbes to generate specific products, such as the energy carriers – methane; carboxylates; electric current; n-butanol. Pretreatment of the biomass may be necessary to increase the conversion rates, and therefore Lars Angenent is also interested in physical/chemical (e.g., dilute acid method), thermochemical (e.g., slow pyrolysis), and biological pretreatment steps. In regards to bioprocessing steps, Lars Angenent studies anaerobic digestion, anaerobic fermentation, bioelectrochemical systems, syngas fermentation, and ABE fermentation. Other areas of interest are biosensors and biocomputing devices that are based on bioelectrochemical systems (BESs); and photobioreactors.

For organic waste conversion into bioenergy, Lars Angenent is promoting the carboxylate platform as an important platform in biorefineries because water and nutrients must be recycled while bioenergy yields must be maximized. This platform is based on microbial conversions with undefined mixed cultures that can handle the complexity and variability of organic wastes. Therefore, Lars Angenent is interested in the microbial community dynamics in engineered systems. For this reason, his lab utilizes second-generation sequencing platforms in combination with powerful bioinformatic tools and ecology theory.