Robert A. Hamburg
Omega-Alpha Recycling Systems
532 Georgian Road
Glenside, PA 19038 USA
Phone: (215) 605-7408
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Participation in the investigation, identification and proliferation of ecologically economic and sustainable alternatives to conventional approaches toward energy, agriculture, residuals management and human development in general.
A holistic approach toward resource management gained from three decades of experience and education in research, project management, design, diffusion, funding, construction, operation, evaluation and reporting of appropriate technologies around the world, including work in the United States (West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Hawaii), Jamaica, Mali, Nepal and the People’s Republic of China. Experience with holistic integration in the areas of ecological economics and development; financial, economic, social, environmental, net energy, input-output, benefic-cost and multi-criteria decision analyses; sanitation and organic residue recycling; solid waste management and recycling; sustainable agriculture strategies; cooperative business management; and design, construction, management and evaluation of appropriately scaled, symbiotically integrated biomass energy and organic recycling systems.
Director, Omega-Alpha Recycling Systems, Orma, WV. October, 1978-Present. A personal consulting firm concentrating on investigation and demonstration of the environmental necessity and economic viability of an integrated approach towards sustainable generation of renewable energy, production of food for both human and livestock consumption and sanitary treatment of organic residues. Coordinated research; prepared reports and proposals; developed, managed and evaluated projects; managed finances and funding; collected and disseminated information; supervised occasional secretaries; and participated in several radio shows and one public television production. The primary projects resulting from these efforts were (A) a US Department of Energy funded small-farm-scale, symbiotically-integrated system composed of two anaerobic digesters, two algae/aquatic plant ponds, and a solar greenhouse (October, 1979-July, 1982); (B) a privately funded homestead-scale system composed of a biogas digester, a greenhouse and an algae/aquatic plant pond (October, 1978-June, 1984); and (C) a home greenhouse-aquaculture-vermiculture system (September, 1979-August, 2008). I was the manager in all of these projects and was responsible for proposal preparation, system design, materials acquisition, personnel management, supervision of and participation in construction, accounting, establishment of data collection regimen, assistance in operation, preparation of reports, and conference presentations.
Consultant providing support for “Citizens Against the Digester” [“Citizens for Appropriate Digestion” to me!], Franklin, WV. Spring, 2002-Spring 2004. Largely volunteer assistance to local citizens’ group in stopping the installation of a very inappropriate, $20 million, anaerobic digestion project intending to process Franklin’s sewage with trucked-in poultry wastes. Provided educational forums, comments at public hearings from myself and others whom I got involved, letters to the editor of local paper, comments on proposed plans, discussions with project proponents and potential funders, and produced a comprehensive history of the project. The proposal finally died after this document was distributed to WV legislative finance committees.
Board Member and Investor in Spring Creek Natural Foods, Inc., Spencer, WV. Fall, 1996-Fall, 2008. Rejoined SCNF in late 1996 as a major stockholder when the company shifted from worker-ownership to a corporation; served as Chair of the Board of Directors, 1/1997-8/2007; Secretary, 1/1997-8/2001 and 4/2003-8/2005; President, 8/2001-4/2003. Initiated ultimately unsuccessful efforts to establish Spring Creek as the heart of a symbiotically integrated, broad spectrum organic foods production operation including soy foods; greenhouse, pond, lagoon and garden produce; and associated fish, poultry and other livestock production — all to be accomplished with full water and organic materials reuse and recycling and an aim toward a O-waste system. Also initiated and largely funded ultimately unsuccessful efforts toward the survival of Spring Creek through Chapter 11 restructuring. Ultimately successful in efforts to keep tofu production going in Spencer, WV, through the Spring Creek’s legacy to Phoenix Organics, LLC.
Entrepreneur with Tire Re-Use Services (TruS), LLC, Orma, WV. Summer, 1999-Present. Funded construction and patenting of a prototype radial-tire-tread cutter and related equipment; funded, participated in and coordinated demonstration of the processing equipment for production of a 12′ by 210′ drive mat, raised beds, and a landscaping pond at OARS bioshelter; continuing efforts toward development of a simple loom for mat construction; and continuing efforts toward publicizing and marketing both equipment and products.
Member of Board of the West Virginia Environmental Council, Charleston, WV. Fall, 1994-Summer, 2007. Secretary, September, 1999-October, 2002. Also initiated and participated in development of the West Virginia Citizens Energy Plan.
Member of the Calhoun County Solid Waste Authority, Grantsville, WV. November, 1989-July, 1990 and September, 1994-May, 2000. Appointed by the Regional Soil Conservation Service. Provided secretarial services; prepared surveys and forms; assisted in establishment of a local recycling center; prepared periodic newspaper articles; conducted preliminary investigation of local co-compo sting possibilities; co-facilitated regular public meetings and special hearings; made presentations to the Grantsville City Council; and was primary author of the comprehensive “Calhoun County Solid Waste Management and Litter Control Plan” which was recognized by the West Virginia Environmental Council and the State Solid Waste Management Board as a model for other counties in the State.
Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography, University of Hawaii-Manoa. January-July, 1991. Instructed students in computer spreadsheets, computer-aided cartography and social statistical analysis; researched bibliographic and census data; structured data for computer use; and assisted in coordinating the production of students’ papers and cartographic presentations.
Field Evaluator, Mountain State Organic Growers and Buyers Association, Morgantown, WV. February-July, 1990. Developed appropriate application and evaluation forms; assisted in evaluation of applications for organic certification; made appraisal visits to potential organic production sites around the State; and provided recommendations to the Certification Committee.
ResearchlResource Consultant, International Development and Energy Associates, Inc., Washington, DC. July, 1988-August, 1989. Prepared bibliographic resource material in the field of anaerobic digestion; after extensive review of the available literature, identified and classified approximately $100,000 worth of pertinent renewable energy, appropriate technology and development-related information for the Centre de Developpement des Energies Renouvelables, a national renewable energy documentation center in Morocco; and procured and prepared for shipment approximately $20,000 worth of the identified information.
Field Research Group Leader, University of Pennsylvania Summer Program in the People’s Republic of China. May-June, 1987. Supervised, coordinated and assisted the other five group members research; provided translation for technical jargon; gave presentations on anaerobic digestion efforts in other countries; was responsible for project development and management of data collection and analysis for a study of cooking-fuel-generated indoor air pollution. Reports: “Further Benefits from Biogas Systems-Household Biomass, Biogas and Coal Combustion in Henan Province, PRC: A Preliminary View of the Resultant Indoor Air Pollution”, and “The Domestication of Anaerobic Decomposition in the People’s Republic of China”.
Primary Researcher, Pennsylvania Governor’s Energy Council, Biomass Energy Assistance Program, Feasibility Study Grant. September, 1986-July, 1987. Directed and participated in the engineering, financial and net energy analyses of organic residue recycling, renewable energy and greenhouse options at the Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern, PA.
Teaching Assistant, Appropriate Technology and Energy Management for Development Program, University of Pennsylvania. September-December, 1986. Prepared course syllabus, reading lists and reading materials; distributed course materials; and procured and managed visual equipment.
Field Researcher, University of Pennsylvania Summer Program in Jamaica. May-August, 1986. Evaluated, through numerous interviews, locally available information and broader literature, the bio-physical and social impacts of the then-current, Jamaican Government agro-industrial initiative and small-farm alternatives. Report: “An Alternative to Agro-21’s Future for Jamaica”.
Cooperative Member, Spring Creek Soy Dairy, a producer and distributor of soy bean products. April, 1983-September, 1984. Co-managed production and distribution and was responsible for plant and equipment maintenance.
Consultant, US Peace Corps/Washington and Mali. December, 1980-March, 1981. Provided technical assistance to Peace Corps/ Mali in the development of a demonstration biogas project; designed digester/pond system; supervised construction; trained staff and technicians; gave presentations at a PC appropriate technology workshop; and developed future project guidelines and PC action plan for potential expansion of activities in this area.
Research Consultant, the Bio-Energy Council, Washington, DC. March-May, 1978. Prepared preliminary descriptions of anaerobic digestion projects around North America for the first Bio-Energy Directory.
Volunteer, US Peace Corps/Nepal. October, 1974-December, 1976. Taught vocational agriculture at a village high school and provided technical assistance for construction and operation of a large, demonstration-scale, Indiandesign biogas system.
Tradesperson involved in numerous short-term efforts in a wide range of construction trades, primarily carpentry and masonry. 1970-Present. Professional Affiliations: International Society for Ecological Economics (1989-2006) Biomass Users Network (1986-1998)
Computer and Analytical Experience:
- Word processing with WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, etc.;
- Spreadsheet analysis (single and multiple regression, input-output, net energy and benefit-cost analyses)
with Lotus 123, QuatroPro and Excel.
- Data analysis and presentation with SigmaPro;
- Mathematical programming and multiple-criteria decision analysis with Lindo;
- Statistical analysis with Elf;
- Pictorial representation with Harvard Graphics; and
- Computer-aided cartography and geographic information system analysis on a variety of programs.
- All on IBM-compatible micro-computer systems.
West Virginia Solid Waste Management Board, Recycling Grants Program, Implementation Grant, 1996. Primary author of grant proposals for initiation of the Restoration Station, a recycling and reuse center in Grantsville. [Approximately $18,000]
Pennsylvania Governor’s Energy Council, Biomass Energy Assistance Program, Feasibility Study Grant, 1986. Authored technical portion for Project Manager Dr. Robert Wirtshafter. [Approximately $8,000]
US Department of Energy, Appropriate Energy Technology Small Grants Program, Demonstration Grant, 1980. Authored entire proposal and functioned as project manager. [Approximately $38,000]
Permaculture Design, an intensive two-week training presented by concept originator Bill Mollison. Fall, 1996.
All But Dissertation Certificate toward a Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, May, 1994. Dissertation Topic – “Holistic Resource Management for Civilian Development of the Lualualei Naval Facilities on O’ahu, Hawai’i: A Multi-Criteria Modelling Approach.”
Certificate in Resource Management, University of Hawaii-Manoa, May, 1993.
M.S. in the Program in Appropriate Technology and Energy Management for Development, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1988.
Independent research into the physical, biological, environmental, social and economic aspects of symbiotically integrated organic materials recycling and agricultural production, renewable energy systems, and widely related topics, 1977-1986, 1987-1990 and August, 1994- Present.
B.S. in Biology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, USA, 1969.
- Degree Student Scholarship from the East-West Center, Environment and Policy Institute, August 1990-July 1994.
- Chairman’s Prize for outstanding academic performance in the M.S. Program in Appropriate Technology and
- Energy Management for Development, University of Pennsylvania, 1988.
- Teaching Assistantship and Tuition Waivers in the Appropriate Technology and Energy Management for Development M.S. Program,
- University of Pennsylvania, Spring, 1986Summer, 1987.
- National Award for Energy Innovation, US Department of Energy, 1985.
- West Virginia Award for Energy Innovation, WV Governor’s Fuel and Energy Office, 1985
Selected, solely authored publications:
- Electricity ratemaking for conservation.” In Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the International Association for Energy Economics, ed. by F. Fesharaki and J. Dorian. Honolulu, Hawaii, July 8-10, 1991. (1092-1106).
- Household cooking fuel hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide emissions from stalks, coal and biogas.” Biomass, 19:3 (233-245), 1889.
- Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide emissions from coal, stalks and biogas.” Boiling Point, 22, August, 1990.
- Why Chinese continue with biogas digesters?” Cook stove News, 8:3, Winter, 1989.
- Assessing the benefits of biogas.” Environment, 30:10, December, 1988.
- Biogas in China: a close look at biogas emissions.” Cook stove News, 8: 1, Spring, 1988.
- Symbiotically integrated organic recycling/renewable energy systems.” Presented at and included in the Proceedings of the American Solar Energy Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, 1983, the Fifth Annual Miami Conference on Alternative Energy Sources, Miami, FA, 1982, and the Third National Conference on Energy Conserving Solar Greenhouses, Hyannis, MA, 1982.
- Integrated renewable energy/organic waste recycling system: Final Report, July, 31, 1982″, for US DOE Grant Number DE-FG-43-80R302456, available from National Technical Information Service (NTIS).
Selected lectures and conferences presentations:
Lecture presentations on a range of topics including agriculture, integrated organic materials recycling, renewable energy systems, sanitation options in developed and less-developed countries, indoor air pollution, and sustainable development: University of Hawaii-Manoa Geography Colloquium,  (’90-’93); University of Pennsylvania International Institute of Energy Program  and Departmental Lecture Series  (3/’86-4/’89); Henan Energy Research Institute, Zhengzhou, PRC (6/1987); New Hampshire College, Concord, NH (4/1987); West Virginia University Agricultural Extension Service Workshops  (’79-’80).
- Biomass utilization through biogas systems: relationships to respiratory health and global climate change” presented at BioResources ’94, Bangalore, India, October 3-7,1994.
- A recycling strategy for organic solid waste produced in Palolo Valley, Honolulu, HI” presented at the 1993 University of Hawaii-Manoa, Graduate Student Organization Colloquium, April, 1993.
- “Planning for a small planet” presented at the 1993 Third Annual Student Social Science Convention
at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, March, 1993.
- A holistic approach to food, waste and energy with reference to China’s 4,000 years of sustained agricultural production” presented at the 17th Pacific Science Congress, Honolulu, HI, May 26-31, 1991.
Other service-oriented and elected positions:
- Hawaiian Electric Company, Integrated Resource Planning Process, Participant, Integration Advisory Group, 1992-1993
- University of Hawaii-Manoa, Member, Graduate Program Committee, 1993-1994. Member, Communications Committee, 1991-1993.
- Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Departmental Change, 1990-1991. * The Environmental Center at UH-Manoa and the Sierra Club,
- Provided comments on proposed environmental legislation for legislative hearings, 1991-1994.
- Ho ‘Ololi Ka ‘Opala (Waste Warriors) at the East-West Center, Participant, 1990-1993.
- East-West Center, East-West Center Participant’s Association,
- Representative to the Center’s Research Fellows Association, 1992-1993.
- United States’ Representative, 1991-1992.
- Honolulu Police Athletic League, Informal Assistant Baseball Coach, Spring, 1992.
- Energy Center, University of Pennsylvania,
- Vice-President of the Energy Center’s Student Organization, 1986-1987.
- Phi Lambda Theta Fraternity, Bucknell University, President, Spring, 1968 – Fall, 1969.
Additional language capabilities: Incipient Spanish and a fair remembrance of Nepali.
References available upon request.