A special thanks to the 2012 speakers who agreed
to share their presentations on this page. Click the
orange link after the available titles to view the PDF.
Keynote – The Development of the UVI Aquaponic System – In 1980 when little was known about about aquaponics and even the term “aquaponics” was not coined, Dr. Rakocy initiated a research program to develop a commercial-scale aquaponic system. Over the next 30 years their research led to the development of the UVI Aquaponic System, which is now the basis of many commercial operations. This talk will illustrate our trials and tribulations, our triumphs and mistakes so that you can appreciate what is taken for granted today and not repeat their past errors.
Workshop - Aquaponic Plant Crop Production and Recovery and Use of Solid Waste – Dr. Rakocy will concentrate on various aspects of aquaponic plant production, touching on solid waste recovery and use for field crop fertilization and seedling media. Nothing has to go unused if solids are removed from aquaponic systems!
Dr. James Rakocy earned a B.S. degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin in 1967, a M.S. degree in environmental biology from the University of North Carolina in 1971 and a Ph.D. degree in aquaculture from Auburn University in 1980. He taught school in Sierra Leone, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and in New York. He worked for environmental consulting firms in Wisconsin and Massachusetts. In 1980 he began 30 years of employment at the University of the Virgin Islands…click here to read more
Keynote – Aquaponic Innovation and the Challenges we Face as a Growing Industry – Lowering Energy usage, making our own fish food, formalizing Tilapia fish breeding in small operations, using vermicast tea in the system for plant and fish health. Why to use air/water pumps, how to use solar in an affordable manner, why to do “drip dry” bio-filter drain method and the advantages, the whole secret of vermin-aquaponics, how to lower maintenance costs and save you form daily chores of cleaning and tweaking.
Workshop – H.O.T S.T.E.A.M drives you to M.A.D. In Hawaii we are changing from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to STE.A.M the “A” is for Agriculture, which brings the other four disciplines to live. What is the H.O.T = Hands On Training, which means we will be brings bucket siphons, aquaport systems and samples of air/water pumps that students can take apart, reassemble and operate…..which should result in M.A.D. = folks who can Make A Difference!
Glenn Martinez owns and operates an Organic Aquaponic Farm on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. He started about 5 years ago by taking a variety of Aquaponic courses. After about five of these, Glenn learned what he wanted to try and what he wanted to avoid.
Out of this education, Glenn developed a method that more resembles Murray Hallam in his “complete recovery” of catching the solids of fish water in the bio-filter. Glenn was already a commercial worm farm, so adding the worms to aquaponics was a natural. Next, Glenn designed the ”double tray” or false bottom bio-filter bed that goes drip dry at every drain cycle. Then Glenn designs and operates remote bell siphons in 55 gallon drums that control many bio-filters at once.Then Glenn developed the “bucket siphon” with out-board pipe siphons that allow the bucket siphon to double as the “tea brewer” for vermicast or compost input device. Click here to read more…
Dr. Wilson Lennard of Aquaponic Solutions
Featured Talk – “Top Ten” Requirements for Successful Aquaponics - Dr Lennard will present his “Top Ten” technical requirements for successful aquaponic system design, operation and management. These Top Ten technical requirements are applicable to all aquaponic systems, from small, hobby-scale systems all the way through to large commercial systems.
Workshop – Comparing Standard Hydroponic NFT to Aquaponic NFT - A proportion of a commercial greenhouse was used to house two hydroponic components; one a standard NFT hydroponic array and the other a NFT aquaponic array. The remaining greenhouse area was converted into a room which contained the standard hydroponic dosing system and the fish component of the aquaponic system. A technical description of the trial systems will be presented, along with some of the collected comparative data and a breakdown of any issues or problems encountered. A short, general discussion of the appropriateness of NFT to aquaponic integration will also be provided.
Dr Wilson Lennard has worked as a professional scientist for over 20 years. He has skills and experience in many biological disciplines, including: human assisted reproductive technologies (IVF embryology), freshwater aquatic ecology, environmental biology, constructed wetland design and engineering, water sensitive urban design, grey water treatment and recycling, black water treatment and recycling, freshwater aquaculture, marine aquaculture, hydroponics, integrated aquatic farming systems and aquaponics. He has worked in the aquaponics field for the last 11 years. Four of those years were associated with him obtaining a PhD degree in Applied Biology in 2006 from The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, specialising in the adaptation and optimisation of aquaponics to Australian conditions and fish species. Since 2006 Dr Lennard has concentrated on commercialising aquaponics by bringing predictability to the technology via integrating existing and well-established principles from Aquaculture and hydroponics. He currently runs his own global consulting company, Aquaponic Solutions, continues aquaponic research and travels the world teaching aquaponics. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. James Ebeling, co-author of “Recirculating Aquaculture”
Featured Talk – An Engineers View of Recirculating Aquaculture and Aquaponic Systems (PDF download) – The primary purpose of Dr. Ebeling’s presentation is to provide an overview and “road map” that can be used to guide one through the various system components required for a successful recirculating aquaculture/aquaponic system design. Each of the individual “unit processes” that make up an aquaculture/aquaponic system of any scale (tanks, circulation, solids capture, biofiltration, aeration, aquaponic growout systems) will be described and the engineering “rule of thumbs” for their design presented. Numerous examples will be presented for both the small scale systems and the large commercial systems. In addition, two designs will be highlighted, the first a simple small scale aquaponics systems constructed for a community group in New Orleans and second a “Boutique” systems for the small commercial grower.
Workshop Talk - Monitoring Your Aquaponics System Using Web Based Systems (PDF download) - Monitoring your aquaponics system, using web based systems to monitor tank water levels, flows, temperature, pH, etc from your iPhone using a simple app! Or making this into a business to help aquaponic start-ups and weekly or monthly system check-ups. Plus add some simple cameras for remote monitoring and showing off to your friends.
Dr. James M. Ebeling is a semi-retired aquaculture engineer, who recently immigrated to Tucson Arizona from New Orleans with tentative plans of doing NOTHING, but…. James has worked in the area of aquaculture engineering for more than twenty five years, written an engineering text book on recirculating aquaculture system design with Dr. Michael Timmons from Cornell University (“The Yellow Book”), taught numerous workshops and short course and designed both small scale (Boutique) and large scale commercial aquaculture systems both here and abroad. His background in aquaculture engineering comes from both “book learning” (PhD Univ of Maryland) and in the real world having designed and constructed research facilities in Hawaii, Ohio, Maryland and Louisiana. Most recently James worked in New Orleans for Aquaculture Systems Technologies conducting research in commercial algae production, denitrification for marine aquaculture systems and waste management. He and Dr. Timmons are currently working on their second book covering the engineering aspects of aquaponic systems.
Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics
Murray Hallam is probably the most well known face in the world-wide aquaponics movement. He discovered aquaponics in 2006, and immediately put his fiberglass and boat-building skills to work to build and sell aquaponics systems and equipment through Practical Aquaponics in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Sylvia Bernstein of The Aquaponic Source
Going Tribal – How to Develop Your Community Marketing Connection – How do you successfully market your small family farm? Learn how to develop your tribe and create a community marketing connection that will build relationships instead of just a clientele. This workshop will explore how to optimize farm tours, buying clubs or CSA’s, your farmers market presence and restaurant relations.
Sylvia Bernstein is the President and Founder of The Aquaponic Source and the author of “Aquaponic Gardening: A Step by Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together”. She also runs the Aquaponic Gardening Community and is the Vice Chairman of the Aquaponics Association.
In her recent past life Sylvia was the VP of Marketing and Product Development for AeroGrow International, the makers of the AeroGarden. She was one of the company’s original founders and was instrumental in developing the plant growth technology.
Sylvia has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Alan, and their son (their daughter is attending college at the University of Washington). They have a large, thriving aquaponic setup in their backyard greenhouse in Boulder powered by tilapia, goldfish, and other creatures-that-swim.
Ryan Chatterson of Aquatic EcoSystems and Chatterson Farms
Topic #1- Plant Selection- What is possible with aquaponics? - Ryan will discuss the wide variety of vegetables that he has grown successfully in Aquaponics along with pictures of different plot arrangements to drive the points home. He will touch on nutrient manipulation in relationship to plant variety being grown and talk about the commercial viability of several different crops shown.
Topic #2 – The importance of water quality in Aquaponics - Ryan will touch on all of the water quality parameters that he measures on daily/weekly/monthly basis and the importance of each parameter as it relates to our aquaponics systems. Learn how trending data such as pH, DO and temperature can help aquaponic enthusiasts predict and solve problems before they become catastrophes. If you’re not testing, you’re guessing!
Ryan Chatterson studied Biology at the University of Central Florida and has been growing fish and plants aquaponically for over 8 years. He has worked at Aquatic Eco-Systems for the past 7 years and currently teaches at their training workshops as well as operates the demonstration facility located behind their main location in Apopka, Fl. He has spent years working with aquaponic enthusiasts ranging from backyard gardeners to commercial entrepreneurs. As of January 2012, he is also the owner/operator of Chatterson Farms, an aquaponic farm located on 5 acres that serves the local community of Clermont, Fl.
Matthew Ferrell of West Virginia University
Dan Gerace of Welby Gardens
Plant Propagation, Vegetative and Seed Propagation Practices and Procedures (view PDF) - This workshop will feature a discussion of the different types of plant propagation, rooting media, environmental requirements, and sanitation procedures
Dan Gerace has a Bachelor’s degree in Ecological Biology from University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Entomology and Pest Management from Colorado State University. He currently works at Welby Gardens, which is located on the north-side of Denver and has been in business for 64 years. As part of the third generation of family members involved, he has 13 years of growing experience and currently is the production and pest management manager. Welby’s grows the Hardy Boy Bedding Plant sold to independent garden centers and landscapers though out the region, their commercial greenhouses cover a million square feet of indoor production. Over the last 2 years they have converted some area into both hydroponic and certified organic production.
James Greenewald of Living Waters Aquaponics
Converting an Existing Pond into an Aquaponics System (view PDF) - This workshop will cover the basics of building new or turning existing water features and ponds into Aquaponic systems with a natural looking bog full of vegetables or Aquatic plants. James will discuss every phase of the process from digging the hole and lining materials to filtration, pumps, ph, stocking fish, plants, bog and system start-up through maintenance and sustainability.
James Greenewald has been a licensed building contractor and state certified building inspector for the last 22 years. He and his wife Pamela owned and operated a retail Garden Center called Angel Gardens from 1991 – 2006. The store featured a huge selection of plants and garden accessories. James specialized in watergardens, pond construction and outdoor projects of all types. Years ago he became interested in Aquaponics as he was already creating bog filters with aquatic plants to keep the pond water clean. He created a portable demo and continued to improve the design, sharing it now and then with the public. James is currently owner of Living Waters Aquaponics, a company dedicated to designing, building and spreading the good news about Aquaponics.
Eric Highfield of the University of Arizona
Polyculture of Tilapia and Freshwater Shrimp in a Recirculating Aquaponics System – The University of Arizona is one of the premiere institutions for the development of hydroponics and controlled environment systems and has been involved in aquaponics research dating back to the early 1980’s. A research greenhouse with state of the art technology has been dedicated solely to aquaponics, which I operated and managed for two years while completing my Master’s degree. The basis for my thesis experiment was the integration of freshwater shrimp (Macrobrachium Rosenbergii) into an existing aquaponics system with Tilapia and lettuce without any additional inputs. M. rosenbergii is known to be cannibalistic and capable of feeding on detritus from different sources and this was taken into consideration when designing the experiment. Shrimp growth and mortality rates were determined under three different experimental conditions within the aquaponics system: Individually caged at the bottom of Tilapia tanks, individually caged under floating raft lettuce, and uncaged underneath floating raft lettuce. In addition, the growth of lettuce was compared with caged and uncaged shrimp underneath, to determine if M. rosenbergii might have a negative impact on the growth of plants above, as it has been questioned if they might consume the roots of the plants. The results of the experiment were surprising, and indicate a favorable role for the polyculture of Tilapia and Macrobrachium Rosenbergii in floating raft aquaponics systems.
Eric D. Highfield has a master’s degree from the University of Arizona in Environmental science with a focus on aquaponics and aquaculture, where he successfully managed the university aquaponics research greenhouse for two years. His undergraduate degree is from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he completed a bachelor’s of science in molecular biology with chemistry minor. There he toiled with waste degradation research via nitrifying sub-surface flow wetland systems, with a successful model constructed at the Turtle bay café in Akumel, Mexico. Eric has always possessed a passion for environmental responsibility and sustainability, and he has had a longstanding interest in fish and hydroponics.
Rik Kretzinger of AGponics
Aquaponics & Arduino — The WHAT – The HOW — and into the FUTURE (view PDF) - In this workshop attendee’s will gain a understand of the arduino platform and how custom aquaponic automated solutions can be build on any scale.
- Know what an arduino is
- Understand the concept of open source
- Touch and feel the sensors that are used in a aquaponic system
- Demystify the use of technology in aquaponics
- Gain understanding of what the future in aquaponics can and will look like
Rik will have a full working desktop unit that is fully automated on a DIY scale. We will breakdown each sensor and explore how they work. We will talk about available resources and see how items purchased on a local level can lead to an automated system that is easy to install at any level. We will have web references and instruction guides on all the major components and how they are connected to form a “SENSOR NETWORK” in today’s world. We will talk about and demonstrate the concept of “INTO THE FUTURE – EVERYTHING WILL HAVE AN IP ADDRESS”
Rik Kretzinger grew up on a Christmas Tree Farm in Central California. He earned a degree in Horticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA. He worked his way through college as a commercial grower at a major greenhouse operation growing Tropical Plants, and managed over 700,000 square feet of production Roses after graduation. He moved on to fill a Ag Specialist role with Union Carbide working with all the major agriculture crops in the Western States. he is presently working in Biotech industry supporting the growth and development of geneotyping of all major crops throughout the world. Automation in aquaponics started out as a hobby and has now developed in to a full time passion and a clear path to the future of agriculture in the world.
Aleece Landis (TCLynx) of AquaponicLynx
How To Plumb It All Together (view PDF) - Hooking up or modifying your systems from simple to mixed, tips and tricks to keep everything flowing properly.
Aleece Landis, more commonly known as the hands on aquaponic expert TCLynx, has been enthralled with Aquaponics since 2007. TC learned much of her aquaponic know how engaging in all kinds of forums and online communities and now is one of the “go-to” people on many sites. Aside from helping all levels of aquaponic enthusiasts,TCLynx also devotes her time to duckaponics, permaculture and her Helping Families Grow Food project for her company, Aquaponic Lynx, LLC.
Sandy Mathieu of Greenlife Aquaponics
Heating Fish Tanks with Hot Water (view PDF) - Aquaponic systems generally use electricity for heating. It is convenient and efficient. But it can be costly to run, and problematic during power outages. Hot water systems based on wood, gas, or solar offer an alternative to electricity. We discuss the issues surrounding using hot water for heating of fish tanks.
Sandy Mathieu has a Master of Science from Washington University in St. Louis and was awarded an Olin fellowship. Her field of study was alternative energy. She spent 25 years as owner of a software development and training company. Her new company, Greenlife Aquaponics develops products for the aquaponics and alternative energy field.
Bill Manci of Fisheries Technology Associates, Inc.
Think Like a Fish – While the physiological systems of fish are in many ways similar to people, they are also different in ways that can dramatically affect the fish’s well-being. For example, temperature, sound, and light regimens can have profound effects on the health, well-being, and growth status of fish. Mr. Manci will address these similarities and differences, and give the audience additional insight and increase their sensitivity to appropriate ways to adjust their fish’s physical, chemical, and biological environment to optimize growth and health.
Bill Manci is president of Fisheries Technology Associates, Inc., a Fort Collins, Colorado-based aquaculture and aquaponics consulting firm. Bill’s career in fisheries, aquaculture, and aquaponics spans more than 36 years, including 6 years in research at a major university, and more than 30 years as a consultant. He manages a team of 27 professionals, and has worked on projects throughout the world.
Max Meyers of NorCal Aquaponics
Closed Loop Aquaponics, Combining Permaculture and Aquaponics - Combining Permaculture Design with Aquaponics creates truly closed loop systems that are even more sustainable, dynamic, productive & regenerative then either alone. In this introduction you will learn about some of the most cutting edge and pioneering Permaculture based aquaponics systems in the world and gain a solid foundation from which to begin your own more holistic approach to your Aquaponics System, Farm and/or thriving Green Business.
The “Water Food Web” and the Unseen Living Ecology in Aquaponics Water - Just like the life in soil, water contains a diverse collection of micro-organisms supporting complex systems and playing key roles in maintaining balanced aquatic communities. Similar to soil, healthy water ecologies also contain billions of organisms per cubic inch. In some cases these living food webs may contain even more life and diversity than is found in soil. It is this magical and complex dance of temperature, oxygen, bacteria, fungi, micro-crustaceans, phytoplankton, zooplankton, micro-organisms, algae, and others that make Aquaponics so successful. Join us for this unique look into some of the unseen life, balances and cycles taking place inside our Aquaponics water…
Maximillian Meyers is an experienced Ecological Designer, Permaculture Teacher, Consultant, Commercial Aquaponic System Designer/Installer, Rainwater and Greywater System specialist, Farmer, and the Executive Director of the Mendocino Ecological Learning Center a nonprofit educational organization and ecological reserve offering green job training and sustainable living skills to the public. Though his work as an instructor of Permaculture and Ecological Design he has successfully trained over a thousand students from more than 40 countries world wide. In addition to the work at MELC, Mr. Meyers provides Ecological design services to the public, organizations, and schools through Osiris Designs and NorCal Aquaponics. He is passionate about all things related to a more just and sustainable world. He has been studying, practicing and teaching Permaculture and Ecological Design for 15 years.
He and his work has been published in Gaia’s Garden, the world’s best selling book on Permaculture and featured in Time Magazine video as well as a variety of other publications, radio and television programs.
Matt Regusci Food Safety Catch 22 in Aquaponics
What comes first: the science or the standards? (view PDF) - Safe food is expected by consumers. We will discuss in detail how we show our product is safe and create standard all aquaponics producers can do to minimize food borne illness.
- What should we test to show we do not have pathogens
- How should we prove we do not have allergens
- Where are the resources and partners to help with studies
- How do we create Food Safety Standards
Some of you may know Matt Regusci as “Food Safety Guy” on the Aquaponic Garden Community Forum. Matt’s degree in in Organized Leadership and Change Management. He loves challenges, and decided to use his degree within the two organizations most adverse to change: Auditing and Agriculture. Over the last 8 years, Matt Regusci has worked with major Retailers and Food Service companies to create realistic compliance programs and helped thousands of produce producers (large and small) create efficient cost effective compliance programs that meet their customers needs. Matt has an intimate knowledge of industry compliance expectations through the whole supply chain. He started his career in Business Development for PrimusLabs, Matt than helped Primus create, build and grow Azzule Systems which owns Azzule SCP a supply chain data management system and Primus GFS the fastest growing Global audit. To broaden his career Matt recently moved to NCSI Americas as Southwest Vice President of Business Development, Sales, and Marketing.
Kevin Savage of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy High School
Aquaponics: Weaving a Common Thread Through the Fabric of a Multi-Discipline High Science Program (view PDF) - This session will present the use of classroom-scale aquaponics systems at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy High School as teaching and research tools across a four-year program of general and advanced courses in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science. The primary goal is to share with the workshop participants our approach to the ways in which aquaponics can be used to supplement or even replace traditional approaches to topical units in each discipline, as well provide inquiry-based independent research opportunities for students. As a part of this goal, we hope to have interaction and dialogue with the aquaponics workshop community on ways this approach may be improved. The session will include a brief summary of the topics from each course/grade level that have a direct connection to aquaponics, and a summary of selected sample activities from the courses. A summary of current student research will also be presented.
Kevin Savage teaches Environmental Science and Chemistry at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy High School in Cincinnati, Ohio; he is in his eighth year of teaching high school after fifteen years in environmental research and consulting. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University, where he teaches Environmental Conservation. He has a Ph.D. in Quaternary Geology from the University of Cincinnati, and is a registered professional geologist.
Ken Semmens, PhD of West Virginia University
How Much is Just Right – A System for Feeding Trout (view PDF) - It is possible to take the guesswork out of how much to feed the fish and to find the groove of good growth, good health and efficient conversion for your fish. This presentation will describe a system developed for trout at WVU aquaculture facilities. The principles associated with this work should transfer to other fish species. The heart of the system is a worksheet which estimates precisely how much to feed each day and the expected growth. This tool generates a production plan which provides useful information for marketing fish, purchasing feed and management of the fish in our flowing water aquaponic system. Click here to download the worksheet.
Ken Semmens has been Aquaculture Project Leader and Extension specialist for aquaculture at West Virginia University for the past 13 years. He received his PhD from Auburn University in 1986 and worked on fish farms in the south for 15 years before taking his current assignment. As such he has experience producing and marketing a wide variety of warm, cool and cold water fish species. He has been the driving force for development of the aquaculture facility at Reymann Memorial Farm collaborating on practical methods to recover value from the nutrients associated with producing trout in cold flowing water systems.
Greg Schlick of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and NASA/Ames Research Center’s Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch
Lighting for Aquaponics (view PDF) – Lighting can easily be one of the most costly parts of your growing system, not only with the up front capital costs, but also with the long term energy and maintenance costs. Choosing the appropriate lighting system for your application can save you time and money. To understand what is the appropriate lighting system for your crop, you need to understand what the plants (and the fish) require. We all understand that plants need light, in this workshop will will expand your understanding of light and will will focus on how lighting and lighting sources impact physiology, morphology and biochemistry of plants and ultimately how it effects yield. We will provide you with a basic understanding of what plants need and what some of the various lighting sources can provide.
Greg Schlick is a plant physiologist that is employed by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and NASA/Ames Research Center’s Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch. Greg has worked for NASA for over 22 years and originally started his career their developing life support systems designed to keep an astronaut crew supplied with all their biological requirements during long duration missions. Greg has worked with the CELSS (Controlled Environmental Life Support Systems) group and as scientist with the CAAP program (CELSS Antarctic Analog Program) and conducted some of the first seed to seed crop trials on-board a space station (Russian space station MIR) and now is conducting a wide array of research topics in conjunction with the USDA, EPA and the US Department of Energy. With these projects Greg has gained significant experience in completely closed loop biological systems, lighting systems resource recovery and utilization and optimizing production in controlled environments. He has been working at NASA/Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA for over 20 years
Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech, LLC
Topic #1 – Designing resilient aquaponic systems for production and profit (view PDF) - System design, whether it is for commercial or home production must be productive, profitable and resilient. There are many excellent system designs currently circulating, however, there are also poor ones. Many of the good designs are plagued by the assumption that what is profitable in one location will be profitable in another. This is not true, and impacts the ecological and economic viability of operating systems in a number of places. This session will review design considerations and briefly talk about how environmental, geographic, market and design variables impact the feasibility of aquaponic systems
Topic #2 – Designing and managing aquaponic systems- the top ten mistakes growers make (view PDF) - Aquaponic systems are often plagued with problems in the short term and long term. Often these problems are the result of design failures or failures in management. This session will review the top ten mistakes that aquaponic growers make in system design, nutrient management, water quality control, dosing, and plant disease and pest management.
Nate Storey, PhD, owns Bright Agrotech, LLC, and is an aquaponic researcher, equipment designer and manufacturer, and operator of a vertical aquaponic production facility in Laramie, Wyoming.
Topic #1 – Inexpensive Year-Round Aquaponics (view PDF) – Outdoor aquaponics systems benefit greatly from shelter – from rain, from cold, from heat, and from predators. A DIY greenhouse can be built from readily-available components for under $100. Workshop will include bending the EMT for the hoops and assembling the greenhouse. The greenhouse can be raffled off if desired by workshop organizers. – Building the base using drilled boards and screws – Creating the ‘hoops’ from EMT and connectors – Covering the hoops with plastic (for cool weather) or shade cloth Plans will also be shared for installing an external rocket mass heater and/or a solar furnace.
Topic #2 – Using Aquaponics to Teach Science (view PDF) – Aquaponics offers so many opportunities for learning in a classroom setting, whether in a traditional school or in a home-schooling setting. Workshop covers creating a small media-based aquaponics system with a 10 gallon fish tank, a plastic bin, and a bell siphon. – Building a shelf to support the system ($20 wire shelving from Target) – Filling the fish tank and conditioning the water – Assembling the grow bed and bulkhead (boot box from Container Store and electrical conduit bulkhead) – Adding the bell siphon and media guard (using recycled glass jar for bell) – Adding media and plants and pump – Testing water – Discussion of lesson plans
Meg Stout is a physicist/engineer with expertise in product development. She is devoted to making aquaponics accessible at the individual level by developing and sharing DIY plans for creating aquaponics systems from commonly-available items.
Rob Torcellini of Bigelow Brook Farms
Beyond Thunderdome! Building a Geodesic Dome Aquaponics Greenhouse (view PDF) - From start to finish, Rob will show the design, construction, and cost for an 1100 square foot geodesic dome greenhouse. He will go over all the details about utilizing as many renewable resources as possible for the operation of the building using automation, solar power, geothermal, and a rocket mass heater. He’ll also review the layout of the aquaponic system, from the stock tank setup to the combination of media-based and deep water culture grow beds.
Rob Torcellini owns and operates Bigelow Brook Farm, LLC which is an active farm as well as a technology consulting and design company focusing on controls and automation in agricultural and light-industrial industries. Bigelow Brook Farm also produces expanded shale, a lightweight growing media that is used in the hydroponic and aquaponic markets. He is also the Director of Information Technology for Iwaki America, Inc. which manufactures industrial-grade metering & magnetic drive pumps and commercial controllers.
George Zhang of Verdant Efficient Farming, Inc.
Navasota Aquaponics System (Case Study) (view PDF) – An outdoor commercial aquaponics system was built in May 2010 in Navasota. Technology breakthrough in high efficiency growing system and environment control system for southern area is being evaluated in field operation. Initial samplers of harvest proved that the green leave vegetables, cucumber and tomatoes produced in the system taste much better than store bought items. Final statistics will be available in August and preliminary estimates combined with ongoing field record indicate that a very high yield rate, 1500-2000 pounds per 100 square feet per year, may be achievable. Experience and lessons will be discussed.
2010-Present CEO&CTO Verdant Efficient Farming, Inc. 1998-2009 ASIC Engineer Hewlett Packard. 1996-1998 Research Assistant, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Houston. 1998 Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas. 1991 Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China