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International Biochar Initiative First Biochar Academy

June 19 - June 30


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The 2023 Biochar Academy is your chance to immerse yourself in all things biochar. Led by IBI Board Chair Kathleen Draper and other Upstate NY biochar experts and practitioners as well as world-renowned experts from around the globe, this two week, in-person program will be held from June 19 – June 30th, 2023. It will provide a unique opportunity to quickly connect with and contribute to scaling the biochar industry. Please see the application link below – applications will be accepted until 28 Feb. 2023.

Participants of the academy will:

  • Learn to become an effective biochar advocate and educator, equipped with essential knowledge for training and communicating biochar fundamentals to farmers, financiers, regulators, policy makers, and more.
  • Hear from biochar experts from Cornell University, the University of Rochester and others on the history, current state and future of biochar research, commercial activity and opportunities for farmers, producers and others in the biochar eco-system.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between biochar, climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Learn about the growing number of biochar production technologies, their co-products, scaling potential and more.
  • Understand the carbon removal marketplace and opportunities for biochar producers and in the developing world for farmers.
  • Visit at least two biochar production sites, research facilities and farms using biochar (e.g. dairy farm, mushroom farm)
  • Network with other biochar stakeholders working in research, farmer education, carbon removal markets, biochar production and market development.

Learn about the draft Biochar Academy Syllabus
A full schedule will be available for accepted Academy participants.


  • Discuss biochar and the current state of the biochar industry in different regions of the world
  • Make biochar using low tech methods
  • Identify and explain the carbon removal marketplaces that currently have or are planning to have biochar methodologies
  • Take accurate samples of biochar for characterization and analysis
  • Identify and discuss a wide variety of applications for biochar
  • Explain how to set up a proper trial using biochar in soils.
  • Qualified to train others on how to make and use biochar.

NOTE: Select trainees may be able to be certified as C-Sink Managers for the Artisan C-Sink methodology. This methodology is focused on educating developing world farmers on biochar production and verification of carbon sequestration and may not apply to all participants. It may also require an additional day of training over the weekend.


Please fill in this form to access the Biochar Academy Application.

As the number of students will be limited and IBI intends to make every attempt to host a geographically diverse first cohort, an application process will be used. Our goal is to include students from Africa, Australia / New Zealand / Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America. 

The application process is now open and will end on February 28, 2023 at 6pm (Eastern Standard Time). Selected students will be notified by mid-March and must confirm attendance by March 31, 2023.


Tuition for the full two weeks is $2,000 and must be prepaid by March 31st to secure your spot. In case of cancellation 75% will be refunded if canceled by April 30th and 50% refunded if cancellation is before May 31. We highly recommend travel insurance coverage including tuition. All travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of attendees. 

A block of suites at a local community college is being organized for students at a rate of ~$50 per day. Other nearby hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and AirBnBs are available, but fill up quickly during the summer. Rates vary from $100 – $300+ per day. 

IBI is seeking to raise scholarship funding for up to 10 students to help defray traveling expenses (tuition will also be waived for these 10 students). Each scholarship will cover up to $3,000 per student. Any expenses over this amount are the responsibility of the student. All scholarship funds will be used by IBI to cover expenses directly and will not be paid out directly to students. Selection for scholarship students is likely to be significantly more competitive than for non-scholarship students. 

NOTE: Scholarship students will be requested to assist in planning and delivering future IBI Biochar Academy trainings in their country/region and will be paid a stipend for their assistance with future trainings. 

Travel health insurance is highly recommended for all students and is required for scholarship students. 


The first Biochar Academy is being hosted in Canandaigua, NY, a historic and scenic small town located in Western New York. The closest airports are:

  • Rochester, NY (ROC) – ~50 minutes
  • Syracuse, NY (SYR) – ~ 60 minutes
  • Buffalo, NY (BUF) – ~90 minutes

There are also buses and trains from New York City-area airports – Grayhound, Trailways, and Amtrak for options.

Future Academies:  We anticipate hosting additional Biochar Academies in various regions of the world roughly twice  per year once we have translated materials and identified appropriate hosting locations. 


We will record all sessions and convert them into eLearning modules which will be made available to a larger audience later in 2023. In addition, we plan to embed a 2 day session within the Academy which will be opened to a broader audience. This session will focus on agricultural uses of biochar and will include a field trip to Cornell University and other biochar projects in the region. More details on this will be available in the coming months.


This is your chance to help us develop a global biochar workforce, support industry growth, and help scale biochar as a climate solution! 

IBI is seeking to raise US$30,000 in scholarship funding for up to 10 students to help defray travel expenses. Tuition will be waived for these 10 students.

As a sponsor for IBI’s inaugural Academy’s scholarship fund, you will not only help us ensure diversity among Academy students and the communities they can impact, but will also have exclusive marketing opportunities to get visibility with IBI’s highly relevant and global audience. 

To learn more about the many marketing and promotional benefits we are offering our sponsors, please click HERE and contact IBI’s Development Manager, Mehdeen Abbasi, at m.abbasi@biochar-international.org

Please note that the sponsoring opportunities are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. It is our goal to work with your team to ensure we offer marketing benefits that are best aligned with your company’s goals and so we encourage you to grab your spot soon!