Stephen R. Kaffka

Stephen Kaffka

Position Title
Professor of Cooperative Extension and Director, California Biomass Collaborative

  • Faculty
281 HUNT
UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616

Education (list each degree, the university from which it was received, the year, and the subject/major): 

  • Ph.D., Cornell University; Agronomy, 1986
  • M.S., Cornell University; Agronomy, 1983
  • B.S., UC Santa Cruz; Biological Sciences, 1979

Research interests and expertise: 

Dr. Stephen Kaffka is extension agronomist and specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, and Director of the California Biomass Collaborative. Current biomass energy crop research includes winter annual oilseed crops like canola, camelina and castor, sweet sorghum, sugar beets and sugar cane projects. He has also worked on agriculture and water quality projects including the use of salt-affected lands and low quality water supplies for biomass production using salt-tolerant grasses in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and agricultural and water quality issues in the upper Klamath Basin.

Kaffka is an advisor to the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis on bioenergy issues. He advises the California Energy Commission and the California Resources Agency on biomass energy and sustainability issues, and has served as an ex officio member of the stateís Bioenergy Interagency Work Group. He was a technical advisory committee member for the California Energy Commissionís Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Transportation Program.  Dr. Kaffka participated on the California Air Resources Boardís Sustainability Standards and Indirect Land Use Change workgroups.

Kaffka was a member of a National Research Councils committee producing a congressionally mandated report on the Renewable Fuel Standard, Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Fuel Policy. He helped author the new SCOPE report: Bioenergy and Sustainability: Bridging the Gaps. From 2003 to 2007 he was director of the Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems Project at UC Davis, focused on the sustainability of farming systems in California. 

Current projects: 

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Director, California Biomass Collaborative
  • Member, California Energy Commission's Alternative Fuels and Renewable Transportation Program Advisory Committee
  • Member, California Air Resources board Sustainability Standards Committee
  • Associate editor, California Agriculture

Prizes, Awards, Honors:

  • Meritorious Service Award, American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists, 2007, 2009

Google Scholar



  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Crop ecology
  • Agroecology
  • Oilseeds
  • Sugar beets
  • Salinity management
  • Water quality