Amber Hoover is a research scientist for the Idaho National Laboratory’s Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technologies Department. Her research focuses on the challenge of using non-grain, lignocellulosic biomass for conversion to fuels and products. Hoover’s team at INL specifically measures physical and chemical characteristics of a variety of crops to determine how these characteristics impact the conversion using a biochemical pathway.
She received two degrees in biology – her bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and her master’s degree from Idaho State University.
Hoover sees her work at INL as a part of a larger overall effort to develop technologies for advanced biofuels production from lignocellulosic biomass (i.e., non-grain plant material). When difficulty presents itself in Hoover’s work tasks, she turns her focus toward a project or a part of her job that brings excitement in order to become re-inspired, allowing her to revisit the difficult project or situation with renewed energy.
In giving advice to one seeking a similar career path, Hoover said, “I would suggest taking advantage of opportunities to gain hands-on experience. You can get insight into the types of skills you need to work in this field by doing research at a university or other research lab, participating in internship programs, or taking part in other real-world experiences. It also gives you context for the coursework you may be doing in school.”