Jean E. Bogner

Research Professor Emerita

My research has focused on near-surface materials & processes including field-scale measurements & process-based modeling of soil gas and aqueous transport through sediments, soils, and waste.  A major area of interest has been landfill gas generation, transport & emission processes, as well as the technology for commercial-scale landfill CH4 utilization.   Recent investigations using a new field-validated model (CALMIM) have focused on how seasonal climate influences CH4 emissions inclusive of oxidation from various cover soils at specific sites. Collaborators during 4 decades have included university researchers, Federal & state research groups, international research & regulatory agencies, private industry, and municipalities in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

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Recent projects include:

  • Improved modeling of landfill CH4 emissions [CALMIM model: see below].  Funded by (1) California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA 2007-2010
  • Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), Raleigh, NC 2011-2014

  • Emissions of high global warming potential GHGs from California landfills Funded by California Air Resources Board under subcontract to UIC from California Polytechnic State University: 

  • Effect of biochar-amended cover soils on landfill CH4 emissions and oxidation.  Co-P.I., National Science Foundation grant to Dr. Krishna Reddy, Dept. of Civil & Materials Engineering, UIC:  

Overview of CALMIM Model:

Working with Kurt Spokas of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), St. Paul, MN during the last decade, a new process-based GHG inventory model for landfill CH4 emissions was developed and field-validated.  CALMIM [CAlifornia Landfill Methane Inventory Model], which originally focused on California sites, was improved and internationally field-validated at >25 sites in N. & S. America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.  Via  embedded globally-validated USDA climate models with user-supplied information for latitude/longitude, cover materials, boundary conditions & engineered gas recovery, CALMIM models 1-D bidirectional diffusional transport of CH4 and O2 over a “typical annual cycle” [365 d] for individual cover soils at any site worldwide.  Using 10-min time-steps and 2.5 cm depth increments, variable CH4 transport and emission rates are related to both fixed and transient soil properties including laboratory-derived relationships for oxidation relative to soil temperature and soil moisture potential.  CALMIM includes the major drivers for emissions known from literature: e.g., the physical properties & thickness of site-specific soils, the seasonality of gaseous transport & oxidation in cover materials, and site design & operational factors including cover areas & implementation of gas recovery.  CALMIM can improve quantification of landfill sources for urban and regional GHG inventories inclusive of multiple CH4 sources with high individual uncertainties.  This JAVA tool is compatible with PC, MAC/OS, and UNIX systems and is freely available using the following link.

Below is an example of typical CALMIM output for a northern California site compared to existing field measurements:


The plots of “CH4 emissions with oxidation” and “CH4 emissions without oxidation” illustrate the temporal variability of emissions from one intermediate cover during an annual cycle, including the seasonality of oxidation due to dynamic soil moisture and temperature changes.   In addition to GHG inventory applications, CALMIM is useful for “what if?” modeling of alternative cover materials & thicknesses to minimize emissions at specific sites, scheduling of field measurement campaigns to capture seasonal variability, quantifying expected latitudinal differences in emissions for standardized cover soils, and projecting future emissions under climate change scenarios.  

Selected CALMIM publications:

  • Spokas K., Bogner J., Corcoran M., and Walker S., From California dreaming to California data: Challenging historic models for landfill CH4 emissions.  Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene [Elem. Sci. Anth.] 3: 000051 doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000051 (2015).  Available here.
  • Cambaliza, M.O., Shepson, P.B., Bogner, J., Daulton, D., Stirm, B., Sweeney, C., Montzka, S., Gurney, K., Spokas, K., Salmon, O., Lavoie, T., Hendricks, A., Mays, K., Turnbull, J., Miller, B., Lauvaux, T., Davis, K., Karion, A., Moser, B., Miller, C., Obermeyer, C., Whetstone, J., Prasad, K., Crosson, E., Miles, N., and Richardson, S., Quantification and Source Apportionment of the Methane Emission Flux from the City of Indianapolis, Elementa:Science of the Anthropocene, 3:000037, doi: 10.12952  (2015). Available here.

  • Spokas, K., Bogner J., and Chanton, J., A Process-Based Inventory Model for Landfill CH4 Emissions Inclusive of Soil Microclimate and Seasonal Methane Oxidation. J. Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 116: paper G04017, 19 p. (2011).

  • Bogner, J., Spokas, K., and Chanton, J., Seasonal Greenhouse Gas Emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide) from Engineered Landfills: Daily, Intermediate, and Final California Landfill Cover Soils.  J. Environ. Quality 40:1010-1020 (2011).

  • Spokas, K., and Bogner, J., Limits and dynamics of methane oxidation in landfill cover soils. Waste Management 31:823-832  (2011).

Selected publications on landfill & waste processes

  • Bellucci F., Bogner J., and Sturchio N.C., Greenhouse Gas Emissions at the Urban Scale. Elements, Special Issue on Urban Geochemistry, 8:445-450 (2012).
  • Bogner, J., Contributing Author, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), November, 2011, Bridging the Emissions Gap: A U.N. Synthesis Report, published by UNEP [ISBN:978-92-807-3229-0, DEW/1470/NA].
  • Bogner, J., Chanton, J., Blake, D., Abichou, T., and Powelson, D., Effectiveness of a Florida Landfill Biocover for Reduction of CH4 and NMHC Emissions. Environ. Science and Technology, 44: 1197-1203 (2010).
  • Bogner, J., and Spokas, K., “Landfills”, in Methane and Climate Change, Earthscan Publishers (D. Reay, P. Smith & A. van Amstel, eds.) Earthscan Ltd., UK (2010).
  • Scheutz, C., Kjeldsen, P., Bogner, J., deVisscher, A., Gebert, J., Hilger, H., Huber-Humer, M., and Spokas, K., Microbial Methane Oxidation Processes and Technologies for Mitigation of Landfill Gas Emissions. Waste Management and Research, 27: 409-455 (2009).
  • Bogner, J., M. Abdelrafie Ahmed, C. Diaz, A. Faaij, Q. Gao, S. Hashimoto, K. Mareckova, R. Pipatti, T. Zhang, Chapter 10. Waste Management, in Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer, eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY USA] (2007).
  • Spokas, K., Bogner, J., Chanton, J., Morcet, M., Aran, C., Graff, C., Moreau-le-Golvan, Y., Bureau, N. and Hebe, I.  Methane Mass Balance at Three Landfill Sites: What is the Efficiency of Capture by Gas Collection Systems?  Waste Management 26:516-525 (2006).
  • Scheutz., C., Bogner, J., Chanton, J.P., Blake, D., Morcet, M., and Kjeldsen, P., Comparative oxidation and net emissions of CH4 and selected non-methane organic compounds in landfill cover soils.  Environmental Science and Technology 37:5143-5149  (2003).
  • Bogner, J.E. and E. Matthews, Global Methane Emissions from Landfills: New Methodology and Annual Estimates 1980-1996. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 17:34-1 to 34-18 (2003).
  • Bogner, J.E., Sass, R., and B. Walter, Model Comparisons of Methane Oxidation across a Management Gradient: Wetlands, Rice Production Systems, and Landfill. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 14:1021-1033 (2000).
  •  Bogner, J.E., K. Spokas, and E. Burton, Temporal Variations in Greenhouse Gas Emissions at a Midlatitude Landfill.  Journal of Environmental Quality 28:277-288 (1999).
  • Bogner, J.E., K. Spokas, and E. Burton, Kinetics of Methane Oxidation in Landfill Cover Materials: Major controls, a whole-landfill oxidation experiment, and modeling of net methane emissions.  Environmental Science and Technology 31:2504-2614 (1997).
  • Bogner, J., M. Meadows, and P. Czepiel, Fluxes of Methane between Landfills and the Atmosphere: Natural and Engineered Controls. Soil Use and Management  13:268-277. (1997).
  • Bogner, J.E., R. Sweeney, D. Coleman, R. Huitric, and G.T. Ririe, Using Isotopic and Molecular Data to Model Landfill Gas Processes. Waste Management and Research 14:367-376 (1996).
  • Spokas, K.A., and J.E. Bogner, Field System for Continuous Measurement of Landfill Gas Pressures and Temperatures.  Waste Management and Research 14:233-242 (1996).
  • Bogner, J.E., K. A. Spokas,  E. Burton, R. Sweeney,  and V Corona, Landfills as Atmospheric Methane Sources and Sinks.  Chemosphere 31(9): 4119-4130 (1995)
  • Bogner, J.E., and K.A. Spokas, Carbon Storage in Landfills,  Chapter 5 in R. Lal et al., Soils and Global Change,  Advances in Soil Science Series, CRC Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL  (1995).
  • Bogner, J.E., R.M. Miller, and K.A. Spokas, Measurement of Microbial Biomass and Microbial Activity in Landfill Soils. Waste Management and Research 13: 137-147.  (1995).
  • Bogner, J.E., and K.A. Spokas, Landfill CH4: Rates, Fates, and Role in Global Carbon Cycle, Chemosphere 26(1-4):366-386 (1993).  [Special issue from NATO Advanced Research Workshop:  Atmospheric Methane, Oct. 6-11, 1991, Mt. Hood, OR]
  • Bogner, J.E., Anaerobic Burial of Refuse in Landfills: Increased Atmospheric Methane and Implications for Increased Carbon Storage, Ecological Bull. 42:98-108(1992).
  • Bogner, J.E., Controlled Study of Landfill Biodegradation Rates Using Modified BMP Assays, Waste Management and Research 8:329-352 (1990).

Professional Experience

1998-present               Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, UIC

June, 2014-present      Research Professor Emerita

2008-June, 2014           Research Professor

1998-2008                     Adjunct Professor 


Founder and President, Landfills +, Inc., Wheaton, IL  

Landfill gas consulting and applied research for local, national, and international clients. 


Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL

1. U. S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) Program: Energy from Municipal Waste. Laboratory, pilot, field and modeling studies on multiple strategies to optimize energy recovery from solid waste.  Developed and managed applied field and laboratory research on landfill CH4 generation, transport, recovery, utilization, soil oxidation, and emissions. Technical advisor & peer reviewer for DOE and other U.S. & international agencies.  DOE delegate to International Energy Agency Expert Working Group on Landfill Gas.  Participant in U.S./U.K. collaborative agreement and initiatives in Europe, Asia, and Africa.   Invited participant in IGAC/IGBP committees and conferences.

2. Environmental  Control  Technology (ECT) Program to minimize acid mine drainage and Land Reclamation Program to develop sustainable reclamation strategies at open and abandoned surface coal mines in the Appalachian, Interior, and selected western basins.  Participated in highwall sampling with acid-base accounting for selective overburden placement, geologic mapping in the vicinity of abandoned mined lands, studies of mine water quality and overburden geochemistry in the Appalachian, Interior, and Western U.S. coal basins, and metals mobility in post-treatment settling ponds.

3. Other programs & projects:  a. preliminary seismotectonic studies for disposal of high-level radioactive waste in granitic rocks; b. geochemical and hydrogeologic studies of groundwater contaminants at various Federal sites (Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, California); c. subsurface investigations and shallow groundwater assessment at Argonne National Laboratory; d. natural gas transport and soil oxidation studies for Gas Research Institute (GRI) with NASA Ames; and e. Pleistocene stratigraphic framework studies in support of expedited site characterization.


Senior Project Geologist, Hydrogeology Section

Illinois State Geological Survey, Warrenville, Illinois (Northeastern Illinois Office)

Regional study funded by EPA for Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC): "Geology for Planning in Northeastern Illinois."  3-D Pleistocene geologic mapping with interpretive maps for natural resources, groundwater quality, waste disposal, and construction practices.


Knoerle, Bender, Stone, and Associates, Inc.

Consulting Engineers, Chicago

Staff geologist for engineering geology related to subsurface exploration and design recommendations for Tunnel and Reservoir Project (TARP) for Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago], Des Plaines River section. Also, engineering and geotechnical studies (drainage, slope stability) for Illinois State Tollway Authority.


Staff Geologist

Westenhoff and Novick, Inc.

Consulting Engineers, Chicago

Sole staff geologist for proposed Distributor subway development in central Loop area (Chicago Central Area Transit Project). Subsurface exploration with continuous sampling, establishing Pleistocene stratigraphic framework, design recommendations, aquifer protection studies, and underpinning studies for selected existing structures.  Taught unit on geology and soils for company course at Illinois Institute of Technology.


Teaching Assistant

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago


Research Assistant, Hydrogeology Section

Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, Illinois

Technical support for development of public & private water supplies, interdisciplinary studies of Illinois Pleistocene geology.

Selected Honors

  • 2013: Lifetime award for waste research, International Waste Working Group (IWWG)
  • 2009: Distinguished Alumni Award: University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 2008: Lawrence Lecturer: Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • 2007: Shared Nobel Peace Prize as the Coordinating Lead Author, Chapter 10. Waste Management. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report (Working Group III. Mitigation).  The 2007 Prize was awarded jointly to IPCC and to Albert Gore (former U.S. Vice President)
  • 2005: Lifetime Achievement Award 2005: SWANA Landfill Gas Division
  • 1997: SWANA Landfill Gas Division “Hall of Flame”
  • 1992: Argonne National Laboratory Exceptional Achievement Award



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Contact Information

Office: 3160 SES, MC 186
Fax: 312-413-2279