Volunteers help hatch eggs and raise Piping Plover young.

Environment and Sustainability

Environmental research at the University continues to focus on key areas including water quality, forest conservation, sustainable cropping systems, controlling waste water and agricultural run-off, and exploring opportunities presented by renewable energy sources.

For information on the latest environment and sustainability research please visit the features and impacts page.

Sustainability

U of M research is focused on defining a balance between food production and environmental impact. From converting wind energy to increasing biodiversity to animal waste management, University scientists are exploring the best ways to utilize sustainable practices that will work for producers and consumers. 

Forestry

Minnesota is home to over 17 million acres of forest. Research pertaining to forestry affects two key economic sectors in Minnesota: tourism and forest products.

Water Quality

Researchers test agronomic, ecological, and engineering approaches to manage agricultural run-off and chemical usage. Water resources research helps identify best practices and new technologies to implement across Minnesota and beyond.

Climate Change

University scientists explore the issue of climate change in a variety of ways from floods to droughts to forests and wildlife. Our long-term research project in the Boundary Waters Recreational Area is now complemented by research at the Cloquet Forestry Center and the Hubacheck Research Center.

Matthew Russel and his team are using remote sensing technologies to predict ash occurrence and relative abundance across Minnesota with the aim of synthesizing current management efforts in ash-dominated forests across the state. 

Lee Johnston and his team at the West Central Research and Outreach Center are exploring ways to lower the carbon footprint of pork production by developing and evaluating innovative methods of using on-site renewable energy generation to heat piglets.

Marla Spivak with beehive.For nearly 100 years, the University of Minnesota has conducted research on bees. In this impact video, entomologist Marla Spivak discusses how U of M researchers are currently working to address the changing needs of bees in Minnesota and beyond.