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.

Palmer amaranth was first detected in Minnesota in 2016, but even before it hit the state, University of Minnesota researchers and Extension specialists mobilized to help state agencies and landowners develop a plan to eradicate infestations before spread to new areas.

Eastern larch beetles are not new and, in fact, are native to Minnesota. They are found everywhere tamaracks grow, but throughout history, the beetles never posed a great threat and were largely ignored by forest entomologists. What has changed?

CFANS and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute have teamed up to drive the development of a next-generation agroinformatics data discovery, sharing and analytics platform dubbed GEMSTM