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.

Jennifer Kimball and her year are evaluating five different modes of action for riceworm management at two grower locations (Gonvick, MN and Aitken, MN) during the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons. Due to the unique challenges of working in an aquatic agricultural production system, they are also planning to evaluate the feasibility of applying insecticides in the research program via drone.

In effort to understand how susceptible Great Lakes pine tree stands are to Mountain Pine Beetle, Marcella Windmuller-Campione and her team developed a hazard rating system that uses common attributes of forest structure and composition to determine an individual stands risk level.

Honey bees play a keystone role in the productivity of agriculture and the beauty of our world by pollinating fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers. Recently, Marla Spivak and her team have been exploring how honey bees keep themselves healthy through social immunity - including propolis envelopes.