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.

Roger Ruan and his team have developed a Microwave-assisted pyrolysis reactor with a fixed-bed microwave susceptor silicon carbide catalyst that absorbs microwave radiation and quickly achieves a high temperature allowing rapid heating of VDBs.

Peter Larsen and his interdisciplinary team have reached a new milestone in their goal to develop a robust next-generation antemortem test for the rapid detection of Chronic wasting disease. 

Howard Hoganson and his research team have led detailed analyses to support the current forest plans for both the Chippewa and Superior National Forests in Minnesota, expanding modeling methods spatially to recognize important site-level conditions important for wildlife, while also still addressing the economics of timber production--including aspen.