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.

The Minnesota Youth Institute (MNYI) is a life-changing experience where high school students are encouraged to think critically about local and global hunger issues. During the event, the students engage with local leaders, experts, and industries on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on STEM activities and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Minnesota and around the world.

Since 1955, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission has spent millions of dollars annually attempting to control sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes. In 2005, Peter Sorensen and his team discovered, identified and synthesized petromyzonamine disulfate and freely licensed its use to the GLFC. To date, sea lamprey is the only example of a successful aquatic vertebrate pest control program at an ecosystem scale in the world.

Over 1000 attended the National Climate Adaptation Forum in Saint Paul, MN. The forum provided an excellent opportunity for professionals from the private and public sectors to share information and solutions around how to best prepare for and respond to the effects of climate change.