Environment and Sustainability Features and Impacts

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.

Dutch elm disease (DED) remains the most devastating invasive tree disease to affect Minnesota. Despite extensive research on DED, it remains unclear what mechanisms allow certain elms to be resistant while others are susceptible.

Abdennour Abbas and his team have been working on a faster, more accurate and less expensive tool to detect oak wilt fungus in the field. Their new tool combines three technologies: one to extract the fungus from wood chips, one to extract DNA and one to analyze the DNA.

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.

Scientists used data from the comprehensive GlobRespdatabase and merged it with existing computer models of global land carbon cycling in order to more accurately determine sources of carbon dioxide release and discovered that plant respiration has been a potentially underestimated source of carbon dioxide release.

UMN researchers participated in a multi-year and multistate experiment on soil functional zone management (SFZM) in corn and soybean systems that examined both ridge-till and chisel-plow tillage systems both with and without a rye cover crop and compared plant growth, yield, nutrient status, soil attributes and greenhouse gas emissions.

UMN researchers have been working on developing a system to turn scum into biodiesel. Their aim is to streamline the disposal process of scum, while maximizing biodiesel output, moving toward complete utilization of liquid and solid wastes.