Environment and Sustainability Features and Impacts

Lindsey Pease and her team are working to update and revise the Minnesota Phosphorus Site Risk Index (MNPI) tool. The MNPI must be updated to correspond with a recent policy change by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service regarding how erosion is predicted across landscapes.

Peter Larsen and his interdisciplinary team are working to develop a robust next-generation antemortem test for the rapid detection of Chronic wasting disease in biological samples secured from cervids (elk and white-tailed deer) using minimally invasive techniques. 

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.

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.