Environment and Sustainability Features and Impacts

In the US, the total amount of municipal solid waste is rising each year. Millions of tons of solid waste and scum are produced annually that require safe and environmentally sound disposal. U of M researchers are working to help turn municipal waste scum into economically feasible renewable bioenergy technologies.

Matthew Russel and his team are using remote sensing technologies to predict ash occurrence and relative abundance across Minnesota with the aim of synthesizing current management efforts in ash-dominated forests across the state. 

Lee Johnston and his team at the West Central Research and Outreach Center are exploring ways to lower the carbon footprint of pork production by developing and evaluating innovative methods of using on-site renewable energy generation to heat piglets.

Marla Spivak with beehive.For nearly 100 years, the University of Minnesota has conducted research on bees. In this impact video, entomologist Marla Spivak discusses how U of M researchers are currently working to address the changing needs of bees in Minnesota and beyond.


Tracy Twine.Tracy Twine's research  focuses on understanding and predicting how our use of land surface affects the cycling of energy, water and carbon between the land and atmosphere.


Wind to nitrogen conversion system at Morris.U of M researchers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center have developed a novel approach to address the state and Country’s need for nitrogen fertilizer while, at the same time, reducing fossil fuel usage and utilizing energy from the Center’s wind turbines.   #MNImpacts

Heterobasidion fruiting bodies on a tree.Robert Blanchette and his team are working on developing new diagnostic tools for Heterobasidion, a new disease that impacts conifer trees.

Dr. Bradley Heins explaining Morris's organic program to visitors.Bradley Heins and his team are working to reduce fossil-fuel consumption in dairy and swine production systems through renewable energy generation, energy conservation, and energy optimization.


Marla Spivak with bee hiveU of M Entomologist Marla Spivak continues her fascinating research and community outreach on honeybees and the growing concern of colony collapse.  Through a combination of research and outreach, the “Bee Squad” is improving life for bees in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. #MNImpacts


Students looking for soybean aphids.George Heimpel and his team are performing controlled release experiments with soybean aphid Aphelimnus glycinis and exploring how Aphelimnus glycinis interacts with other soybean aphids.

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