UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | lmelton@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8830
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March 25, 2015

Joshua W. Hamilton, Dean, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, jwhamilt@d.umn.edu, 218-726-6397
Jill Pinkney Pastrana, Dean, College of Education and Human Services Professions, jppastra@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8765
Susan Maher, Dean, College of Liberal Arts, smaher@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8982
Robert Sterner, Director, Large Lakes Observatory, stern007@d.umn.edu, 218-726-7926
Jesse Schomberg, Interim Director, Minnesota Sea Grant Coastal Communities and Land Use Extension Educator, jschombe@umn.edu, 218-726-6182
Sharon Moen, Communications Coordinator, Minnesota Sea Grant, smoen@d.umn.edu, 218-726-6195
Rolf Weberg, Director, Natural Resources Research Institute, weberg145@d.umn.edu, 218-720-4297
June Kallestad Breneman, Public Relations Manager, Natural Resources Research Institute, jkallest@nrri.umn.edu, 218-720-4300 Cheryl Reitan, External Affairs, creitan@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8996


UMD's Active Sustainability Research Projects Total $14 Million in 2014

Researchers, faculty members, and students at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) worked on sustainability research and public service projects with active funding of more than $14 million in 2014. The amount is expected to remain relatively the same in 2015.

The research projects study the declining population of moose, the effects of extreme ice coverage in Lake Superior, aquatic invasive species prevention, and a myriad of other topics. These sustainability projects are part of UMD’s research funded by an external grant portfolio of nearly $67 million in currently funded active awards.

Sustainability Project List

Listed below are 82 sustainability projects that make up the $14 million in active projects.

The projects included have titles that clearly indicate sustainability research and public service projects and the award was active between January 1 and December 30, 2014. There are additional projects that include sustainability in a wider context that aren’t included in the list.

Sustainability research is defined as research that focuses on the understanding of the earth’s natural and human-made systems, threats to those systems, and development of new technologies and decision support tools.

Each listing starts with the project title, then the funding source and the principal investigator’s name. They are listed in order by principal investigator.

Swenson College of Science and Engineering

Project Baseline, A Living Plant Genome Reserve for the Study of Evolution, The National Science Foundation — Julie Rae Etterson

Back to the Future: Adaptation Forestry in Minnesota’s Northwoods, The Nature Conservancy — Julie Rae Etterson

Genetics of Coastal Arctic Plants, Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program — Julie Rae Etterson

Collaborative for Sediment Source Reduction in the Greater Blue Earth River Basin, Minnesota Department of Agriculture — Karen Bobbitt Gran

Small Wind Research Project, WindTech Inc. — Alison Hoxie

MPCA Bioavailability Protocol, USDOD Army Corps of Engineers — Nathan W. Johnson

Assessing the Bioavailability of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants During Habitat Restoration, University of Michigan — Nathan W. Johnson

Bioacoustics to Detect, Deter and Eliminate Flying Carp, Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources — Allen Mensinger

Effects of Sulfate on Wild Rice, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa — John Pastor

Estimating Population Demographics of Moose in Northern MN, University of Wyoming — Jared L. Strasburg

The Impact of Green Infrastructure on Urban Microclimate and Energy (Collaborative Research), The National Science Foundation — Peter J. Willemsen

College of Education and Human Service Professions

St. Louis River Watershed Workshop 2014, Minnesota Power Foundation — John D. Geissler

Renewable Energy Workshops 2014, Minnesota Power Foundation — John D. Geissler

Realizing the Educational Potential of a 18,000 Acre Classroom, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation — John D. Geissler

College of Liberal Arts

Global Sustainability: Planning for a Creative Urban Economy, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation — Cindy M. Christian

Large Lakes Observatory

UMD’s research targets global issues that impact freshwater in the 21st century: the availability of clean drinking water for a growing world population, the availability of water for agriculture and industry, pollution of the environment, and sanitary living conditions. The research conducted by the Large Lakes Observatory provides data to inform policy and the public. It is the only institute in the country dedicated to the study of large lakes throughout the world. It executes multidisciplinary, oceanographic-style study of large lakes worldwide: their functioning, fundamental processes, histories, and interactions with the global environment.

Nearly every one of LLO's projects touch on sustainability in some way, and the six projects listed below, many of them multi-year and multidimensional, have direct implications.

Reproductive Behavior of Wild and Hatchery Lake Trout in the Drummond Island Refuge, Lake Huron, Great Lakes Fishery Commission — Jay A. Austin

Support of 2012 – 2013 Great Lakes Observing System Lake Superior work, University of Michigan — Jay A. Austin

RAPID Proposal: Effects of Extreme Ice Coverage in Lake Superior, The National Science Foundation — Jay A. Austin

Characterizing and Understanding the Impact of Climate Warming on Large Inland Water Bodies, Jet Propulsion Laboratory — Jay A. Austin

Evaluating Lake Superior’s Health in a Changing World, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources — Erik T. Brown, Elizabeth Austin Minor

Lake Superior Hydroacoustics Project: Fish Stock Assessment for Minnesota Waters, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Richard D. Ricketts

Minnesota Sea Grant

Through scientific research and public education, Minnesota Sea Grant works to enhance the resiliency of Minnesota’s coastal environments and economies. The program promotes the best and most current science regarding Lake Superior and inland lakes to resource users, managers, and policy makers. Nearly every one of its projects, from helping communities prepare for a changing climate to maritime transportation challenges, touches on sustainability. The 17 listed below are prime examples.

Research and Outreach to Improve Resiliency and Sustainabilty within Minnesota’s Aquatic Resources and Coastal Economies, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Grant Program — All Sea Grant Staff, Jeffrey Lynn Gunderson

Creating a Classroom Friendly Version of the Northland NEMO Watershed Game, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program — John Phillip Bilotta

Great Lakes Coastal Weather, Water, and Beach Safety Forecasts for Recreational Users and Residents, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via the National Sea Grant Program — Jeffrey Lynn Gunderson

Coordinating Storm and Hazard Information for Coastal Residents and Communities, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative via the U.S. EPA — Jeffrey Lynn Gunderson

Bringing Great Lakes Science to the Classroom, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration &mdash— award via the University of Illinois — Cynthia A. Hagley

Improving Great Lakes Literacy through Training, Mentoring, Community-building, and Stewardship, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — award via the University of Illinois — Cynthia A. Hagley

Extending a Regional Public Outreach Campaign on Aquatic Invasive Species, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative via the U.S. EPA — Douglas A. Jensen

Conduct Aquatic Invasive Species Public Education Along Lake Superior, National Park Service — Douglas A. Jensen

Train Local Groups to Inspect and Wash Fishing Tourney Boats, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. EPA – award via the University of Wisconsin-Madison — Douglas A. Jensen

Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Organisms in Trade Initiative, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative via U.S. EPA — Douglas A. Jensen

Delivering Superior Science to Educators, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program — Marte Christofa Kitson

Aquatic Invasive Species Education and Outreach in the Superior National Forest, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service — Marte Christofa Kitson

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid Program, St. Louis County — Marte Christofa Kitson

Identifying the Costs and Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Flood Reduction in Duluth, Minnesota, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative via NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management — Jesse Dean Schomberg

Using Social Science to Assist Local Governments in Coastal Hazard Planning, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via the National Sea Grant Program — Jesse Dean Schomberg

Duluth Streams Urban Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Jesse Dean Schomberg

Regional Stormwater Protection Team GreenCorps Partnership, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Jesse Dean Schomberg.

Natural Resources Research Institute

NRRI leads the way to a more sustainable Minnesota. Its mission is to improve the economy of Minnesota through applied research and business development in order to help industries use natural resources. Nearly every one of its projects touches on sustainability in some way, and the 44 projects listed below have direct implications.

Amity Creek Restoration Project, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Richard P. Axler

Event-based Stream Sampling in Northeastern Minnesota, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Richard P. Axler

Lake Superior Beach Monitoring and Advisory Program, Minnesota Department of Health — Richard P. Axler

Weather, Water and People, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Richard P. Axler

Assessment of Biomass Sources for Energy in Northern Minnesota, Laurentian Energy Authority, LLC — William Berguson

Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership-Poplar, South Dakota State University — William Berguson

St. Louis River Support Project — Ecological Monitoring and Assessment, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Valerie Jean Brady

Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Monitoring, Central Michigan University — Valerie Jean Brady

Duluth Township Stormwater System Tracking, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Valerie Jean Brady

Biomass Briquettes for Coal Replacement, USDA Forest Service — Brian K. Brashaw

Biochar Production from Balsam Fir, USDA Forest Service — Brian K. Brashaw

Collaborative Research: OPUS: Beavers as Boreal Ecosystem Engineers, The National Science Foundation — Terry N. Brown

Cumulative Effects Analysis for the 1954 Ceded Territory, Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians — Terry N. Brown

Developing a System for Prioritizing Protection and Restoration of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands, Central Michigan University — Terry N. Brown

Liquid Fuels Production via High-Pressure Gasification Using Pretreated Biofuels, Minnesota Department of Agriculture — Donald R. Fosnacht

Minnesota Mining Cluster — The Next Generation of Innovation and Diversification to Grow America, U.S. Department of Commerce — Donald R. Fosnacht

Torrefied Wood Non-Profit Domestic Research Agreement, Minnesota Power, Kiesel II — Richard Frederick

LiDAR-based Bluff Assessment for Coastal Land Use Planning, Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program — George E. Host

Enhancing Public Understanding of St Louis River Area of Concern, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — George E. Host

Validation of Wetland Mitigation in Abandoned Borrow Areas, Phase II, Minnesota Department of Transportation — Kurt W. Johnson

Restoration Strategies: Ditched Peatland Scientific and Natural Areas, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Kurt W. Johnson

Managing the Nation’s Fish Habitat at Multiple Spatial Scales in a Rapidly Changing Climate, US Department of the Interior, Cooperative Ecosystem Study — Lucinda B. Johnson

Great Lakes Consortium, Environmental Indicator II: Testing and Refinement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Lucinda B. Johnson

Great Lakes Coastal Database and Classification Framework, University of Michigan — Lucinda B. Johnson

Improving Hydrology Predictions with LiDAR, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Lucinda B. Johnson

Spatial Conservation and Investment Portfolios to Manage Climate-Related Risk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Lucinda B. Johnson

Collaborative Research: Climatic and Anthropogenic Forcing of Wetland Landscape Connectivity in the Great Plains, The National Science Foundation — Lucinda B. Johnson

A Comprehensive Stressor-Response Model to Inform Ecosystem Restorations Across the Great Lakes Basin, University of Michigan — Lucinda B. Johnson

Development of Peat-based Media for Waste Water Treatment, American Peat Technology, LLC — Igor V. Kolomitsyn

Chemical Modification of Peat Granules Surface for Waste Water Treatment, American Peat Technology, LLC — Igor V. Kolomitsyn

Dredged Sediment for Forest Restoration on Unproductive Minelands, Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources — Thomas Edward Levar

Moose research in Voyageurs National Park, USDI U.S. Geological Survey — Ronald A. Moen

Moose Habitat Restoration in Northeastern Minnesota, Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources — Ronald A. Moen

Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Northern Forest Ecosystems in the Great Lakes National Parks, US Department of the Interior, Cooperative Ecosystem Study — Ronald A. Moen

Turtle Telemetry Project, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Ronald A. Moen

Post-burn Bird Surveys at Pagami River, Superior National Forest, USDA Forest Service — Gerald John Niemi

Avian Responses to Climate Change in the Chippewa Nation, USDA Forest Service — Gerald John Niemi

Evaluating Vital, Small Forested Wetlands, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Jennifer Heartsong Olker

Coastal Wetland Vulnerability and Impact Assessment: Climate Change Impacts of Coastal Planning, U.S. Department of the Interior, Cooperative Ecosystem Study — Jennifer Heartsong Olker

Great Lakes Biological Monitoring: Phytoplankton, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Euan Denis Reavie

Northshore Superior Periphyton Surveillance, Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program — Elaine Marie Ruzycki

Northshore Superior Lake and Stream Water Assessment 2013, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Elaine Marie Ruzycki

North Shore Superior Lake and Stream Water Assessment 2014, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — Elaine Marie Ruzycki

Erie Pier Dredged Material Beneficial Use Study, U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers — Lawrence M. Zanko


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