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MSU environmental activities and accomplishments, from sources on and off-campus. For additional information on MSU environmental work, see these sources.

 


MSU Expert: Protect yourself from floodwater contamination
MSU Today
8-20-2014

Recent torrential rainfall across the United States has led to flash flooding, filling basements with water and sewage that can contain hundreds of pathogens. Joan Rose, Michigan State University's Homer Nowlin Chair in water research, advises that residents should assume floodwaters are contaminated and that exposure to these waters may raise the risk of diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, skin and eye infections, and respiratory disorders. - See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-expert-protect-yourself-from-floodwater-contamination/#sthash.O1r2LBNi.dpuf More»

 

Addressing the effect of agriculture on global health
MSU Today
8-12-2014

Michigan State University has launched the first-of-its-kind center to research and address the growing global effects of agriculture on human and animal health. The Center for Health Impacts of Agriculture links MSU’s renowned agriculture and food security research with its three colleges of medicine – the College of Human Medicine, College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Veterinary Medicine – to address growing global health concerns with agriculture, including: Antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and plants, and the implications on human health Agricultural development and economic effects related to increased cases of malaria in Malawi, Africa Health risk assessment and nutrient regulation policies, including assessment of carcinogen levels in current health policy Felicia Wu, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor leads the new center. Wu’s research, at the crossroads of human health and agricultural practices and policies, inspired her to develop the interdisciplinary research center. More»

 

CANR announces two new chairs in Entomology and Fisheries and Wildlife
CANR
8-8-2014

F. William Ravlin and Scott Winterstein have been named chairpersons of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) departments of Entomology and Fisheries and Wildlife, respectively, by Dean Fred Poston. Ravlin’s appointment was effective Aug. 1; Winterstein started July 1. More»

 

MSU Professor Receives Grant to Battle Viral Food Pathogens
MSU Today
8-6-2014

Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at MSU, will use a nearly $300,000 grant to incorporate the latest next-generation genomic tools in efforts to reduce the number of food-borne outbreaks associated with fresh produce. The grant was awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and administered through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Rose is a professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. More»

 

MSU helps shape USDA greenhouse gas policy
MSU AFRE
8-3-2014

Michigan State University researchers contributed to shaping the USDA’s report. They include: Phil Robertson, director of MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station’s Long-term Ecological Research Program and professor of plant, soil, and microbial sciences; Wendy Powers-Schilling, professor of animal science; and David Skole, professor of forestry. More»

 

Congressional Rift Over Environmental Protection Sways Public
MSU Today
8-1-2014

American citizens are increasingly divided over the issue of environmental protection and seem to be taking their cue primarily from Congress, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar. The gap between conservatives who oppose environmental protection and liberals who support it has risen drastically in the past 20 years, a trend seen among lawmakers, activists and – as the study indicates – the general public as well, said sociologist Aaron M. McCright. More»

 

Empowering the next generation of fisheries professionals
MSU Today
7-17-2014

Michigan State University’s Bill Taylor has received numerous awards and honors befitting an internationally recognized expert in Great Lakes fisheries ecology with a 35-plus-year career full of researcher discoveries and professional service. - See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/empowering-the-next-generation-of-fisheries-professionals/#sthash.pdVeY01t.dpuf More»

 

CSIS member contributes to land change synthesis paper
CSIS
7-9-2014

Much of what we know about how humans use land, and how those practices change over time, is informed by local case studies. But determining whether individual case studies are merely anecdotal—or if they can be scaled up to help explain regional or even global land use patterns—can be a challenge. To reconcile local information with regional–global knowledge, researchers who study land change must also reconcile the diversity of disciplines involved in land change science. From urban economics to geophysics and ecology to geography, each brings with it disparate data types and research questions. The research approach of synthesis—which “draws upon and distills many sources of data, ideas, explanations, and methods in order to accelerate knowledge production beyond that of less integrative approaches”—is especially useful in this context. “People who study land use change are often dealing with both quantitative and qualitative data, due to the human component of the field,” said Nicholas Magliocca, computational research associate at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). “If you’re trying to integrate, for example, satellite remote sensing imagery with farmer surveys, your synthesis techniques will necessarily vary from those used for highly-controlled and standardized field experiments.” More»

 

Of Fish, Monsoons and the Future
The New York Times
6-10-2014

“The central message of Chans is that humans and nature are coupled, just like husband and wife,” says Dr. Liu, director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University. “They interact, work together, and the impacts are not just one way. There are feedbacks.” More»

 

How much fertilizer is too much for the climate?
MSU Today
6-9-2014

In a new study published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Michigan State University researchers provide an improved prediction of nitrogen fertilizer’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields. The study uses data from around the world to show that emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas produced in the soil following nitrogen addition, rise faster than previously expected when fertilizer rates exceed crop needs. Nitrogen-based fertilizers spur greenhouse gas emissions by stimulating microbes in the soil to produce more nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is the third most important greenhouse gas, behind only carbon dioxide and methane, and also destroys stratospheric ozone. Agriculture accounts for around 80 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions worldwide, which have increased substantially in recent years, primarily due to increased nitrogen fertilizer use. “Our specific motivation is to learn where to best target agricultural efforts to slow global warming,” said Phil Robertson, director of MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research Program and senior author of the paper. “Agriculture accounts for 8 to 14 percent of all greenhouse gas production globally. We’re showing how farmers can help to reduce this number by applying nitrogen fertilizer more precisely.” More»

 

New Technology Turns Manure into Clean Water
MSUToday
5-29-2014

Imagine something that can turn cow manure into clean water, extract nutrients from that water to serve as fertilizer and help solve the ever-present agricultural problem of manure management. Technology that has its roots firmly planted at Michigan State University is under development and near commercialization that can do all of that. And then some. Known as the McLanahan Nutrient Separation System, it takes an anaerobic digester – a contraption that takes waste, such as manure, and produces energy as a byproduct – and couples it with an ultrafiltration, air stripping and a reverse osmosis system. More»

 

Michigan's top 3 universities pour $300M into water research over 5 years
The Detroit News
5-29-2014

Michigan’s three largest public universities are using the water resources of the state and the Great Lakes region as a tool for research and promoting economic development, according to a report to be unveiled today on Mackinac Island. “The state of Michigan is surrounded by water but within it are scientist researchers who are using very sophisticated techniques to understand health and safety to impact the day-to-day lives of people,” MSU President Lou Anna Simon said by phone as she was preparing to board the ferry to Mackinac Island. “Michigan is an international leader in water and water-based research.” More»

 

New, Fossil-Fuel-Free Process Makes Biodiesel Sustainable
MSU Today
5-21-2014

A new fuel-cell concept, developed by an Michigan State University researcher, will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process. The platform, which uses microbes to glean ethanol from glycerol and has the added benefit of cleaning up the wastewater, will allow producers to reincorporate the ethanol and the water into the fuel-making process, said Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist and one of the co-authors. More»

 

MSU researchers: Ash borer may have arrived in North America in 1990s
The Detroit News
5-8-2014

It took several years before the ash borer population grew large enough to kill trees, so the researchers concluded in the study, released Tuesday, the beetle was in the area at least since 1992 or 1993. The insect native to Asia was detected in southeastern Michigan in 2002. “There were probably only a few live beetles that arrived, but ash trees are common in urban landscapes as well as in forests,” Deb McCullough, a professor of forest entomology, said in a statement. “When they emerged, there were likely ash trees nearby, providing food for the beetles and their offspring. More»

 

Climate Debate Isn't So Heated in the U.S.
The New York Times
5-8-2014

Polls have shown that Americans are far less concerned about global warming than people in the rest of the developed world and rarely cite environmental issues when asked to name important problems facing the country. Why is that? Featuring ESPP faculty Dr. Aaron McCright More»

 

MSU Study Shows Changes in Farming Practices Could Help Environmental Stability
MSU Today
4-18-2014

By changing row-crop management practices in economically and environmentally stable ways, U.S. farms could contribute to improved water quality, biological diversity, and soil fertility while helping to stabilize the climate, according to an article in the May issue of BioScience. The article, based on research conducted over 25 years at Michigan State University and the university’s Kellogg Biological Station in southwest Michigan, further reports that Midwest farmers, especially those with large farms, appear willing to change their farming practices to provide these ecosystem services in exchange for payments. And a previously published survey showed that citizens are willing to make such payments for environmental services such as cleaner lakes. The article is by G. Philip Robertson and six coauthors associated with the MSU Kellogg Biological Station, which is part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. The research analyzed by Robertson and colleagues investigated the yields and the environmental benefits achievable by growing corn, soybean, and winter wheat under regimes that use one third of the usual amount of fertilizer—or none at all—with “cover crops” fertilizing the fields in winter. More»

 

MSU Plant Biologist Receives Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship
MSU Today
4-15-2014

Nathan Swenson , MSU assistant professor of plant biology, has received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. This prestigious award is given to mid-career professionals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. “It is an extraordinary honor to be named a Guggenheim Fellow and I cannot thank the foundation enough,” Swenson said. “The fellowship will allow me to continue my fundamental research interest of linking the evolution of plant form and function to the present-day distribution, abundance and co-existence of species. More»

 

MSU Academy for Global Engagement names first nine fellows
MSUToday
3-21-2014

The newly created Michigan State University Academy for Global Engagement has named its first nine fellows. The goal of the academy: To build a growing cohort of faculty members who will participate in global activities and view their scholarship through a global lens. Among the fellows is ESPP faculty member Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi. More»

 

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