November 2016

IonE welcomes 2017 class of IonE Affiliates

IonE associates are early-career scholars with exceptional promise to become internationally recognized for their environmental and sustainability research and to effect transformative environmental outcomes. They are selected based on nominations from current IonE Fellows with support from the nominee’s department chair or dean.

Diana Karwan
Assistant Professor, Department of Forest Resources

Karwan uses field observations, chemical tracers and models to analyze the movement of water and waterborne materials such as sediment and carbon through watersheds, particularly in response to land use change, extreme weather events and climate change. Karwan’s work “spans basic to applied research in order answer questions of societal importance,” says Michael Kilgore, interim forest resources department head in CFANS. “She both develops the chemical tracing techniques as well as applies them to address research questions and management concerns.”

October 2016

Study shows forest biodiversity is green in more ways than one

Loss of biodiversity has long been recognized as detrimental for nature. Now a team of scholars from 90 institutions in 44 countries has shown that it also provides enormous economic benefits. The finding highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities. The study was led by researchers including the Department of Forest Resource's Peter Reich, who is also engaged in presenting scientific findings through the YouTube channel, MinuteEarth. Learn more about biodiversity >

September 2016

A study, published in journal "Global Change Biology," involved research by more than two-dozen scientists, including Lee Frelich, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Forest Ecology, Department of Forest Resources and an expert on Northeastern Minnesota forests. Frelich says the non-native worms consume the duff - the decaying leaves on the forest floor - as they eat their way across the continent's forests. They were first introduced by European settlers and, in recent decades, have spread rapidly through their use as fishing bait.  The worms alter the physical and chemical properties of soils, changing the pH, nutrient and water cycles and disrupting symbiotic relationships between soil fungi and tree roots. Duluth News Tribune

August 2016

Forest Resources partnered with Market Science, a group of U of M scientists, to provide hands-on science activities at the Nokomis Farmers Market in Minneapolis. In between shopping stops, market-goers, including many children, learned about photosynthesis and leaf pigments by performing chromatography and bending light with prisms. Each visitor was sent home with a science kit to separate the pigments in leaves of a common houseplant. Market Science Blog

July 2016

After over forty years of service in the Department of Forest Resources, Alan Ek stepped down as full-time Professor and Head. He returned as an emeritus faculty and continues to assist with teaching and research. Mike Kilgore, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for the Natural Resources Science and Management graduate program, is serving as Interim Department Head. Issue 16, Forest Scene

June 2016

Lee Frelich, a leading forest researcher at the University of Minnesota, said he was also glad to hear that the state was embarking on a major plan that goes beyond setting numbers for hunting. High  numbers of deer in the central and southeast parts of the state and along the North Shore of Lake Superior are doing enormous damage to the forests, he said. It's extremely difficult for foresters to regenerate red oak, which is highly valued in the timber industry, because deer love to eat it. Star Tribune

May 2016

For 25 years Gary Johnson has improved tree care and planting practices all across Minnesota and the upper Midwest. For his dedication and achievement, he received the 2016 Fredrick Law Olmsted Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Arbor Day Foundation

April 2016

"The forests, the planet's lungs, can breathe easy," says a NY Times reporter. Department of Forest Resources faculty and researchers were part of a team the demonstrated that trees adjust leaf respiration to a warming climate. 

Do you love the beauty of the North Shore? How will climate change impact tourism in this unique and heavily-visited part of Minnesota? Mae Davenport has been studying how residents and tourists will respond to a warming climate. She and her team are finishing up a three-year study which included thousands of surveys from diverse stakeholders in order to understand how the region will respond to a changing climate. Star Tribune

March 2016

"Forests" are our best tool to reduce carbon dioxide emissions," says Matt Russell. That's why Russell partnered with the USDA Forest Service to create a Forest Carbon Xplorer app to help landowners understand how much carbon their trees have "grabbed" up. U of M Extension

February 2016

Rebecca Montgomery is teaching a unique class this semester that combines science and art to address climate change. Titled "Making Sense of Climate Change - Science, Art, and Agency," the course is part of the U's Grand Challenge Curriculum which aims to address global issues through solutions-driven interdisciplinary learning. MPR News