University of Minnesota — Twin Cities

East Bank Campus

UMN River Life Program at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS)

The University of Minnesota is a world-class comprehensive teaching and research university located in a National Park—the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area—overlooking one of the great rivers of the world. Yet the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities is a landscape that is both widely loved and highly stressed. We work to understand the ways we stress the river, how we have expressed our love for it, and what we can do to safeguard its future. Taking strategic advantage of our location along one of the great rivers of the world, we seek to create learning, research, and engagement opportunities that will help establish inclusive and sustainable rivers. We have three main program areas; learning, research, and engagement.

University of Minnesota—Twin Cities

St. Paul Campus

Institute on the Environment (IonE)

At the Institute on the Environment (IonE), we envision a world in which sustainable agriculture feeds the world; renewable energy powers healthy homes, efficient transportation and flourishing businesses; every person has access to food, water and shelter; oceans, lakes and rivers are clean and healthy; communities have vibrant economies, neighborhoods and cultures; and thriving ecosystems support thriving economies and societies. At IonE, we go out of our way to collaborate with external partners while bringing different academic fields of expertise together within the University — all with an eye towards being responsive, agile and entrepreneurial in the face of a changing world.

MnDRIVE Advancing industry, conserving our environment

MnDRIVE Advancing industry, conserving our environment is committed to researched based solutions to help protect our natural resources and drive economic innovation. At the core of that commitment is bioremediation, which presents new opportunities for researchers to partner with industry to develop solutions for increasingly complex and costly environmental and public health challenges. MnDRIVE Environment seeks to spur new research, as well as moving research out of the lab and into the field, through development of platform technologies.

Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Laboratory

The University of Minnesota’s Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Laboratory is conducting research on monitoring water quality of lakes and rivers and mapping land cover with digital images from earth-observing satellites at local, state and regional scales. We have measured lake clarity, a key indicator of water quality, on more than 10,000 lakes statewide using Landsat imagery for seven time periods since 1975.  Our current research is focused on using newly available enhanced satellite imagery to measure other key metrics of water quality, including chlorophyll, suspended solids, and colored dissolved organic matter. The satellite technology provides a cost effective way to acquire information, including temporal trends and geographic patterns, on lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Water Resource Center

The University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center provides leadership in freshwater management through cutting-edge research, educational opportunities for students and professionals, and community outreach. For students, WRC provides a critical link to water-resources professionals and access to all the University’s water-related programs. For citizens and professionals, WRC provides oversight of community-based programs and training and assistance with issues related to impaired waters, stormwater management, agricultural practices and global water issues.

University of Minnesota — Duluth

Natural Resources Research Institute

At the Natural Resources Research Institute, we deliver integrated solutions for Minnesota’s natural resource-based economy. Minnesota’s economy has long depended on its natural resources — rocks, water and wood. Those resources are also the foundation of our environment. NRRI’s unique, multi-disciplinary expertise seeks practical solutions where economic growth meets environmental protection. NRRI begins with the understanding that a healthy environment with robust resources drives a strong economy to support a vibrant community which can then reinvest in the environment. NRRI funds and collaborates closely with UMD’s Center for Economic Development, housed in downtown Duluth. The result is a business focus that underlies all we do.

Minnesota Sea Grant

The mission of the Minnesota Sea Grant is to facilitate interaction among the public and scientists to enhance communities, the environment and economies along Lake Superior and Minnesota’s inland waters by identifying information needs, fostering research, and communicating results. With nearly 12,000 lakes and a coast on the world’s largest body of fresh water, Minnesota possesses a bounty of aquatic and coastal resources. Through scientific research and public education programs, Minnesota Sea Grant works to enhance Minnesota’s coastal environment and economy.

Large Lakes Observatory

The Large Lakes Observatory expands and communicates knowledge about the past, present and future of large lakes worldwide, where most of the water depended upon by human society is found. The Large Lakes Observatory is an academic and research unit within the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  Our focus on the large lakes of Earth means that our work supports the sustainability of well over half of the accessible freshwater on Earth.

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