Sustainability Projects

Sustainability Projects Funded by the Institute on the Environment Include MSI PIs


The Institute on the Environment has announced funding for projects that seek to solve challenges in sustainability. The projects are interdisciplinary and involve team members from the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses, systemwide Extension units, other Minnesota institutions of higher education, nonprofits, community farms, government, and the private sector. Four of the eight 2023 funded projects include MSI PIs. These projects are (MSI PIs are shown in bold type):

Carbon credits for food recovery

  • Jennifer Schmitt, Institute on the Environment; Susanna Gibbons, Carlson School of Management, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Jason Hill, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, UMN-Twin Cities
    • Professor Hill uses MSI for modeling to evaluate air-quality related health impacts of food and energy systems.
  • Andi Sutton, Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota Extension
  • Madisen Gittlin, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Program, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Scott Wopata, Community Action Center of Northfield

Co-creating automated local water quality monitoring technology: A pilot process and partnership

  • Amy Kinsley, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, UMN-Twin Cities
    • Professor Kinsley uses MSI to develop quantitative models to understand the spread of pathogens, pollutants, and invasive species.
  • Junaed Sattar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UMN-Twin Cities
    • Professor Sattar uses MSI for several research projects focusing on the computational aspects of field robotics and human interaction.
  • Ingrid Schneider, Department of Forest Resources, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Alan Robbins-Fenger, National Park Service
  • Graduate and undergraduate students, to be decided.

Microplastic pollution in urban agricultural ecosystems

  • Emilie Snell-Rood, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, UMN-Twin Cities
    • Professor Snell-Rood uses MSI resources for RNA-seq investigations of  the cabbage white butterfly and the monarch butterfly.
  • Lindsey Kemmerling, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Lauren Agnew, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Cara Santelli, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, UMN-Twin Cities
    • Professor Santelli uses MSI resources for RNA and DNA sequencing analyses as part of investigations into interactions between minerals and microorganisms.
  • Nic Jelinski, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Lee Penn, Department of Chemistry, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Matt Simcik, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, UMN-Twin Cities
  • David Woods, Urban Roots
  • Skyler Hawkins, Urban Roots

Towards mainstreaming nature’s value in Minnesota’s decision-making: A review of knowledge gaps, implementation challenges, and emerging opportunities

  • Nfamara Dampha, Institute on the Environment
  • Michelle Heyn, Carlson School of Management, UMN-Twin Cities
  • Stephen Polasky, Department of Applied Economics, UMN-Twin Cities
    • Professor Polasky uses MSI for computational modeling of multiple ecosystem services under a range of different scenarios as part of research into the contributions of nature to human well-being.
  • Samuel Leguizamon Grant, Rainbow Research
  • NatCap postdoc fellow, still to be decided.

Descriptions of the projects and the complete list of 2023 grants can be found on the IonE website: 2023 Impact Goal grants award $1.1M to support interdisciplinary, sustainability-focused project teams.

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