Faculty from across the U of M accept the challenge of addressing environmental problems through interdisciplinary work
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (2/18/14)—Seven University of Minnesota faculty from seven different colleges have been named resident fellows of the Institute on the Environment. Representing a range of disciplines, the new fellows join 58 others conducting interdisciplinary projects that seek to understand and address environmental problems.
Fellows maintain their appointment in their own departments, but receive additional funding to pursue projects that cross disciplinary boundaries. The fellowships also help accelerate professional and leadership development.
“IonE’s resident fellow program gives exceptional faculty the jump-start they need to break through barriers to collaboration and seek innovative environmental solutions,” says IonE director Jonathan Foley. “These seven individuals were chosen for their innovative approaches to helping solve global challenges. We’re pleased to welcome them to the IonE community.”
The 2014 resident fellows and their plans for their fellowships include:
- Jonee Kulman Brigham, College of Design – expand arts-integrated environmental education to high school students as co-investigators and active agents of authentic research and service projects, such as creating a public educational website about water infrastructure in their area.
- Erik Thorson Brown, Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota Duluth – integrate our growing understanding of the limnology of Lake Malawi into a broader view of food sustainability as well as expand the scope of the work of LLO to include more applied research.
- Valentine Cadieux, College of Liberal Arts – create a platform for building continuity and capacity around publicly engaged teaching and research on food and society at the University.
- Matteo Convertino, School of Public Health – identify common epidemiological, social and environmental processes that are physically and functionally responsible for the occurrence of communicable and non-communicable syndemics in socio-ecological systems.
- Tian He, College of Science and Engineering – conduct environmental crowd-sensing data in a Chinese metropolitan area, collected for environmental application from roving taxicabs.
- Kathryn A. Milun, College of Sociology and Anthropology, UMD – develop a business plan and demonstration project to take advantage of a new Minnesota law that enables communities to purchase solar power from solar arrays owned by investors or co-ops.
- Robert W. Sterner, College of Biological Sciences – develop the first community-level anaerobic digestion system in the country for use in converting organic solid waste to heat, electricity and compost in a St. Louis Park neighborhood.