Category: Sustainability


$20 million federal grant launches AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture

By Mike Krapfl, Iowa State University News Service

The latest artificial intelligence tools will allow researchers to develop digital twins of individual crop plants and entire farm fields, helping plant breeders improve crop varieties and farmers boost production. The researchers behind a new artificial intelligence research institute say their work can accelerate the productivity and sustainability of agriculture at a time when the…


Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory Lead Charge in Plastics “Upcycling” Research

Faculty and Researchers Awarded Millions in Emerging Field

By Caitlin Ware, Iowa State University Office of the Vice President for Research

Ames, Iowa, has recently become a national research epicenter for a rapidly emerging field: plastics “upcycling.” Researchers at Iowa State University, in tandem with Ames Laboratory — a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratory — received multiple awards over the 2020 calendar year, totaling millions of dollars in research funding. Contrary to traditional recycling,…


Crop diversification can improve environmental outcomes without sacrificing yields

By Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service

A new study shows diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields. But a professor of agronomy at Iowa State University who co-authored the study said some marketing and agricultural policy considerations will have to change for farmers to adopt diversification…


New study on migration success reinforces need for monarch butterfly milkweed habitat

By Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service

A recently published analysis of data on tagged monarch butterflies migrating from the United States to Mexico emphasizes the importance of creating new habitat to ensure the future of the species’ iconic migratory pattern. The study, published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, drew on data collected on 1.4 million monarch…


Grant to help scientists, industry, and farmers harness biomass and manure to fuel farms

By Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service

A new federal grant will allow a research team led by Iowa State University, Penn State and Roeslein Alternative Energy to develop new methods of turning biomass and manure into fuel. The five-year, $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture will power the Consortium for Cultivating Human and…


Iowa State’s C-CHANGE to host conference exploring opportunities in biogas

By Dan Kirkpatrick, Iowa State University Office of the Vice President for Research

Iowa State University’s Consortium for Cultivating Human and Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE) is hosting its inaugural Conference on Agriculture, Technology and Innovation March 25-27, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference – themed “Why are we missing the boat on biogas?” – is designed to bring together experts from agriculture, energy, government, science and society…


Major NSF-sponsored grant will help researchers discover ways to improve urban sustainability

By Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service

Dense urban areas use up more energy, water and food resources than they can produce themselves, forcing them to rely on external sources. But a team of researchers is imagining bold new ways to make Midwestern cities more self-reliant. The Sustainable Cities Research Team recently received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop…