Category: Sustainability


New study calls for mitigation, monitoring of common grease-proofing food packaging chemicals

By Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service

Chemicals used to “grease proof” everything from food packaging to carpets have built up in the environment for decades and contaminate ecosystems across the globe, and a new study is calling for a better understanding of the risks posed by these chemicals. The study, published in the academic journal Trends in Food Science & Technology, collects…


Iowa State University team will expand high-tech toolbox to help identify promising conservation practices

By Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service

A team led by Iowa State University researchers will expand and revamp an electronic toolbox designed to help farmers and landowners identify the conservation practices best suited for their land. The team received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to add to and expand the Agricultural Conservation…


Change Agent: Aaron Sadow, finding the chemistry to add value, utility to plastic waste

By Mike Krapfl, Iowa State University News Service

This is the latest entry in a series of articles telling the personal stories of Iowa State University faculty and scientists whose work is changing the world for the better. Click here to read about previous Change Agents. Aaron Sadow, patiently going through the origin story of his plastics research, was explaining how glass and aluminum can…


$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…