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K-State geographer working to clarify what sustainability really means to rural decision-makers
From book titles to real estate developments, it's easier to find things claiming to be sustainable than it is to define it. That's why a Kansas State University geographer is trying to pin down exactly what sustainability means to those who might be trying to work toward it.


Grant to create cybernetwork of university researchers will help K-State faculty, students studying Konza Prairie and their response to issues like global warming
Research at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and beyond will benefit from a cyber infrastructure grant to connect Kansas State University with other universities in the region.


K-State chemistry professor gets grant for research that could aid in development of artificial photovoltaic devices
A Kansas State University professor has a grant to study an area of physical chemistry that will provide more insight into the electronic structure and energy transfer processes in natural and artificial photosynthetic complexes.


Grassland birds in Flint Hills region of Kansas, Oklahoma face population decline

An eastern meadowlarkResearchers found that three bird species common to the Flint Hills region of Kansas and Oklahoma are experiencing serious population decline in the face of extensive land-management practices like annual burning and widespread grazing.



K-State biologist collaborating with researchers in Botswana, South Africa on grassland sustainability and biodiversity

Flier for African Issues SymposiumThe research is examining the sustainability of the grasslands and conserving the biodiversity within them. Hartnett and collaborators in Botswana are assessing and documenting changes taking place because of climate change and land use changes.

Read more about the African Issues Symposium


K-State researchers find that pollution of fresh water by nitrogen and phosphorous costs the United States at least $4.3 billion annually

pollution in Oklahoma lakePollution by phosphorous and nitrogen isn't just bad for lakes, streams and other bodies of water. According to researchers at Kansas State University, it's also bad for Americans' pocketbooks.

Read more about Walter Dodds' research on water pollution

See what else K-State is doing for water quality



K-State seeks environmentally benign alternatives to control insects in food processing plants

America's enormous food processing industry must choose a new way to control the flour beetles and other insects that thrive in and around flour mills, pasta plants and pet food facilities.

Read about another K-State entomologist researching methyl bromide alternatives


K-State team gets $690,000 for biofuels proof of concept study on producing cellulosic ethanol from pelleted forage crops

To meet a goal of replacing one-third of the nation's petrolium consumption with biofuels by 2030, the biomass research and development technical advisory committee of the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Energy estimates it will require growing 1 billion dry tons annually of collectable biomass and converting it to biofuels. Using a grant, Kansas State University researchers will address the logistics hurdles of such a change.

Read more about a  K-Stater's research on sorghum ethanol

Read more about eco-friendly ethanol research at K-State


Ecologist returns to K-State as new director of the Konza Prairie Biological Station

In addition to balancing research and conservation, Briggs is interesting in maintaining a strong educational component at the Konza. "Tallgrass prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America," Briggs said. "People come from other places and they are just amazed by it. We have the responsibility to maintain that."

Read more about the Konza Prairie Biological Station


Project by K-State researchers could help make algae from the ocean a sustainable energy source of the future

Research by two Kansas State University scientists could help with the large-scale cultivation and manufacturing of oil-rich algae in oceans for biofuel. The researchers have received a grant to study solid carriers for manufacturing algae biofuels in the ocean.


K-State engineer researching how sorgum can meet the need for ethanol
Donghai Wang, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at Kansas State University, is researching how sorghum might solve the problem of corn-based ethanol not being able to meet the country's energy needs. He is investigating sorghum as a viable resource for biofuels while also exploring how sorghum stover and forage sorghum can be used to produce ethanol.
Read more about ethanol research at K-State
Read more about how K-State is pooling its resources with the Center for Sustainable Energy


K-State sustainability research Web site to address issues for scholars, students and the public
Kansas State University's Melody LeHew envisions a Web site where scholars collaborate and read the latest research in sustainability, where students investigate how to make sustainable decisions in the workplace, and where the public go to understand how to practice sustainability in their lives.


Published in Nature: K-State biologist, research team find that microorganisms filter nitrogen from small streams, keeping larger waterways cleaner
With a grant from the National Science Foundation, Walter Dodds, a professor of biology at Kansas State University, and 30 colleagues from across the United States and Puerto Rico studied nitrogen removal in streams in their own geographical areas. Their research appears in the March 13 issue of the journal Nature.
Read the paper in Nature

Read about Dodds' new book, "Humanity's Footprint: Momentum, Impact and Our Global Environment"
See what else K-State is doing to improve water quality


K-State researchers finding ways to make ethanol even more eco-friendly
poster graphicPraveen Vadlani, an assistant professor of grain science and industry, is taking ethanol to the next level. He's investigating how to best use one of ethanol's key co-products, distillers grains. Vadlani is a researcher with K-State's Center for Sustainable Energy, whose work also falls under the university's Bioprocessing and Industrial Value Added Program.
Read more about how K-State is pooling its resources with the Center for Sustainable Energy
Read about K-State researchers studying the sociological side of ethanol production


K-State researchers work to make beef industry aware of the costs, considerations of switching to natural or organic methods
When Kansas State University graduate student Ben Wileman was a practicing veterinarian in Belle Fourche, S.D., natural and organic labels were a big focus for the beef producers he saw.


K-State researchers create biodegradable container to hold cattle nutritional supplements
Kansas State University professor Xiuzhi Susan Sun and her colleagues have developed a biodegradable container that is being used to hold nutritional supplements for cattle.


K-State entomologist part of effort to find a more healthful, earth-friendly method to keep insect pests out of cured ham and aged cheese
Try enjoying a sandwich knowing that something else already has been nibbling on your ham and cheese. That's why for years food producers have made sure that insect pests don't take a bite out of cured ham or aged cheese before consumers do. Now food producers are looking for more healthful, environmentally friendly ways to keep these pests from getting a taste.
Read more about K-State research on earth-friendly insect control


K-State forestry expert says research shows that planting trees in riparian buffer strips mitigates flooding
A study conducted by Kansas State University Research and Extension after the floods of 1993 clearly showed that farmland with shrubs and trees planted along its waterways suffered far less impact than those with no riparian strip.
Read more about the conservation tree planting program


Research on air quality from cattle feedlots
K-State researchers are working on a system that will help monitor nitrogen-compound emissions from cattle feedlots and other sources.
Read about what K-State is doing for air quality in northeast Kansas