1. K-State home
  2. »CECD
  3. »Environmental Understanding and Protection

Center for Engagement and Community Development

Environmental Understanding and Protection

Engagement that increases our environment knowledge and/or pursues campus/community strategies toward environmental stewardship.

Kansas State University researchers, teachers, and students apply broadly-based scientific knowledge to the use, management, sustainability, and quality of soil, air, water, mineral, biological, and energy resources. Departments, centers, and institutes focused on environmental understanding and protection come from the spectrum of the university and include:

Featured programs

sunsetCenter for Hazardous Substance Research

provides free technical assistance to communities affected by hazardous substance issues at EPA Superfund, Brownfield, tribal, and other types of sites. This is achieved by working with all stakeholders and agencies to provide educational information, technical review services, and assistance with community outreach efforts.

The Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment

The Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment was established to coordinate and enhance research, extension and teaching activities pertaining to environmental issues related to agriculture.

Konza Environmental Education Program

The Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP) has as its mission for K-12 and public/adult programs to enhance the understanding of the ecology of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, increase understanding of the process and value of science, and increase public appreciation for the importance of scientific research as a foundation for sound grassland conservation and management. KEEP operates through the Konza Prairie Biological Station.

Pollution Prevention Institute

PPI provides free, non-regulatory technical assistance and training in pollution prevention and environmental compliance to Kansas businesses. PPI also provides services to residents of Kansas through the Home*A*Syst program to help individuals assess pollution risks around their homes.

Community Brownfield Group

The TAB program brings university educational and technical resources to communities affected by hazardous substance issues at Brownfield sites.

Great Plains Diagnostic Network/ Plant Diagnostic Information System

The Great Plains Diagnostic Network (GPDN) is a consortium of nine states including, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and represents one region of the National Plant Diagnostic Network. GPDN is housed at KSU. The mission of GPDN includes coordinated diagnostics, secure communications, and training of first detectors.


WaterLINK is a service-learning project available to college and university faculty and community watersheds in Kansas.

Global Research on Water-based Economies

The Consortium for Global Research on Water-Based Economies (GRoWE) is a collaborative organization dedicated to helping people understand and manage the relationships between water resources and human consumption for agricultural production and livelihood.

Office of Local Government

The Office of Local Government provides educational outreach, technical assistance, applied research, and information and referral services to city and county governments, local organizations, the county Extension network and citizens throughout Kansas. These services relate to three broad and interconnected program areas: local and regional economic development practice and policy, local public service organization and finance, and natural resource management and land use planning.

Water Quality: Watershed Restoration and Protection

The state of Kansas' approach to water quality improvement and to meeting Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL standards is to promote watershed planning, assessment, and management through locally led watershed restoration and protection strategies.

Protecting Surface Water

Producers are advised on ways to minimize runoff that had potential for contaminating public water supplies. Producers learn about cost-sharing programs to bring recommended practices into reality on their farm or ranch. Partners have involved NRCS, conservation districts, producers, city councils, county commissioners, homeowners, local Farm Bureau boards, and K-State Research and Extension.

The Watershed Dairy Environmental Cooperative

The Watershed Dairy Environmental Cooperative provided asssitance to 20 small dairy producers managing 2, 350 lactating cows. Helping producers develop best management practices will lead to improvements in water quality.

The Kansas Grassland Water Quality Stewardship Project

The goal of the project is to reduce non-point source pollution emanating from Kansas grasslands. To improve water quality in Kansas, the KGWQSP works directly with producers and with those who interact with producers. A variety of activities and educational tools are being used to disseminate information across the state. These include: meetings, workshops, demonstrations, publications, newsletters, literature database relating to grassland water quality, one-on-one range management planning.

Earth Awareness Researchers for Tomorrow's Habitat

EARTH is an environmental education program designed for Kansas middle schools. It provides youth with innovative, experiential learning opportunities that encourage the development of skills that will help Kansas youth become wise stewards of their environment.

Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom

KFAC produces quality educational resources for Kansas educators and students about Kansas agriculture & natural resources. We believe in improving agricultural literacy through education.

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program

SBEAP provides small businesses with technical assistance to achieve environmental regulatory compliance. The program supports companies in their effort to prevent pollution and to improve the bottom line by improving the company's environmental performance.

The Kansas Urban Water Quality Protection Initiative

As part of this initiative, the Office of Local Government (OLG) at Kansas State University Research and Extension provides technical assistance and outreach education to cities and counties working to incorporate water quality objectives issues into local land use planning efforts, including comprehensive plans and zoning and subdivision ordinances.

Assessing the Impact of Maneuver Training on NPS Pollution and Water Quality. Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program

To identify sources of NPS pollution resulting from military activities and assess the impact of this pollution on surface water quality.

Implementing Riparian Forestry

Providing technical assistance to landowners throughout the state with riparian tree plantings and managing existing forestland along rivers and streams in Kansas.

Specific Program - Citizens and the Kanopolis Lake Pollution Problem

Landowners, urban residents and ag producers in the Kanapolis Lake area have worked closely with Kansas State University watershed specialists, county Extension agents, Farm Bureau boards, the Natural Resources Conservative Service (NRCS), and state conservation commissions to improve water quality.