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Climate Change and Mitigation in the Great Plains

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Climate Change and Mitigation in the Great Plains
2701 Throckmorton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506



This material is based upon work supported by National Science Foundation No. EPS-0903806 and the State of Kansas. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

This National Science Foundation - Kansas EPSCoR project funds the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Academy. The Kansas State University Climate Change REU offers students an opportunity to work on two of he world's most challenging problems, the accelerating impacts of global climate change and the pressing need for food and energy security. Global climate change is critically important for terrestrial ecosystems, which provide food, fiber, and environmental services to human societies. Solutions to these challenges can be obtained only by concerted, comprehensive research efforts to understand and to address the looming issues of global climate change and the need for food and bioenergy production. The Impacts Working Group will assess the impacts of climate changes on in Kansas, including farmlands on indigenous soil. The Mitigation Working Group will provide for more efficient crop and soil management practices to target soil C-sequestration and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The undergraduate students in the 2011- 2013 REU programs encompassed a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

The research projects are designed to help stu­dents understand climate change issues in greater depth, with a multidisciplinary team experience. At Kansas State University, the departments of agronomy, biological and agricultural engineer­ing, and physics participated in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Summer Academy. At the University of Kansas, the department of geography participated in the 2012 Summer Academy.


The 2014 REU program will run from May 27 to August 1, 2014. Students will arrive on Tuesday, May 26, 2014. The program begins on May 27, 2014, and concludes on August 1, 2014. To be eligible to participate, students must be available for the "entire time period" of the program.


Students will receive a stipend of $4,500 paid in three installments. Room and board will be provided. Travel to and from Manhattan, Kansas will be provided (up to $400.00). The total value is roughly $7,600 per student.


  • Students will be accepted from all science, socioeconomic, agricultural, and engineering majors.
  • Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents. 
  • Preference is given to students who have completed their sophomore or junior year. Outstanding first-year students may be considered. Graduating seniors are not eligible.
  • First-generation college students, members of ethnic minority groups, females in STEM disciplines, and other under-represented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
  • No previous laboratory or research experience is required.


To apply complete the 2014 Climate Change REU Application and email to archibbs@ksu.edu with REU Application as the subject line.Applications are due by the end of the business day (5pm Central) on Friday, March 7th.


Dr. Amber Campbell Hibbs
KS NSF EPSCoR Climate Change Mitigation Project Coordinator


2714 Throckmorton Plant Science Center
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-5501


Dr. Chuck Rice
Department of Agronomy


2004 Throckmorton Plant Science Center
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-5501


Below is a short video of one of the 2012 REU students, Allison Edgerley, and her faculty advisor at K-State, Ganga Hettiarachchi.


Student research projects in 2013:

  • Alex Edwards (Atmospheric Science, University of Kansas) : Analyzing vegetation's impact on atmospheric boundary layer fluxes with Dr. Nate Brunsell, KU
  • Adam Marshall (Chemistry & Geology, University of Florida): Effect of flow rate on transport and retention of sulfur in flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater using continuous flow column system with Dr. Ganga Hettiarachchi, KSU
  • Kelsey McDonough (Biological Engineering, North Carolina State University): Impacts of climate change on green infrastructure with Dr. Stacy Hutchinson, KSU
  • Johanie Rivera (Agronomy, Universidad de Puerto Rico): N management for improved efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions with Dr. Charles Rice. KSU


Student research projects in 2012:

  • Grant Brady: Studied the water balance for corn in Kansas with Dr. Stacy Hutchinson, K-State.
  • Jeff Delaroy: Studied water and carbon flux between soil and the atmospheric boundary layer with Dr. Nate Brunsell, University of Kansas.
  • Kathryn Douglas: Studied the backscattering of aerosols, including black carbon, and its effect on climate change with Dr. Chris Sorensen, K-State.
  • Allison Edgerley: Studied the effect of iron mineralogy on soil organic carbon sequestration with Dr. Ganga Hettiarachchi, K-State.
  • A. Gieseke: Studied the relationship between controlled burning and the total carbon in soil with Dr. Nate Brunsell, K-State.

2012 REU Students

The undergraduate students involved in the 2012 REU program (l to r): Allison Edgerley, Grant Brady, Kathryn Douglas, Jeff Delaroy, and A. Gieseke.


The student research projects in 2011:

  • Matt DeCapo: Studied the role of soot in climate change with Dr. Chris Sorensen, K-State.
  • Chris Dolezal: Studied trends in plant water use with Dr. Stacy Hutchinson, K-State.
  • Dorothy Menefee: Studied soil carbon stability with Dr. Ganga Hettiarachchi, K-State.
  • Lucas Burson and Zane Sumpter: Studied climate data preservation and stability with Dr. Bin Tang, WSU.
  • Amy Vu: Studied fertilizer sources and nitrous oxide emissions with Dr. Charles Rice, K-State.


Undergrads with Dr. Rice

The undergraduate students from K-State involved in the 2011 REU program (l to r): Chris Dolezal, Wichita, KS; Dorothy Menefee, Spring Hill, KS; Charles Rice, professor and director of the project; Amy Vu, Kansas City, KS; Matt DeCapo, Kansas City, MO.