NRRI

NRRI/University of Minnesota Duluth

With the help of researchers at NRRI, ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer are being repurposed in pilot projects in Minnesota as biochar.  This material can filter harmful chemicals from storm water runoff, enhance soil microbial health, increase soil drought resistance and store carbon in soils to mitigate climate change.

NRRI

Road salt is useless if it's colder than 15°. It corrodes pavement and metal and it doesn't biodegrade. Not to mention what it does to water quality when it washes into streams, rivers and lakes.

Beet juice and cheese brine aren't bad de-icing options, but deer love them, and attracting deer to roadways isn't exactly improving safety.

And then there's potassium acetate.  It has a lower freezing point, it biodegrades ... it's just so gosh-darn expensive.

NRRI

A dab of taconite tailings.  A soupçon of dredge sediment. A pinch of wood-processing byproducts.

It's all a part of the process as NRRI researcher Marsha Patelka pursues her goal of turning waste resources into good topsoil.

NRRI

Tiffany Sprague is an excited person.

She's excited about science and communicating science.

She's excited about citizen science and the work people and businesses can do every day to manage stormwater.

She's excited that the University of Minnesota sees the need for effective communicators about science.

And she's excited about her new job/s that let her blend her knowledge with her enthusiasm.

NRRI

They're not letting Riley near the woodcock chicks.

But Riley probably doesn't care; he's doing what he's been trained (or is that re-trained?) to do: find woodcocks, point 'em out, and leave the rest to the humans.

NRRI

Digital mapping tools are out of reach of many organizations that could use them to help guide their decision making.

Adam Reinhardt sat down with Will Bartsch of NRRI to talk about their new online altas tool that allows users access to hundreds of layers natural resource data.

Don Fosnacht

Less ash than coal.

Less mercury and sulfur than coal.

No need for costly retrofits.

Uses less energy, smaller carbon footprint and its an environmentally-friendly biofuel.

And you make this new fuel using the residuals you get when you thin forests to prevent forest fires.

©NRRI

The folks who work at NRRI are like the ultimate post-Thanksgiving chefs.

They're always looking for innovative ways to use leftovers.

Take potholes, for instance.  If you want a patch to last, why not make it of iron?  Or the next best thing - taconite tailings.

©John Heino. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

They're responsible for millions of dollars in tourism revenue across the country, and feature prominently in the portfolios of photographers, artists and anybody with a smart phone.

But those fall colors: the gorgeous reds (anthocyanins) and shimmering yellow and oranges (carotenoids) are really a kind of tree sunscreen.

Seriously.

Brett Groehler / NRRI / University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Efforts in Minnesota to restore wild rice haven’t been consistent. In some lakes it came back beautifully, in other places competing perennial plants – mainly pickerel weed and narrow-leaf cattails – have won out. Why?

© 2018 Regents of the University of Minnesota

We speak with Rolf Weberg, the Executive Director of the NRRI (Natural Resources Research Institute) about their onging mission, now 35 years along, to develop sustainable, natural resource-based industries, to inform environmental management and policy, to support business and entrepreneurial opportunities, and to assist industry and communities in defining and maintaining the social license to operate.

NRRI

The pilot project that St. Louis County and the NRRI are working on is a win-win.

©NRRI

Not much about coal is simple anymore.

Whether it's being criticized as a dirty fuel or defended as part of a mining lifestyle, coal even played a part in the last presidential election.

So because of - or perhaps in spite of - the controversy about coal, NRRI's latest biofuelis coming along at just the right time.

Gabrielle R.

The good news is the cyclotella algae turning up in sediment samples from the Great Lakes aren't a problem - like blue-green algae is, for example.

The bad news is that they're indicating a problem: in the food web and with climate change.

NRRI

The rainforest isn't the only place to discover natural remedies and other botanical treasures that may aid human health ... look no further than lowly birch bark, a leftover from lumber and paper-making operations and usually burned on-site for heat.

But birch bark has some natural chemicals that are in demand.  The problem is that, up until now, you could only extract them in grams at a time - not in the quantities that would make it commercially feasible.