Michigan State University main website

Water & Environment

Rare Molecules Reveal Planetary Tug-of-War

Friday, January 12, 2018
Nathaniel Ostrom

Laurence Yeung, scientist at Rice University, and colleagues at Rice, Michigan State University, UCLA and the University of New Mexico counted rare molecules in the atmosphere that contain…

Read More

MSU’s Zipkin Takes Key Role in Large-Scale Seabird Study

Friday, January 5, 2018
With a length of 35 to 45 inches, the Magnificent Frigatebird is the largest species of frigatebird. It occurs over tropical and subtropical waters off America, between northern Mexico and Ecuador on the Pacific coast, and between Florida and southern Brazil along the Atlantic coast. Photo courtesy of Elise Zipkin.

Flying 200 feet above the oceanic waters of the Gulf of Mexico, scientific observers peer out a small plane’s windows in search of seabirds. Sometimes they see a…

Read More

Streams ‘Sense’ Changes in Land Use, Indicate Health of Areas

Wednesday, January 3, 2018
“The manipulation of phosphorous and nitrogen in the landscape is one of the greatest threats to the fate of humanity and the rest of life on this planet,” said Jay Zarnetske, MSU earth and environmental scientist. Courtesy of MSU

Scientists at Michigan State University have shown that streams can be key health indicators of a region’s landscape, but the way they’re being monitored can be improved. New…

Read More

MSU Students Win Silver Medal at Synthetic Biology Competition

Thursday, December 21, 2017
The Shewlock Holmes team, from left to right: Ciara Fromwiller, Serenity Tyll, Cody Madsen, Michaela TerAvest, Danny Ducat, Noelia Bravo, Brian Amburn, Donna Liebelt (advisor). Not included: Bjoern Hamberger, Tim Whitehead. By Shewlock Homes.

MSU’s second-ever iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) student team won a Silver Medal at the 2017 competition in Boston. The team was made up of seven students from Chemical Engineering,…

Read More

New Discovery from Michigan’s First, Full Bee Census

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The first complete bee census, led by Michigan State University scientists, confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier…

Read More

Great Lakes Biodiversity Book by MSU’s Knight Center Director Published

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Eric Freedman

Knight Center director Eric Freedman and University of St. Thomas journalism professor Mark Neuzil have just published their new book Biodiversity, Conservation and Environmental Management in the Great…

Read More

High Temperatures Weaken Plants’ Defenses Against Bacteria

Monday, November 27, 2017

An issue of global concern is the anticipated shortage of agricultural output to meet the steady rise in human population. Michigan State University scientists understand that overcoming crop…

Read More

New Database of 50,000 Lakes’ Water Quality to Improve Policy

Monday, October 30, 2017
Patricia Soranno and Kendra Cheruvelil

To better understand the complex factors that threaten lake water quality, scientists need data on many lakes in various types of environmental settings. Unfortunately, much of the lake…

Read More

Bacteria Community Creates Biodegradable Plastic with Sunlight

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

For all their convenience, plastics are massive environmental headaches. “The main problem is that most synthetic plastic is not completely biodegradable. It cannot be broken down by living…

Read More

New MSU Map Initiative to Guide Irrigation Decisions

Friday, October 20, 2017
Republican River Basin, rising in the High Plains of eastern Colorado and flowing east 453 miles (729 km)[4] through the U.S. states of Nebraska and Kansas

Irrigated agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater globally, but precise records and maps of when and where water is applied by farmers are difficult to locate. Now…

Read More