University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Go to the U of M home page


Home > About CFANS > News and Events > February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

From CFANS dean Allen Levine: Food from A to Z at the U

New projects, partnerships target healthy eating

Childhood obesity prevention, food safety practices for immigrant farmers and a study of how cruciferous vegetables affect tumors in mice are among the topics funded through a new series of eight grants from the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute. All of the roughly $50,000 grants are aimed at funding start-up projects that will have a significant impact on food, health and agriculture.

sadowskySave the Date: Classes Without Quizzes returns April 6

This year's Classes Without Quizzes will again feature the latest research from CFANS scientists, including keynote speaker Mike Sadowsky of the Department of Soil, Water and Climate. The half-day event on April 6 also will include sessions on beer, robots, bio-energy, gardening and economics as well as programs for kids and opportunities to network with other college alumni and friends.

Final IREE grants include two CFANS research projects

Two CFANS renewable energy projects are among the final group of seven research grants, worth a total of $2.6 million, awarded by the university's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. The CFANS projects include "LandLabs: Developing Sustainable Bioenergy Systems by Integrating Technology R&D With Policy, Economic and Ecological Analysis and Innovation," led by Nick Jordan in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, and "Integration of Renewable and Efficient Energy Technologies to Green Energy Consumed in Agricultural Production Systems," led by Mike Reese at the West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris. IREE funded similar projects at the university over the past nine years, but its funding was discontinued in 2012 by the Minnesota Legislature.


cat'Nature Heals' explores connections between humans and nature

A connection to nature is essential to human health and well-being. "Nature Heals," a conference being presented at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, is a conversation about the neuroscience of human bonds with the natural world, including plant and animal interaction, and how connecting with nature increases individual health and community well-being. Speakers include Eva Selhub, physician and author of Your Brain on Nature, and Meg Olmert, author of Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond and director of research for Warrior Canine Connection, an organization promoting therapy animals for soldiers with PTSD. The conference is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 15. Costs vary; preregistration is requested. Nature Heals is presented by the arborteum's Nature-Based Therapeutic Services, a shared initiative with the Center for Spirituality and Healing to further the understanding of the people-nature connection.

Honor a student for scientific achievement

Are you willing to help your favorite high school honor an outstanding junior for scientific achievement?  The CFANS Alumni Society hopes to expand its Science Achievement Award program. Recipients receive a thought-provoking book and Science Achievement Award certificate; this year, for the first time, recipients who enroll in CFANS will be awarded a $500 scholarship. There is no cost to participate in the Science Achievement Award Program - the CFANS Alumni Society supplies the book and award certificate as well at the scholarship once the student is enrolled in CFANS. The only requirement is the donation of your time.

With spring approaching, can summer camp time be far behind?

From mammals to invertebrates, outer space and the environment, the Bell Museum's Science Discovery Day Camps engage children in science through authentic objects and unforgettable learning experiences. The week-long camps include hands-on, inquiry-based classroom and laboratory activities, as well as outdoor exploration and recreation. Camps are led by museum education staff and give campers the opportunity to meet university scientists and take field trips to university learning centers such as the Raptor Center, Insect Museum, research greenhouses and more. Campers also get to take part in recreational activities including swim trips to the world class University Aquatic Center. Costs, dates and times vary.

Stay up to date with CFANS on Facebook and Twitter

facebooktwitter iconWant more frequent updates on what's happening at CFANS? Become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. You can also keep up on alumni/friends gatherings with CFANS Alumni & Friends on Facebook.

Special events

State of the University speech, featuring U of M president Eric Kaler, Feb. 28
Dry Season: Climate Change & Drought in Minnesota, a Cafe Scientifique event, March 18, Bryant-Lake Bowl

For a complete list of events, visit the CFANS Events Calendar.


David Andersen, leader of the Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, has received the Minnesota Award from the Minnesota chapter of the Wildlife Society, for his lifetime contributions to wildlife research. It is the group's highest honor.

Graduate student Kyle Daly received the Minnesota Chapter of the Wildlife Society's top student honor, the Student Conservationist Award. 

Frank Forcella, adjunct professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, has been named a fellow of the Weed Science Society of America.

Organics coordinator Jim Riddle and his wife, Joyce Ford, received the annual "Sustie" award at the annual EcoFarm Conference for their long history of working in sustainable agriculture.

Gopher Dairy Club
members won several awards at the 2013 Midwest regional dairy clubs meeting: first place for outstanding chapter yearbook, website, and number of students attending; second place for club skit; and third for outstanding electronic yearbook. .