When many people think of the University of Minnesota, they picture in their minds our signature buildings: Coffman Memorial Union, Northrop Auditorium, Walter Library, and – if they’re familiar with the St. Paul campus – Coffey Hall or Borlaug Hall.
But our campus is really all over the state, thanks to a network of Research and Outreach Centers, coordinate campuses and regional Extension offices. A 2010 study of the U’s economic impact found that the university puts $8.6 billion into Minnesota’s economy and affects every county in some way.
We’re more than dollars and cents, though. .
University faculty and staff – to say nothing of our students, who come from every nook and cranny of the state—are part of their communities. In CFANS, that’s illustrated best by our Research and Outreach Centers, which have the facilities and expertise to provide useful research on a wide variety of food, agricultural and natural resource topics.
The centers exist not just to conduct research, but to share it and make it useful; that’s part of our land-grant mission of research, teaching and outreach. They’re strategically located around the state so that the research they provide is applicable to local residents and businesses, as well as beyond.
Summer is a great time to learn more about the fascinating work that goes on at these centers. Each center has a specialty: cold-climate horticulture at Grand Rapids, renewable energy at Morris, organics at Lamberton, for example. But there’s much more to see and learn at all the centers.
That’s where you come in. Many of our ROCs will host an open house or community event over the next few months, and the faculty and staff would welcome the chance to tell you about their work.
This year’s events include an Organic Field Day at Lamberton, July 11; Horticulture Night at Morris, July 26 and Horticulture Day at North Central Research and Outreach Center (Grand Rapids), Aug. 29.
As an added bonus, this year some events will feature the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, the federal law that created land-grant institutions like ours. I hope you can join us to honor this historic act and how it led to a university that serves all of Minnesota.
Which plants changed Minnesota and transformed how we live today? That was the big question behind a public education campaign this spring. From early February through April 15, the public nominated more than 100 different plants. A panel of experts chose the final ten, ranking them according to their impact in six categories: environmental; economic or industrial; cultural/spiritual; historical; sustenance; and landscape. Which plants came out on top? Alfalfa, American elm, apple, corn, purple loosestrife, soybeans, turf and lawn grass, wheat, white pine and wild rice.
In a collection of more than 4 million scientific specimens, teaching tools and artwork that span the globe, odds are good that a few will spark interesting questions and wonderment. That is the goal behind Natural Curiosity, as Bell Museum curators have gathered the strange and the spectacular to share with the public—some for the first time. The exhibit opened June 2 and continues through Sept. 2.
Universities across the country are marking the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act of 1862, legislation that laid the groundwork for the public research university's ongoing mission of learning, discovery, and engagement for the common good. As one of the country's original land-grant institutions, the University of Minnesota is proud of its history and remains dedicated to its mission of promoting access to higher education and collaborating to advance knowledge benefiting communities, the state, and world. Along with events around the state marking the anniversary, the university has created this video to showcase what the land-grant mission means in 2012.
The CFANS Alumni Society is gearing up for the 9th Annual Golf Scramble for Scholarships on Friday, July 13. The tournament has raised more than $146,000 for scholarships. This year's event is sold out, but there are still ways to support scholarships at the event, including a silent auction and sponsorships.
The Clean Water Act After 40 Years: What Has It Accomplished? 7 p.m., June 25, St. Paul Student Center.
Organic Field Day, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 11, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton, Minn.
American Fisheries Society annual meeting, Aug. 19-23, RiverCentre, St. Paul
For a complete list of events, visit the CFANS Events Calendar.
Department of Soil, Water and Climate professor Mark Seeley and retired Extension professor Don Breneman's book Voyageur Skies won this year's Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Art and Photography.
David Smith, Applied Economics doctoral candidate, is one of two recipients of the John S. Adams Award from the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies. The award is given to U of M graduate students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement in policy and planning fields
Donald Liu, professor in the Department of Applied Economics, will become director of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education on July 1. Claudia Parliament, who has directed the center for 21 years, will retire from that role but will remain as a professor in the applied economics department.
Gerald Shurson, professor in the Department of Animal Science, was selected as the winner of the Award of Excellence at this year's International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo.
Five of the 12 Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists this year are current or future CFANS students: Meg Hintzen; Laura Rosenhammer; Aly Schwartau; Kelsey Mussman and Christine Reitsma. Princess Kay 2012 will be crowned Aug. 22, just before the Minnesota State Fair.