Michigan Tech News

Midwest Climate Change Research Center Awards $1.5 Million in Federal Grants


By Jennifer Donovan


Last Modified 10:43 AM, July 9, 2009

May 11, 2009—

The Midwest Regional Center of the National Institute for Climate Change Research, based at Michigan Technological University, has awarded $1.5 million in US Department of Energy grants for four new collaborative research projects in seven states and eight continuing projects.

The newly funded projects involve researchers from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Kansas State University and the University of Illinois.

They will investigate forest carbon dynamics; interactions among water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem; the effects of warming and changes in rainfall on root systems and soil carbon decomposition in a grassland ecosystem; and the interaction of elevated temperature and carbon dioxide on a soybean ecosystem.

"I'm very excited by the new group of projects the Midwestern Regional Center is funding," said Andrew Burton, director of the center. Burton is an associate professor in Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. "These new studies will continue the center's and Michigan Tech's strong involvement in examining the way forests, wetlands, grasslands and crops will respond to changing temperature and moisture."

Since the center was established in December 2005, it has supported $7 million in collaborative research projects in its 13-state region.

"The research we have supported will improve our basic understanding of how terrestrial ecosystems may respond to climatic change and will help provide a solid scientific basis for determining appropriate responses," Burton said.

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.