Feature Stories

In February, the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, in partnership with Explore Minnesota, released the “State of Sustainable Tourism in Minnesota: Changes from 2007 to 2013.” The study surveyed 3,550 Minnesota resort and tourism industry managers, owners and operators on sustainable practices ranging from energy efficiency to water conservation.

With one exception—sweeping large areas—there were no significant improvements by operators in the adoption of six sustainable water practices assessed across years.

While there’s been lot of talk about the health and environmental effects of genetically modified crops, there’s been relatively little attention paid to the environmental effects of glyphosate, a companion chemical that’s now the most widely used herbicide in the world.

Known to urban lawn warriors by its commercial name “Roundup,” glyphosate is routinely applied for weed control on an agricultural scale on genetically modified corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets, and cotton in the Midwest and elsewhere.

October 14th 2014 heralded a new tech-savvy day for the annual Minnesota Water Resources Conference, with attendees encouraged to make use of a mobile guidebook app to plan their days, find sessions of interest as well as tweeting out news about the conference as it happened. Exhibitors made their first appearance at the conference, adding a trade show element to the breaks throughout the day.

Building Minnesota’s Capacity for Climate Adaptation Conference was held Thursday, November 6, 2014 at the Minneapolis Hyatt hotel. The 250 plus attendees heard about the effect of climate change on weather events from speakers Harold Brooks, National Severe Weather Laboratory, NOAA, and climate resilience strategies from Steve Adams Senior Program Advisor U.S. Climate Adaptation, Institute for Sustainable Communities.

WRS Faculty Joe Magner and Karlyn Eckman are working with faculty from Mizoram University (MZU) on water resources, agroforestry and shifting cultivation in the remote northeastern Indian hill state of Mizoram. It is extremely isolated geographically, and is landlocked between Bangladesh to the west and Myanmar to the east.

Over 700 water professionals attended the Minnesota Water Conference at RiverCentre in downtown St. Paul, October 12 and 13. Plenary presentations and concurrent sessions offered information on topics ranging from the history of Minnesota water policy, corporate/environmental partnerships that benefit water quality and economic bottom lines, and possible solutions to the problem of spent water from the oil fracking process.