Research

This category contains 13 posts

Plowing prairies for grains: Biofuel crops replace grasslands nationwide

Clearing grasslands to make way for biofuels may seem counterproductive, but University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers show in a recent study that crops, including the corn and soy commonly used for biofuels, expanded onto 7 million acres of new land in the U.S. over a recent four-year period, replacing millions of acres of grasslands.

Study shows Brazil’s Soy Moratorium still needed to preserve Amazon

by Kelly April Tyrrell, UW Communications Today, fewer chicken nuggets can trace their roots to cleared Amazon rain forest. In 2006, following a report from Greenpeace and under pressure from consumers, large companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart decided to stop using soy grown on cleared forestland in the Brazilian Amazon. This put pressure on commodity […]

Day awarded NSF grant for disseration research

Geography PhD candidate Cathy Day has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for her dissertation research. Day’s interests center around how climate change influences agricultural systems and how humans perceive and deal with climatic shifts within a complex social-economic context. For her master’s degree, she researched the vulnerabilities of farmer livelihoods to climate change in Niger’s […]

Two Ph.D. students receive Fulbright Fellowships for Southeast Asia research

Two UW-Madison Geography graduate students have received 2014-15 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program awards by the U.S. Department of Education. Both recipients are conducting research in Thailand under Dr. Ian Baird. Starting early next year, David Chambers will look at changing understandings of “good space” among some Hmong ethnic minority communities in northern Thailand. His […]

No one-size-fits-all approach in a changing climate, changing land

Researchers say they looked at the combined effects of land use decisions and climate change because, while there are many studies of each, the two factors need to be examined together. As climate change alters habitats for birds and bees and everything in between, so too does the way humans decide to use land. Researchers […]

Marín-Spiotta and Mason soil carbon research on NSF Science Now

NSF Science Now spotlights the soil carbon research of Profs. Erika Marín-Spiotta & Joe Mason and former Ph.D. student, Nina Trautmann Chaopricha. For more about their recent research findings, see this related article.

Buried fossil soils found to be awash in carbon

by Terry Devitt, UW Communications Soils that formed on the Earth’s surface thousands of years ago and that are now deeply buried features of vanished landscapes have been found to be rich in carbon, adding a new dimension to our planet’s carbon cycle. The finding, reported May 25, 2014 in the journal Nature Geoscience, is […]

Next wave of research: Ecology, super-sized

by David Tenenbaum, UW Communications The University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of pioneering ecologists who studied lakes, forests, wetlands and prairies, is playing a key role in the next wave of ecological research: large teams of scientists confronting the dilemma of a changing climate on a shrinking planet. But where UW-Madison’s Edward Birge and Chancey Juday, […]

Now you see it: Aerial images reveal sand dunes in the heart of the Badger State

Newly created laser images of central Wisconsin show fields of dunes, most of which have never been seen before, that were blowing in the wind as recently as about 11,000 years ago. “They have been hiding in plain sight,” says Joseph Mason, professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Most are covered with trees […]

Documenting the history of American Indian agriculture and land‐use in northeastern WI

Senior lecturer Bill Gartner had the privilege of working on the Menominee Reservation this summer as a Co‐PI, with David Overstreet (College of the Menominee Nation), on a project documenting the history of American Indian agriculture and land‐use in northeastern Wisconsin. They have discovered, mapped, and excavated several large raised field and storage pit complexes […]

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