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August 2018   |   Vol. 8, Issue 2

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Message from Department Head Gary R. Sands

I hope our August BioBriEf finds you well and enjoying the fleeting summer season. After all these years, I am still amazed by the number of times I am asked by those outside of academia, "But, you're off for the summer, right?" In fact, nothing could be further from the truth for BBE faculty, staff, and students!

Read Sands' full message

Research news

  • Student capstone project selected for poster presentation at national conference
    “Process Design for Conversion of Coconut Coir Pith to Bioplastic and Byproducts,” one of the BBE capstone projects presented by our senior students in May, has been accepted for a poster presentation at the 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA on October 29. The team includes students/recent graduates Erin Haug, Felipe Reyes Gaibor, Alex Papdakis, Patricia Popescu, faculty members Peter Huajiang Huang and Shri Ramaswamy, and partners Rengasamy Kasinathan and Bandaru Ramarao from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
  • Book on ecological restoration co-edited by Lenhart published
    Research Assistant Professor Christian Lenhart was a co-editor of the book “Ecological Restoration in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future.” This new book describes regional restoration history, current case studies, and future issues in restoration throughout Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. Contributors are from the Society for Ecological Restoration Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter as well as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Board of Water and Soil Resources. Purchase a hard copy for $29 through August.

Education news

  • 2018 Golf Outing highlights
    We kicked off the first day of summer with a golf outing at the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course. Multiple teams totaling 43 golfers played to raise nearly $2,000 for BBE scholarships. The number of golfers also doubled from last year. Members of the winning team were Joe Meyer, Peter Koeppen, and Jim Patterson of Verso Corporation Wisconsin Rapids Mill, and Jack Stanley of AstenJohnson (pictured). Special thanks to Bruce Johnson of Viking Forest Products on being a sponsor and Liberty Paper for having the most people represented. The event was planned and sponsored by Lake States TAPPI / North Central PIMA. Thank you to all who came to play and help! View photos from the event

Honors and recognition



New Bell Museum is open
The new Bell Museum opened on July 13 and features wildlife dioramas, a full-scale woolly mammoth, digital planetarium, sustainable landscaping, and more. Come discover how U of M researchers are working to create a better future for our world, including work by Associate Professor Jason Hill in the Imagining the Future gallery. Learn more about how university research is a common thread at the museum