Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment

Benefits of Green Spaces in Rural and Urban America

NIFA-funded scientists collaborating with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and USDA’s Forest Service, have used surveys, interviews, and focus groups to assess the benefits of parks and recreation. This research is providing the evidence and awareness needed for communities to provide more green spaces, for more doctors to include outdoor recreation in prescriptions, for policymakers to require outdoor recreation at school, and for land managers to plan for outdoor recreation.

Fighting the Opioid Crisis in Alabama

One of the growing problems facing our nation today is the rising opioid drug crisis. In 2017, an opioid overdose resulted in approximately 60,000 deaths and public health officials do not see a decline in the near future. In August 2017, the Governor of Alabama established the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council.

Saving Ranchers Money

Glenn Shewmaker, professor at the University of Idaho, wants to help ranchers save money. According to Shewmaker, livestock producers who implement managed grazing practices could see increased carrying capacity of pastures, extended grazing seasons, and reduced winter feed costs.

Urban Agriculture Pays Off

New research from collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) and Google provides an assessment of the value of urban agriculture and the benefits it provides on a global scale

New Discovery, More Bees Mark Michigan's First, Full Bee Census

​The first complete bee census, led by Michigan State University scientists, confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier estimates.

NIFA Programs Support Soil Health

“The soil is the great connector of lives […]. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” -Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

Trees Could Become Auto Parts as Research Moves Into Next Phase

Trees could be turned into auto parts that are lighter, stronger, and more environmentally friendly than the ones on the road now, as research based at Clemson University moves into its next phase.

Collaborating to Increase Educational Opportunities

The University of Texas at El Paso recently led a collaborative network of four regional universities to introduce students to the agricultural sciences. BGREEN was supported through the NIFA's Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.

NIFA Grantee Gets the Golden Goose

What do mussels, soy, kitchen cabinets, and golden geese have in common? Just ask Oregon State University (OSU) wood chemist Kaichang Li. Since his days as an organic chemistry graduate student, Lee was interested in reducing the need for hazardous solvents. One day, Li was out crabbing at the beach, and noticed how mussels clung tightly to rough, unwashed surfaces. In 2001, Li received a NIFA grant to develop a soy-based wood glue that could mimic the marine adhesive proteins found in the tenacious mussels.

Budget-friendly Bioplastic

Bioplastics, which are made from vegetable fats, corn starch and other renewable sources, have great potential as sustainable packaging. Yet bioplastics are expensive to produce. New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Jiangnan University has revealed production methods that can improve its properties while overcoming obstacles to commercial manufacturing.