You are here

Sustainability Research

How to talk about climate change Grad student panel

Our Climate Futures: Meeting the Challenge in Duluth

In March 2019, UMD hosted a climate change summit on campus, showcasing faculty, staff, and students' work around climate change research, action, and outreach.

UMD is a recognized leader in research and has many research centers, institutes, and laboratories.  There are also many different funding programs and resources for students to get involved. Visit UMD Research for a complete listing of research programs, projects, and centers at UMD.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Projects

The University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers financial awards twice yearly to full-time undergraduates for research, scholarly, or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member. UMD undergraduate students can partner with faculty to find sustainable research projects. Examples of previous research projects around sustainability, and potential topics, can be found on our Student Projects page. 

Looking for ideas for a student research project or internship? Check out this list of potential student projects.


UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) focuses its research on industry growth and utilizing natural resources in the best ways possible. Projects include building hybrid homes with efficiency in mind, mattress recycling program feasibility, and thermally modified wood. For more information on these and other NRRI projects, check out the NRRI Now newsletter.

UMD Solar Research 

UMD’s solar panel arrays provide examples of sustainable energy systems for UMD students. Watch live solar output

UMD Small Wind Research Project

A group of faculty, staff, and students are studying a small, zero-contact transmission 8-kilowatt wind turbine in the center of the working UMD Farm along Riley Road.  

Visit for more information.

UMD Land Lab

The mission of the UMD Land Lab (a.k.a. Sustainable Agriculture Project [SAP] Farm) is to strengthen food security in the Western Lake Superior region by promoting teaching, research and public engagement related to sustainable food and agricultural systems for all the economic, health, and ecological benefits it brings.

The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Land Lab was founded in 2009 as a platform for addressing the interconnected social and ecological challenges and opportunities in the western Lake Superior region.

Large Lakes Observatory

Located on the UMD campus, the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) is the only institute in the country dedicated to the study of large lakes throughout the world. The LLO focuses on the global implications of our investigations in the areas of aquatic chemistry, circulation dynamics, geochemistry, acoustic remote sensing, plankton dynamics, sedimentology and paleoclimatology. 

UMD Sea Grant

Minnesota Sea Grant helps coastal communities wrestle with economic, social, and environmental issues by: Developing tools to help communities better understand and manage impacts of existing and potential future development on water and environmental quality, developing and evaluating approaches for balancing a sustainable economy with a healthy environment and communicating results to the public, and encouraging adoption of an integrated resource management approach to natural resources.

Find a University Expert

With more than 1,000 faculty and staff members, UMD harbors a wealth of information for journalists needing facts and professional perspectives. Professors, researcher’s and other university leaders contribute resources on topics that impact the world today. These faculty and staff members have agreed to speak at community and national events and answer questions in their area of expertise. Visit the UMD Expert page to search.