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2020-2022 Research Projects

The University of Minnesota Sea Grant College Program awarded funding to five research projects in response to our 2020-2022 biennial request for proposals. We also awarded one Program Development Grant in 2020. Support comes through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant Program and the University of Minnesota.

The 2020 Program Development Grant project is:

Monitoring the Presence of SARS-CoV2 Virus in Surface Waters Connected to Public Recreation Sites

The 2020-2022 Biennial Request for Proposals projects are:

Monitoring the Presence of SARS-CoV2 Virus in Surface Waters Connected to Public Recreation Sites

Project projected outcome

To monitor surface water near five Duluth beaches for the presence of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

Why do this

The project aims to provide the sound, scientific information that public officials, the tourism industry, and Minnesotans need to make informed decisions about water recreation activity.

Who is doing this

With Minnesota Sea Grant support, sampling of beaches began in the summer of 2020 as a cooperative effort among the University of Minnesota Medical School - Duluth, University of Minnesota Institute for Health Informatics, UMN School of Public Health, and Minnesota Department of Health.

Funding

This project is supported by a Minnesota Sea Grant 2020 Program Development Grant.


Soil Chemistry and Microbiome Transplant for Wild Rice Restoration

Project projected outcome

To determine whether wild rice restoration is hindered by a scarcity in microbial populations needed to free nutrients from sediment and make them available to wild rice.

Why do this

Wild rice is an important economic and cultural resource in the Great Lakes region whose abundance has declined in many locations. Soil-plant-microbe interactions should be considered as a part of holistic management strategies for successful wild rice restoration.


Microplastics in Lake Superior: An Investigation of Size, Composition, and Weathering.

Project projected outcome

To characterize the size and weathering of plastic particles in Lake Superior and the St. Louis Estuary.

Why do this

To address knowledge gaps regarding smaller-size microplastics, which are considered to be significantly more biologically active.


Lake Superior: Determining Future Potential Release of Mercury and Sulfur from Peatlands to the Lake Superior Basin.

Diagram showing that changing temperature, precipitation, and subsequent water table conditions alter the magnitude and direction of changes in sulfur and mercury release from peatlands to water

Project projected outcome

Understanding how changing temperature, precipitation, and subsequent water table conditions alter the magnitude and direction of changes in sulfur and mercury release from peatlands to water to better predict future total mercury and methyl mercury levels in the Lake Superior watershed.

Why do this

Mercury in the Lake Superior Basin is a serious problem that affects the health and economy of the people of Minnesota. Headwater wetlands and peatlands are significant sources of mercury to surface waters, where environmental changes will possibly increase the mobility of mercury directly or through increased cycling rates of carbon and sulfur.


Harmful Algal Blooms: Molecular Screening Tool to Rapidly Assess Toxic Cyanobacteria Blooms in Minnesota Lakes.

Project projected outcome

Develop rapid-assessment tools that can identify cyanobacterial harmful algae bloom (cHAB) growth and toxicity in Minnesota lakes.

Why do this

Cyanobacterial harmful algae blooms (cHABs) have been reported with increasing frequency in recent years and have now been documented in all five Great Lakes. Annual estimates of the economic costs associated with cHABs in the United States exceed $4 billion per year with single events in the Laurentian Great Lakes having estimated costs approaching $65-70 million.


Cryopreservation of Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) Embryos for Aquaculture.

Project projected outcome

Develop cryopreservation and laser-warming technology to demonstrate a survival rate over 3% for golden shiner (fish) embryos.

Why do this

Cryopreservation of fish embryos could improve the productivity of the Minnesota aquaculture industry by enabling farmers to produce a continuous supply of gametes year-round and reduce the cost of broodstock maintenance. For many species such as walleye, cryopreservation could also be an important strategy to ensure against the loss of these species due unexpected disease, reproductive failures, or invasive species. Cryopreservation of fish embryos could also enable preservation of genetic lines for research.


See Also


This page last modified on July 08, 2020     © 1996 – 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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