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Climate Solutions

icon-solarFrom changes in precipitation and storm activity to increases in ocean temperatures and sea levels, the indicators of climate change are all around us — with dramatic impacts on human health, our ecosystems, and society.

While the effects are serious in the U.S., the impacts pose even greater risks for agriculture, food and water supplies in developing nations — projected to experience the largest percentage of the world’s growth from now until 2100. These threats could quickly erase recent gains in the fight against poverty, hunger and disease.

That’s why iSEE is taking a comprehensive approach with research and programs to address various aspects of climate solutions:

    • Risk
    • Mitigation and adaptation
    • Human health
    • Social vulnerability, conflict and democracy
    • Ecological integrity


Funded Projects

Smart Farms


The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $3.3 million, and later another $4.5 M, for this project in 2020.

Led by Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Kaiyu Guan, the team will establish the Midwest Bioenergy Crop Landscape Laboratory (MBC-Lab) to precisely measure greenhouse gas emissions. The research will enable new technology for managing bioenergy crops, improving yield, reducing overfertilization, and designing new tools for “smart farms.” 

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DAWN Project


Starting in 2020, Illinois researchers will receive a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Agriculture subaward from lead institution University of Maryland.

U of I faculty Ximing Cai, Madhu Khanna, Stephen P. Long and Reid Christianson will help identify innovative ways of increasing land, nutrient, and water use efficiency to maximize maize, soy, and bioenergy crop production in the U.S. Corn Belt.

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Crops in silico: Computer Modeling — from Molecule to Ecosystem


Awarded $350,000 in July 2015.

Led by Crop Sciences and Plant Biology Professor Stephen Long and Plant Biology Assistant Professor Amy Marshall-Colón, the team will research how to accurately predict and model plant response to climate change — from the molecular to the ecosystem level.

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Former iSEE-funded Project

Cooking with the Sun: Stored Solar Stove


Awarded $140,00 in June 2014.

Led by Agricultural and Biological Engineering Emeritus Professor Bruce Elliott-Litchfield, researchers developed and field-tested prototype cooking systems that use stored solar energy.

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Former iSEE-affiliated Research Center


Global Climate Change at Illinois

Illinois is home to many experts who research the myriad of issues surrounding global climate change. Explore Illinois’ area of expertise; labs, facilities, and centers; and find individual experts at the Global Climate Change at Illinois website.

More on Ecosystems

When examining sustainability and climate change, we also need to look holistically at ecosystems and the services they provide. We need to ensure that we do not adversely affect part of the ecosystem while trying to find solutions in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Illinois has many passionate researchers investigating ecosystems and their services.

Check out these links:

Department of Plant Biology

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

School of Integrative Biology

Illinois Natural History Survey

School of Earth, Society, and Environment

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology