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Water and Land Stewardship

icon-waterNatural resources — fresh water, clean air, forests, grasslands, and marine assets — provide not only sustenance for humans and wildlife, but also a foundation for social and economic development.

Degradation and loss of natural assets is a major threat to 85% of all species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. What’s more, the impact of chemical pollution is creating a chain reaction that’s causing debilitating mutations to fish and animals while imposing unsafe levels of toxins to the human food supply.

To help halt this dramatic situation, iSEE is serving as a unified source for new insight into water and land stewardship:

  • Land use change
  • Freshwater resources and purity
  • Conservation and biodiversity
  • Land and resource tenure
  • Health


Funded Projects

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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Sanitation Technology


iSEE seed-funded project in Spring 2019 was awarded $1M from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in July 2019.

Led by Civil & Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Jeremy Guest the team will evaluate the economic and environmental impact of sanitation systems under development and to prioritize research to increase global access to sanitation.

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Multi-Paddock Grazing Management


The Arizona State University Foundation awarded more than $1 million to this University of Illinois team in 2018.

Led by iSEE Visiting Research Scientist Nuria Gomez-Casanovas, the project will investigate how emerging adaptive multi-paddock grazing management (AMP) that has the potential to increase soil carbon sequestration compared to the ‘business as usual’ continuous grazing (CG) affects the delivery of regulating services — greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation and water use efficiency (WUE) — from grazed pastures used for livestock production.

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Stormwater and Mosquito Control


Awarded $350,000 in July 2015.

Led by Entomology Associate Professor Brian Allan, the team’s goal is to offer solutions, technology, and modeling for stormwater management in hopes of controlling mosquito populations and resulting diseases.

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iSEE-affiliated Research Center

Former iSEE-funded Projects

Smart Water Disinfection: Targeting Viruses


Awarded $400,000 in June 2014.

Led by Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Benito Mariñas, the project worked to overcome safe water challenges in emerging populations as well as those looming in the developed world. 

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Oil Pollution Treatment: Nano-CarboScavengers


Awarded $170,000 in July 2015.

Led by Bioengineering Associate Professor Dipanjan Pan, the team continued developing and optimizing a Nano-CarboScavenger (NCS), a particle designed to attract oil for easy removal from water.

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Water at Illinois

Illinois is home to many experts who research the myriad of issues surrounding water. Explore Illinois’ area of expertise; labs, facilities, and centers; and find individual experts at the Water at Illinois website.