Research and Impacts

As a land-grant university, the U of M is committed to conducting research to improve Minnesota’s agricultural and forest products, horticulture, human nutrition, family and community, and environmental quality.

MAES’s multidisciplinary research explores the ecological, economic, and environmental interactions between the agriculture that feeds the world, the environment that sustains the earth, and the human interactions that support our society.

Food and Agriculture

Advancement of agricultural research was the initial call-to-action when the Hatch Act was implemented in 1887. Today, researchers continue to search for key solutions to provide safe, healthy, and economically and environmentally sustainable food sources for a growing population.


Research is at the heart of advancing horticulture understanding to develop new varieties and opportunities for future generations. Our researchers work on projects involving horticultural plants, fruits, vegetables, and flowers with the aim of expanding Minnesota’s horticulture industry.

Environment and Sustainability

As environmental concerns continue to create new challenges, University researchers are committed to finding solutions for everything from forest conservation to developing sustainable cropping systems to discovering alternative and renewable energy sources.

Social and Animal Welfare

As society has moved away from the rural areas and into cities, U of M researchers have been ideally placed to explore the societal, economic, and personal impacts. From affordable urban housing to food safety and animal health concerns, researchers are exploring today’s important welfare issues and discovering solutions.

MAES supported research related to community vitality and public finance includes projects focused on the impact of publicly supported programs and built environments. A particular focus is placed on assisting rural communities in Minnesota, and internationally, be more prosperous and stable.

Abimbola Asojo, Denise Guerin, Carin Martin and their team have developed a self-administered and internet-based questionnaire that provides a quantitative analysis of occupants' satisfaction with their surroundings called the sustainable post-occupancy evaluation survey (SPOES), 

MAES supported research related to building healthy, strong families continued to focus on underserved populations and how new technologies are changing family dynamics and parenting. Some specific projects also address how finances can positively and negatively affect family dynamics. Here we provide an overview of research highlights from fiscal year 2018. 

Susan Walker and her team developed the Parentopia platform collaboratively with staff and parents. The closed technology platform provides parents with additional secure and private ways to connect with other parents and staff outside of class hours.