Long-term data reveals how no-till agriculture increases crop yields and environmental gains over the long haul

Despite the environmental benefits of no-till agriculture, farmers often hesitate to change to this management approach due to uncertain economic returns. Pictured above are soybeans emerging through no-till corn residue on the KBS LTER site. Photo Credit: G.P. Robertson, MSU KBS Sarah Cusser, postdoctoral research associate at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS), and MSU terrestrial ecologist Nick Haddad, director of the Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) and professor in the Department of Integrative Biology,

Improving the sustainability of agricultural systems through educational research: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

Graduate researcher, Craig Kohn, is a dual-Ph.D. candidate with Dr. Andy Anderson in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education Department and with the Environmental Science & Policy Program at Michigan State University (MSU). Craig Kohn is a graduate researcher at MSU, working in both environmental science and educational research. One of the key objectives of K-12 schooling in the United States is to prepare students to make more informed decisions in their personal and professional lives. This is particularly relevant for classroom science instruction. In fact, the

Using prairie strips to understand the value of diversifying agricultural landscapes: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

MSU graduate researcher, Lindsey Kemmerling, is a PhD student in Dr. Nick Haddad's lab at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station. Society today faces three immense ecological challenges: preventing the loss of biodiversity, adapting to climate change, and sustainably supporting a growing population. Humans have caused a global biodiversity crisis, with new studies continuing to reveal stunning rates of biodiversity decline across the entire tree of life. Simultaneously, we are presented with the challenge of sustainably and equitably supporting a growing human

Learning the importance of interdisciplinary work: Reflections from an undergraduate researcher

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) LTER 2019 undergraduate summer researcher, Ashlyn Royce. She wrote about her KBS LTER Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project working with the Marquart-Pyatt Lab. Ashlyn presenting at Mid-Sure, East Lansing, Michigan, July 24, 2019. The summer of 2019 I was selected to work with Dr. Sandy Marquart-Pyatt and her research team through the Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, specifically working with the KBS Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Panel Farmer

A Peek at Life Under a Wheat Field: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

MSU graduate researcher, Allison Zahorec, is a PhD student in Dr. Doug Landis’s lab in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University. Allison Zahorec holding a core of soil taken out of a wheat field at the LTER. Photo by Kurt Stepnitz. When one envisions a typical midwestern farm, ‘biodiversity’ is hardly the first thing that comes to mind. Compared to more natural landscapes, agricultural lands can seem like ecological dead zones. Yet even the most intensively managed corn monocultures are teeming with life belowground. A few teaspoons of soil can contain over a billion

Global change is triggering an identity switch in grasslands

Konza Prairie Biological Station in northeastern Kansas. Humans and animals alike depend on grasslands for survival. In addition to providing land for cattle and sheep to graze, grasslands can also store up to 30 percent of the world's carbon. Photo by Kim Komatsu, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Grasslands make up more than 40% of the world's ice-free land and have sustained humanity and thousands of other species for eons. In addition to providing food for cattle and sheep, grasslands are home to animals found nowhere else in the wild, such as the bison of North America's

Learning to step out of my comfort zone at KBS

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) 2018 undergraduate summer researcher, Selassie Lijelu, is a Forensic Chemistry major at the University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne. She wrote about herKBS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project working with the Haddad Lab. The summer of 2018, I was selected to participate in the Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. When I accepted the offer, I was extremely nervous and had no idea what the next eleven weeks in Hickory Corners, Michigan would consist of. I was

Poco a poco: The little nopalito in a cornfield

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) 2018 undergraduate summer researcher, Nicholas Vega Anguiano, is an undergraduate student at Humboldt State University. He wrote about his KBS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project working with Kate Glanville in the Robertson Lab. Anticipation and nervousness of my impending interview with a W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) graduate student, Kate Glanville, sent my body into a state of nerves. Throat tight, palms sweaty, and a million doubts running through my mind. Seven minutes until we were scheduled to meet, via a

My time as an REU: learning the research process

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) 2018 undergraduate summer researcher, Audrey Hogenkamp, an Applied mathematics and biology dual major at Augustana College. She wrote about her KBS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project working with the Evans Lab. There are pages and pages that I could write about everything that I learned during my summer at W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). Each individual that I encountered had such an incredible passion for their work that I felt like I was constantly inundated with new knowledge—from dinner table conversations with my friends

Microbial Communities in Long Term Research: Reflections from a Field Season at KBS

Reid Longley is a PhD candidate in the MSU Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics. He is a member of the Bonito Lab. Reid wrote about his research at the KBS LTER, funded by a 2018 Summer Fellowships for Long-term Ecological Research.                   Performing my field research at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) this summer was the first time I had ever been exposed to work in agriculture. Before coming to Michigan State for my PhD studies, I had not thought much about the amount of science that goes into