KU-Land Institute Initiative

The Environmental Studies Program recently founded the KU-Land Institute Initiative, a partnership with the Land Institute of Salina, Kansas. The initiative is designed to increase interdisciplinary research and training across the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities at KU regarding the development of agriculture involving perennial polycultures.

The Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies hosted the initiative’s first international visitors, Professors Valentin Picasso and Pablo Speranza, from Uruguay’s Universidade de la República, in March 2013 to discuss joint research and exchange opportunities. A lunch with Marsha Haufler, Associate Dean of International and Interdisciplinary Studies, Susan Groenbeck-Tedesco, Vice Provost of International Programs, Tim Crews, Director of Research at the Land Institute, Chris Brown, Jorge Soberón, and Jill Kuhnheim was followed by a meeting at The Commons with researchers from a wide range of fields to discuss specific areas of research related to perennial polycultures and sustainable agriculture. Participating researchers from KU included: 

Kelly Kindscher, Kansas Biological Survey and Environmental Studies
Sara Gregg, History
Joy Ward, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Dave Mechem, Geography and Atmospheric Sciences
Nate Brunsell, Geography and Atmospheric Sciences
Dan Hirmas, Geography
Benjamin Gray, Anthropology
John Head, School of Law
Dave Fowle, Geology and Associate Director of Environmental Studies
Johan Feddema, Chair of Geography
Paul Stock, Sociology and Environmental Studies
J. Christopher Brown, Geography, and Director, Environmental Studies
Tim Crews, Director of Research, The Land Institute
Jorge Soberón, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Biodiversity Institute
Town Peterson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Biodiversity Institute

Nate Brunsell and Chris Brown will be paying a return visit to our Uruguay partners in August to establish further connections, exchanges, and specific research projects.


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