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Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Environmental Quality Group

K-State researchers are leading research and development into issues central to environmental sustainability. Extramural funding allows researchers in BAE to collaborate with other scientists to address critical issues in air quality, climate change, military training lands sustainability, urban green design and watershed restoration.

  • Air Quality – Large beef cattle feedlots in the Great Plains are faced with air quality challenges, including emissions of particulate matter, ammonia, odor, volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gases. The K-State air quality team has been conducting field, laboratory and numerical research on air emissions from large cattle feedlots in Kansas to develop science-based information on air emission and cost-effective abatement measures for mitigating those emissions.
  • Water Sustainability and Climate Change – Hydrologic factors are major drivers of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem response to climate change. K-State researchers developed a tool to temporally downscale global climate model projections while incorporating site-specific climate variability. Future work will refine statistical procedures and test impacts on critical ecosystem goods and services.
  • Military Training Lands Sustainability – The Department of Defense faces the difficult challenge of managing ranges and training lands to meet mission requirements while ensuring their sustainable use for the operational demands of the future. Research focuses on data collection analysis methods, visualization tools and data delivery mechanisms for assessing training land condition and trends, and providing timely and meaningful information to guide decisions at the military installations.
  • The Urban Water Institute, established at K-State Olathe in 2011, brings BAE faculty together with over 30 other water experts from across K-State to meet the challenge of providing a secure water future for communities in Kansas and beyond.  Through research and development, education and training, outreach and service, BAE faculty and the Institute promote water treatment technologies, management approaches and public policies that support sustainable water use in urban and urbanizing communities.
  • Watershed Restoration – K-State researchers are developing modeling tools to facilitate water resource restoration and management. Data are used to test methods that simulate where ephemeral gullies (critical source of stream sediments) form and how much soil is eroded for a given set of storm, site, soil and surface conditions.