The purpose of this video series highlights environmental research at MSU and drives home the fact that many of the environmental issues we hear about on a regional or even global scale hit home right here in East Lansing, Mich. We interviewed graduate students and faculty with expertise in the topics.

We will explore the emerald ash borer, tree bark fissures, green roofs, engine idling impacts and many more topics in the series.

We hope you enjoy the series, share it with others and we welcome your comments. The series was conducted by former ESPP news writer Andy McGlashen and assistant web editor Andy Balaskovitz.


Emerald ash borer

Forestry doctoral student Sara Tanis talks about her part of the research at MSU's Tree Research Center and takes us on a tour of Grand River Ave. in downtown East Lansing, Mich., where EAB is evident. The video includes a brief history of the beetle and ways we can prevent its spread.

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Engine idling research

ESPP chatted with doctoral student Rich Grogan (Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies and ESPP), who is studying excessive car engine idling, a practice with potentially serious environmental, economic and health effects.

Prepare to have common engine idling myths debunked.

"If you're going to have your car running for more than 10 seconds, if you turn it off and then turn it back on, you're saving gas," Grogan says in the video.

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MSU's green roof guru

Mention green roofs around the MSU community and chances are Brad Rowe's name will come up.

Rowe (Horticulture) has been studying green roofs ever since Ford Motor Co. asked MSU to help install a 10-acre green roof at the River Rouge plant in 2003.

Since then, Rowe has been researching what plants work best on rooftops in different regions, managing water stress levels and reductions in storm water runoff. Results have been promising.

Rowe draws inspiration from European countries, where modern green roofs have been commonplace for more than 50 years.

His latest project at MSU looks at the viability of growing vegetable gardens on rooftops – a practice most effective in urban areas.

"Why not grow [vegetables] on the roof?" Rowe asks in the video. "It's wasted space."

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Quantifying tree bark fissures

Professor David MacFarlane (forestry) explains his research quantifying tree fissures - or bark. It is a new way for understanding forest ecosystems, he says, and could change the way scientists measure forest strength.

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Grow Zones: Rehabbing the Red Cedar River

Ruth Kline-Robach (MSU Institute of Water Research) and Steve Frank (MSU Landscape Services) talk vegetative buffer zones, aimed at protecting the Red Cedar River from non-point source pollutants and heavy storm runoff. They talk about MSU's unique location on the river, what exactly grow zones are and why there are important.

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