North Central Regional Climate Activities and Directory
North Central Regional Climate Activities and Directory



Mae Davenport

Associate Professor

Department of Forest Resources

University of Minnesota

301F Green Hall



Mae Davenport investigates the social and cultural impacts of climate change and the capacity of communities to adapt to a changing climate. 


In a transdisciplinary research and outreach project (see, funded by Minnesota Sea Grant, Davenport and colleagues, examined coastal community climate readiness on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northeastern Minnesota. The driving research questions were "how will climate change affect recreation and tourism systems on the North Shore" and "How can communities build climate readiness?" A team of social scientists, hydrologists, climate modelers and natural resource economists explored climate exposure, visitor and economic sensitivity, and local adaptive capacity to reduce uncertainty and build community readiness.


Historic weather and park visitation data and down-scaled climate projections were used to model the impacts of climate and weather on visitors. In particular, we learned that increased heat waves, fire risk, and rain events will reduce visitation, while warmer temperatures and dry weather will increase summer visitation. Decreased ice thickness and snow pack will reduce winter visitation, but decreased wind chills will increase visitation. Climate adaptation appears to have strong support among visitors and several local leaders, including business owners, natural resource managers, and tourism professionals. Through collaborative outreach and dialogue with local leaders, the project identified and prioritized several climate preparedness actions.


Tracy Twine

Associate Professor
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
439 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St Paul MN 55108


I study how human land use and climate change affect the structure and functioning of natural and managed ecosystems. I have used numerical models to examine how increases in carbon dioxide might interact with climate variability to affect soybean and corn yield across the US Midwest, and how these crops might change how they use water. I have also been evaluating different scenarios of planting crops and grasses for bioenergy and their effects on energy, water, and carbon budgets. In addition to agroecosystems, I am interested in how urban areas affect their surroundings and have been leading a study to measure the Twin Cities urban heat island through use of a dense network of temperaturesensors.


Peter Reich

Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Department of Forest Resources
Office: 220f Green Hall
Phone: (612) 624-4270
Fax: (612) 625-5212


Reich is involved in climate change research involving North American forests and grasslands via two long-term open-air climate warming experiments in southern boreal forest and tall grass prairie respectively.  He is also involved in research examining climate-related temporal and spatial trends in forests and grasslands for clues as to how such systems will respond to future climate change. Dr. Reich also leads an earth system modeling research team attempting to increase the biological realism of land surface models to improve the accuracy of their predictions under novel future climate conditions.


Dylan Millet

Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry

Fellow, Institute on the Environment

Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

439 Borlaug Hall

University of Minnesota

Phone: 612-626-3259


My research aims to better understand the chemical composition of the atmosphere, how it’s affected by humans and by natural processes, and the implications for climate, pollution, and health. We employ a variety of tools in this effort, including field measurements, atmospheric modeling, and satellite remote sensing. Areas of emphasis include biosphere-atmosphere interactions, the sources and fate of atmospheric organic compounds, and the coupling between human activity and natural processes in driving atmospheric chemistry.


Susan Galatowitsch

Professor and Head, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Co-Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

135 Skok Hall

2003 Upper Buford Circle

St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: 612-624-3242


My research focuses on developing climate adaptation strategies for site-based conservation. My team uses model-based scenario planning to assess management options for climate-sensitive species in grassland and wetland reserves.  We also study ways to make wetland and grassland restoration more effective and efficient, thereby contributing to regional resilience and climate change adaptation aimed at sustaining biodiversity.



Mark Seeley

Research and Extension

Extension Weather and Climate Education Program – videos, lecture content, information resources and current situation updates:


Minnesota Climatology Working Group provides data access, analysis and updates, as well as tools to tailor climate summaries to specific user needs:


Robert Koch

Extension Entomologist
219 Hodson Hall
1980 Folwell Avenue
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN 55108

soybean pest management


Matthew Russell

Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist

University of Minnesota

Department of Forest Resources

220E Green Hall



Dead wood is critical to nutrient cycling, carbon dynamics, tree regeneration, wildlife habitat, and wildfire behavior in forests. Recent research conducted by the University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources and USDA Forest Service is one of the first large-scale studies of downed dead wood decay rates. Findings show that the residence time of dead wood is dependent on its size, species, and climate in which it resides. A changing climate can speed up the process of decomposition by as much as 13%, leaving forest managers the task of strategically planning for dead wood in the future. 


Article from Northern Woodlands magazine:


Research article:






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