University Designated Centers and Institutes

Environment & Energy Research Centers & Institutes

Biodiversity Institute
Biodiversity Institute researchers study the life of the planet, including animals, plants, ecosystems and past cultures, to better understand biodiversity patterns and processes and to predict environmental phenomena, such as the status of threatened and endangered species, the spread of animal-borne diseases and pest species, and the effects of climate change on global biodiversity.
Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC)
The CEBC performs plant-scale simulations of targeted processes verses commercial benchmarks. Performing such assessments early in the development process allows researchers a chance to identify hot spots and design new technologies with minimal ecological harm.
Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)
CReSIS develops and tests state-of-the-art radar technology to measure and predict the response of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to climate warming.
Kansas Biological Survey
The Kansas Biological Survey conducts environmental research and provides services that focus on holistic environmental analyses, fundamental community and ecosystem ecology, conservation and rehabilitation of ecosystems, and remote sensing/GIS sciences. It manages the 3,400-acre University of Kansas Field Station.
Kansas Geological Survey (KGS)
The KGS has available oil and gas well records and production data for Kansas and loans rock samples from wells. KGS researchers are studying the use of carbon dioxide (captured from industrial sources) in enhanced oil recovery operations and also the feasibility of sequestering the CO2 deep underground.

KU Research Centers & Institutes Making an Impact

fish sample

Digitized Biological Collections

Web access to information about the more than 9 million specimens in the Biodiversity Institute’s collections.

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Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum engages the public with innovative education programs and exhibits that promote the discovery, understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Annually, more than 50,000 people visit the museum or attend an event.

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renewable chemicals industry growth

Reducing Costs and CO2 Emissions

A one-step spray process for terephthalic acid, a key ingredient in polyester, was developed at the CEBC.  By cutting the steps in half, operating costs and initial equipment costs shrink.  Also, the new process produces fewer air pollutants, fewer acid rain producers, and fewer greenhouse gases. 

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Biomass into High Value Chemicals

Biomass to High-Value Chemicals

The CEBC is helping Kansas chart a course to the renewable chemicals industry by developing novel technologies to convert grasses, crops and after-harvest leftovers into various chemicals used to make plastics and synthetic fibers.  

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mixed ethylene feedstock chemical production

Greener Manufacturing of Chemicals

The novel low-temperature ethylene epoxidation process, discovered at the CEBC, eliminates burning of feed/product and maximizes substrate utilization toward the desired product.

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CRESIS radar

Mapping Bedrock Beneath Glaciers

Radars developed at CReSIS are able to clearly image bedrock topography, which is often located under miles of snow and ice. These images are used in models to determine the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level rise.

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CRESIS radar topography mapping

Predicting Glacier Melting

Data from CReSIS airborne missions using radar technology is being used to predict Antarctic melting.  Maps collected from the missions help researchers understand how glaciers move, change and melt.

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Kansas Lakes

Online Lakes Portal

Biological Survey scientists have studied Kansas reservoir health for more than a decade. The Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs Data Repository Portal provides users with current and historical data about Kansas lakes and reservoirs. 

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Kansas Environment Maps

Interactive Environmental Maps

Maps developed by the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing program provide information needed by both conservationists and industry in decision-making, policy formulation and planning.

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Field station work

KU Field Station

With diverse habitats protected in perpetuity, the Field Station can support vital long-term environmental research. Its proximity to campus provides easy access for researchers and for a wide range of academic courses.

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Kansas Oil and Gas well data

Oil & Gas Data and Research

KGS researchers are studying the use of carbon dioxide from industrial sources in oil recovery and the prospect of storing CO2 underground. The KGS houses oil and gas records, production data, and rock samples from wells.

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Kansas Water Research

Ogallala/High Plains Aquifer Data

KGS water researchers study and provide information on the complexity and productivity of the Ogallala/High Plains aquifer, the primary source of water for municipalities, irrigation, and industries in western Kansas.​

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Monitoring Earthquakes

Monitoring Earthquakes

The KGS monitors earthquakes using a multi-station seismic network, particularly in south-central Kansas where researchers are investigating the relationship between earthquake activity and wastewater disposal during oil and gas production.​

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Kansas Field Trips

Kansas Natural-Resource Issues

State decision-makers are kept up to date on natural-resource issues through non-technical KGS publications, presentations, and an annual field conference that takes legislators and other decision-makers to a different region of Kansas each year.

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