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Conservation project tracks behavior, migration of Chicago's endangered heron

Among the snowbirds returning north for the summer, A24 is special. For one thing, A24 is an actual bird: a Black-crowned night heron, to be exact. And it has just returned to Chicago to join hundreds of its kind nesting near Lake Michigan. But unlike the human snowbirds that share A24’s migratory habits, this bird is helping to inform conservation efforts in the city and far beyond. 

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University of Illinois takes first in team judging at national soil judging competition

This April, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students were among 25 teams participating in the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest hosted by Iowa State University near Ames, Iowa. The Illinois team earned first place in the team-judging category and 13th in the competition overall.

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ACES research team helps Illinois Conservation Police prevent spread of aquatic invasive species

A group of 150 Illinois Conservation Police Officers (CPO) gathered in Decatur for a hands-on workshop on aquatic invasive species (AIS) during their annual meeting this spring.

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ACES bird migration expert recognized with Biota Award

Today, the Walder Foundation of Chicago announced the recipients of its 2024 Biota Awards, recognizing early-career researchers working to understand, protect, and restore the unique and diverse ecosystems in Chicago and around the world.

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Agricultural management practices evaluated in new nitrous oxide accounting method

As greenhouse gases go, nitrous oxide (N2O) is a doozy. With a global warming potential 273 times that of carbon dioxide, mitigating N2O could make a big difference. But before mitigation can happen, it’s important to understand where the compound is coming from. 

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Floral design classes inspired ACES alum to start high-end event design boutique

As a college student, Rachel Wyffels made a serendipitous class choice that sparked a passion and shaped her career path.

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ACES scientists improve understanding of canopy-level photosynthesis

In recent years, the scientific community has increasingly turned its attention to sustainable agriculture, aiming to maximize crop yield while minimizing environmental impact. A crucial aspect of this research involves understanding the fundamental processes of plant photosynthesis and how they can be monitored at scale. One promising method for assessing photosynthetic activity is through the measurement of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, a byproduct of photosynthesis that can be detected from ground-based sensors as well as from satellites in space.

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Illinois study: Backyards, urban parks support bird diversity in unique ways

Researchers from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences tracked bird diversity in public parks and private backyards in twin cities in Illinois with significantly different development histories and green space management practices. They found that birds rely on both public and private spaces in different seasons and for different reasons. The study linked park management practices aimed at conservation and restoration to increased bird diversity and the persistence of rarer species. 

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Through a new NASA grant, interdisciplinary team to measure nitrogen released from agricultural sources

As researchers continue to understand the effects agriculture plays in climate and environment, a new research project was recently funded by the NASA Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science (IDS) program, which includes experienced researchers from four institutions.

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