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CBS at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair

Come see us at the Fair each day from August 26 through September 4. Here's the lineup of CBS participants who will be in the University of Minnesota Building at the intersection of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street.

Seeking Faculty for CBS Dean's Undergrad Research Opportunities Program


In response to the overwhelming interest in our CBS Dean’s Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities program, the College plans to offer additional opportunities for both fall 2021 and spring 2022. The CBS Dean’s Office will be providing funds for approximately 20 students per semester to conduct research in faculty labs. Students selected to participate in this program will be paid $15 per hour for up to 20 hours per week for up to 14 weeks each semester. We will be prioritizing CBS students who are rising seniors and have not had a previous research experience.

A Q&A With Laurie Parker

The College’s new associate dean for undergraduate education shares her thoughts on opportunities to enhance the student experience, how to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and more.

Laurie Parker

Checking in With Dean Forbes -- Summer 2021

Even as we enjoy the long days of summer, fall and a return to campus feel like they are just around the corner. While things won’t be exactly as they were and flexible work will allow greater latitude in how and where we do our jobs, the prospect of connecting in person with students and colleagues is certainly something to look forward to. In the meantime, I have a few updates to share with you.

Breaking the Ice by Plunging Into a Puddle

How I learned to embrace embarrassment in science

Flies buzzed around my sweaty face as I pushed a patch of especially tall grassy sedges out of my way. It was a hot summer day and I stood in the middle of a wetland on Leech Lake in a long-sleeved shirt and chest-high waders. Thick clumps of roots and deceptively deep puddles added extra effort to every step. After an hour in the meadow, I was tired like I’d run miles.

I was having a great time. Sort of.

Luciferin, the lights behind science and food security

Using fungi bioluminescence in plants could increase crop pollination for food production.

On dark, starless, summer nights, sometimes we get surprised by steady lights emitted by click beetles or flashing lights from fireflies. Have you ever wondered why those lights liven up the sky? The lights are used to communicate, attract prey, defend, and mate. Maybe similar lights can be designed for plants to talk to insects to increase natural insect pollination rates of crops for food production. 

The flies are alright

Taking care of insects in the pursuit of science

It’s always warm in the fly room. The frequent clicking and spraying of the humidifier makes the air warm and thick, imbued with the unmistakable sticky smell of fly food. For those of us working here, it is an escape from the blustering Minnesota winter even if we have to shed all those layers to get comfortable.  Comfort is essential because you need to be on your toes when taking care of so many lives. 

Layered lakes fuel microbial hotspots

Some lakes in the area resemble the iron-rich and stratified ancient oceans, attracting attention from researchers who want to know why.


It should come as no surprise that plentiful lakes draw many researchers to the Itasca region. The fact that some are drawn to lakes because they resemble iron-rich oceans of a bygone era might come as a surprise.