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Collaborative Success Stories: Educational Climate


A statewide project coordinated by the University of Missouri helps citizens learn how climate variability will impact agriculture and natural resources.

The university is part of a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The project, called “The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and Community,” capitalizes on Missouri’s core research strengths in the plant sciences. MU biologist John C. Walker leads the multi-institutional effort, which includes researchers from Donald Danforth Plant Sciences Center, the St. Louis Science Center and several other Missouri universities.

The Missouri Transect provides groundbreaking tools for improving crop climate resilience. Researchers investigate seasonal-range climate forecasts and study plant response to drought. Using modeling, high-resolution climate data and rapid analysis of biochemical and genetic information, they predict changes in climate and determine the impact on important plant ecosystems, as well as on the communities that rely on them.

The goal of the project is to improve the capacity of plants and crops to adapt to climate variability. The new knowledge about adaptation and resilience will also be translated into learning tools for stakeholders ranging from farmers to everyday citizens.

Dr. John C. Walker is Curators Professor and Director of the Division of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science and a member of MU’s Interdisciplinary Plant Group.

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Related Initiative(s):
Food for the Future, Sustainable Energy,