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A project that involved Missouri S&T students in civil, architectural and environmental engineering (CArEE) has been selected for a Director’s Choice Award by the United States Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and CArEE chair, is a partner in the project. Ph.D. student Paul Manley has worked as a researcher on the project, which also involves several other graduate and undergraduate students at S&T.
The research project focuses on ecological restoration in the Great Lakes Basin, the largest surface freshwater ecosystem in the world. Years of contaminant runoff or underground leakage from landfills and septic sites have contributed to pollution in the basin. By planting trees, specifically poplars, to clean soil, sludge, sediment or groundwater in a process called phytoremediation, the researchers have developed the world’s largest phytotechnologies field-testing network.