Energy and the Environment

Energy and Environment research focuses on the generation, storage and efficient utilization of energy and natural resources and the assessment of the interaction between the environment and energy technologies in order to establish clean and renewable energy. Research on the interaction between renewable energy technologies and the environment (natural resources) is essential to understanding and establishing sustainability. This research embodies the interrelation between atmospheric and environmental conditions and the production and utilization of clean, renewable energy. Research on improved solar, wind, and bio-energy, and the interaction of these technologies with water resources, weather, and climate, defines this focus. Two themes are associated with this strategic research area: Efficient & Clean Energy Systems and Sustainable Environmental Systems.

Energy and Environment ResearchEnergy and the Environment: Research Themes

Efficient & Clean Energy Systems

Research associated with this theme will explore current and new technologies to improve the efficiency of various emphasized energy systems, while minimizing the potential environmentally-disruptive side effects of these technologies. This theme includes four areas of emphasis:

  • Fossil Fuels & Geothermal Energy
  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Biofuels

Sustainable Environmental Systems

Sustainability is an integral part of South Dakota Mines' future research in energy and the environment, providing a critical linkage between the use of renewable energies, climate change, and the preservation and supply of natural resources. Ecosystems comprise biotic and abiotic components that interact constantly to sustain the balanced surrounding environments.

Research is needed to better understand each ecosystem’s components, functions, and processes for sustainability, evolution, restoration, and conservation, as it interfaces with renewable energy production and its socio-economic impacts. This theme includes five emphasis areas:

  • Water
  • Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Biology
  • Human Social and Economic Systems
  • Past Environment, Life and Ecosystems

Associated Laboratories and Centers

Martin Paleontology Research Laboratory