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University of Minnesota Extension

Natural resources

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Minnesota's natural beauty is even more impressive when you understand the science behind it. Extension helps Minnesotans explore, understand and conserve their environment. We teach landowners how to be stewards of their woodland or lakeshore property. And adults can join our volunteer and citizen science programs, learn how to detect and remove invasive species, and get their families more involved with nature.

Citizen science

What is citizen science?

Everyone, everywhere, can be a scientist by observing and gathering data about the world around them.

Teach citizen science

The Driven to Discover program provides educators the tools and resources needed to help engage kids in the natural world using citizen science.

Scout for bees

Bee Atlas is a citizen science volunteer program working to create a state-wide list of native bees found in Minnesota.

Track deer damage in woods

Assessing Vegetation Impacts from Deer (AVID) volunteers collect data to monitor the impacts of deer on vegetation in Minnesota woodlands.

Become a Master Naturalist volunteer

Any adult who is curious and enjoys learning about the natural world can become a Master Naturalist.

Climate and weather

Minnesota WeatherTalk

A weekly blog of Minnesota climate and weather observations.

Understanding Earth's climate

This video series discusses weather and climate, global climate change disparities, regional climate changes, and impacts of extremes.

Minnesota State Climatology Office

Gathers, manages and disseminate historical climate data in order to address questions involving the impact of climate on Minnesota and its citizens.



Learn how combining agricultural and forestry practices can improve environmental quality, productivity, and economic returns.


Timely, reliable information about woodland care and management tailored for Minnesota's family forest owners.

Learn to care for your woodlands

The Master Woodland Owner program teaches private woodland owners how to become better stewards of their woods.

Tree selection and care

Guidance from Extension experts on choosing, growing, and tending to your yard and woodland trees.

Invasive species

Detect aquatic invasives

AIS Detectors and Trackers are statewide volunteer invasive species surveillance programs that target high-risk areas with trained observers.

Scout for forest pests

Forest Pest First Detector volunteers detect and diagnose early infestations of invasive plants, insects and other pests.

Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

Bringing together a wide variety of researchers, managers, and stakeholders to identify research priorities, conduct research, and implement solutions.

Track emerald ash borer

Wasp Watchers is a citizen science project that monitors a native, stingless wasp in order to detect its prey: the invasive emerald ash borer.

Identify non-native species

Citizens can help with early detection of invasive species.

Water resources

For shoreland property owners

Preventing erosion, maintaining septic systems, preserving natural landscapes

Stormwater and erosion

Minimizing effects of stormwater from urban to natural areas


Understanding watersheds, information for professionals

For professionals

Programs for elected officials, community leaders, citizens, natural resource professionals

Water wisely

Water conservation; watering lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs

Minnegram newsletter

The Water Resources Center’s quarterly newsletter focuses on water-related issues.

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