Environment

At the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, my reporting has focused largely on the intersection of climate change and agribusiness. At The News-Gazette, I also covered a few significant environmental stories.

Foreign investment in U.S. farmland on the rise

Over the past decade, foreign companies have been investing in agricultural land in the United States at a record pace, according to a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of USDA data. While the database has errors and often has incomplete information, it still is a strong indicator of the quantity of land being sold to foreign interests. Congressional concerns over foreign investment has led to proposed legislation to better track the investment.

“Uncharted waters:” Illinois water use issues exacerbated by irrigation, lack of water supply planning

In a five-part “Uncharted Waters” series, The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting took a look at what’s behind the recent spike in irrigation in Illinois, the lack of regulations around groundwater and stalled water supply planning efforts and the impact this will have on Illinois in the future

Climate change guide to Trump Cabinet nominations

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting created a guide to the process focused on five departments that have the most to do with climate change — the Departments of the Interior, State, Energy and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. On this project, I dove into the history of the nominees and updated the guide throughout the process.

Ethanol spills on the rise in the Midwest

An investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that as production and transportation of ethanol has risen dramatically in the region over the past three decades, so have ethanol spills.

Study: Enhanced photosynthesis increases yield up to 20 percent

New research from the University of Illinois and University of California-Berkeley suggests that increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis could increase the yield of crops by up to 20 percent — and that’s just the beginning.

Study: Climate change likely to lead to decreased soybean yields

The negative effects of climate change on Illinois soybean farmers will likely be greater and come sooner than originally thought, new research at the University of Illinois has found.

Preservation efforts continue to pay off

At Allerton Park in Monticello, efforts to combat deer populations and preserve endangered species have largely been successful.

USDA inspection cites animal surgery errors at UI

Improper surgery procedure and inadequate post-procedure care may have led to the deaths of five cows on the University of Illinois campus last month, a USDA inspection report found.

More in C-U answering call of ‘duty’

In Urbana, about 70 percent of residents recycle. In Champaign, the amount of recycling generated has more than doubled since 2008. Why have some people been slow to start recycling?