University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences


Experiment 330 - NutNet Educational Plots (NutNEd)

The Nutrient Network or NutNet ( is a global initiative to explore the
effects of increased nutrient availability and altered herbivory on grasslands. There are
currently over one hundred NutNet sites on six continents.

The NutNet experimental model provides an opportunity to engage students (from grade school to college) in an authentic research project. The Foundations of Biology laboratory classes (Biol 1961 and Biol 3004) are ideal courses to get students involved in the NutNet project. These classes are Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) that engage students in authentic research, allowing them to make meaningful contributions to scientific knowledge. Current projects in the course focus on bioinformatics, toxicology, microbiome studies, and
bacterial evolution; however, no current project options exist for students wanting research
experience doing Ueld-based Ecology.

We propose to establish NutNet educational plots (NutNEd plots) and will develop an Ecology CURE with a Ueld component at Cedar Creek as part of the Foundations of Biology laboratory experience. This program would mirror the Nutrient Network research program in design. Students would have the opportunity to ask questions about the effect of nutrient load on endpoints such as herbivory, plant defenses, growth, diversity, and invasive species. By participating in this project students would become members of the NutNet global research collaborative and would contribute to and have access to data from the global NutNet program, allowing them to use the global data to address questions at different temporal and spatial scales. The newly established NutNEd plots would also be available to visiting groups of citizens and younger students for observational studies and for tours. The plots would be established and baseline data will be collected in September/October 2018. Foundations 1 (Biol1961) with the NutNEd option will be offered Spring of 2019; Foundations II (Biol3004) will be offered Summer 2019.

Methods for e330


Dataset IDTitleRange of Years (# years with data)