Minnesota State Mankato Converts Old Dining Facility Space into EARTH Systems Laboratory

Remodeled lab space allows for expanded research, larger grant applications

October 28, 2021 | News Story

Mankato, Minn. – Since November 2019, Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has been converting the former dining services kitchen in the University’s Carkoski Commons to a permanent EARTH Systems Laboratory.

The purpose of the conversion was to create a larger lab space that allows for expanded collaborative research, an endeavor that was difficult in more confined campus locations. The remodeled kitchen became functional as a lab in August 2020, and additional updates were made over the past year.

The EARTH Systems Laboratory is now ready to host visitors, and on Wednesday, Nov. 3 from 4:30-6 p.m., a group of community industry partners, donors, alumni and other guests have been invited to tour the remodeled space, learn about current research and celebrate the lab’s opening. (NOTE TO EDITORS: This event is not open to the public, but the media is welcome to attend.)

The EARTH Systems Laboratory is located in 150 Carkoski Commons. View parking map. Free parking is available in Gold Lot 18 in front of Wiecking Center (corner of Val Imm Drive and Ellis Avenue) from 4-6:30 p.m. (Please note that all other permit parking is enforced).

The EARTH Systems Laboratory’s mission is to advance collaborative research through an interdisciplinary partnership in the fields of geography, earth science, anthropology and archeology.

Minnesota State Mankato faculty member Mark Bowen, co-director of the EARTH Systems Laboratory, said in a University TODAY magazine article that the new space and its equipment benefit current students as well as future students.

“This opens avenues for us to apply for large grants,” Bowen told TODAY magazine. “I’ve submitted grants to the National Science Foundation, I’m working with a colleague to submit a multimillion-dollar grant to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. None of that would be possible without a dedicated research space. That’s pretty much a requirement to do soils research, is you have a dedicated space to do that research.”

For more information about the Nov. 3 event, please contact Elyse Anderson, director of communications and events in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at elyse.anderson@mnsu.edu or 507-389-1255 (office), or 651-895-7828 (cell).

For more information about the EARTH Systems Laboratory, please contact the lab co-directors:

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,546 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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