Research group

Spark innovation through research and creative excellence

Through robust in-house grant programs, dedicated physical spaces, and incentives to collaborate across disciplines, CLA faculty have experiences unique to Minnesota. Here, the open exchange of ideas is not just encouraged, but commonplace. 

CLA is where new scholars emerge. Graduate students navigate the space between scholarship and innovation, both mastering and expanding traditional fields of inquiry. In partnership with our communities, we’re discovering new ways to use research and artistic practice to address society’s biggest challenges.

Society's Biggest Challenges, Tackled Daily

Los Lobos landscape

Will These Ancient Trees Survive a Drying West?

Deep within the trunks of an ancient grove of big-cone Douglas fir trees lie traces of a megadrought 450 years in the past. But signs of the worst drought these trees have ever seen can now be found just beneath their bark. Daniel Griffin is an assistant professor of geography who studies climate and ecosystem change—past and present—through data collected from tree rings. His New York Times op-ed is an insightful, gripping, and beautifully written piece rich in illustrations. Read Daniel Griffin's New York Times op-ed.