The Department of Environmental Science and Technology Extension projects are focused on four core areas:
The University of Maryland nutrient management faculty efforts are focuses on reducing the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay by plant nutrients from cropland. ENST scientists are investigating all manner of nitrogen and phosphorus approaches; reduced use by plants, immobilization, recovery through plant uptake, reuse through water management, in-field and edge-of-field treatment, and natural interactions with soil carbon.
The faculty in anaerobic digestion group focus into wastewater treatment, biogas production from organic material based (i.e., animal manure, agriculture wastes, food waste, etc.) using anaerobic digestion systems, and biogas utilization both on- and off the farm and the options available to remove contaminants from raw biogas streams.
The faculty in the composting group focus on the methods for converting organic waste into a marketable product. The composting process is appropriate for on-farm disposal of animal mortalities that occur as the normal byproduct of animal agriculture, as well as the infrequent mass mortality losses. Whole animal compost systems provide bio-security, address legal issues, address most air and water quality issues, and provide a useful final product.
The faculty in the waste management group focuses on the proper application of the animal manures to the land at the proper time and amount using the right management techniques to recycle the nutrients through the soil profile, as well as reducing the use of the inorganic commercial fertilizers. Proper waste management improves water quality by preventing pollutants such as nutrients, organics, and pathogens from migrating to surface and ground waters.