Baker, Lawrence

Baker, Lawrence
University of Minnesota

The broad goal Dr. Baker’s research and consulting is to develop novel approaches for reducing pollution that are more effective, cheaper and fairer than conventional approaches. Much of his research in the past 10 years has focused on urban ecosystems. Early “urban” studies, conducted as part of the CAP-LTER project at ASU, included the first detailed urban nitrogen cycle, an analysis of ecological effects of the urban heat island, and a conceptual paper on urban biogeochemistry.

As PI of the interdisciplinary Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project, he is interested in factors that control fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus through household ecosystems. Other recent studies include the development of watershed phosphorus balance approach as a tool for managing phosphorus in agricultural and urban watersheds, a detailed farm-by-farm analysis to expand the P balance approach for agricultural systems, a novel study of nutrient removal by street sweeping, and a study of connections between landscapes, people, and water. All of these projects have highly interdisciplinary research teams. He is also interested in the integration of ecological thinking into urban sustainability, the development of a translational research framework for urban sustainability, and a development of a vision of adaptive cities.

As a side interest, Dr. Baker has written about two dozen columns and articles for public audiences and professional magazines over the past few years. In citizen roles, he served as chair of an award-winning citizen watershed group, Friends of the Sunrise River from 2008-2010 and served on the Citizens League Water Policy Study Committee.