Team Stream

Team Stream is headquartered at the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences and at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), a laboratory which is uniquely positioned to explore the challenges of the emerging dominant role of humans in the Earth-surface “critical zone.” SAFL has unique experimental facilities capable of bridging theoretical and computational work with problems in the field. These challenges transcend the historical barriers between different communities and different scientific approaches and methods; SAFL’s research mirrors this by bringing together researchers from the full range of disciplines that contribute to understanding the surface environment. SAFL has established itself as a world center for Earth-surface research that spans the full range of critical disciplines: engineering, Earth science, biology, mathematics, physics, and social sciences.

Team Stream – Manoomin Group: In 2022, Team Stream is led by Assoc. Prof. Crystal Ng (Earth and Environmental Science), and a team of researchers known as Kawe Gidaa- naanaagadawendaamin Manoomin (“First we must consider manoomin–wild rice) (KGM). Team Stream has been mentored by the KGM team since 2018. Undergraduate students funded by internal UMN funding have worked jointly with REU SLAWR-funded students. Research projects supporting a greater understanding of the conditions for manoomin productivity have been collaboratively developed in conjunction with Minnesota and Wisconsin Native tribes and include social scientists, who connect the physical and human dynamics.

For more information about the program, visit this link.

For questions related to this research project, please contact:

Team Stream – Urban Nature Group: In 2022, the Team Stream Urban Nature Group is led by Professor Sarah Hobbie (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and a team of researchers looking at the urban ecology of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. While cities often conjure images of buildings, parking lots, and streets, they are also home to diverse kinds of nature, in parks, yards, gardens, lakes, streams, and the like. This diverse urban nature is important habitat for urban plants and wildlife, and is affected by a variety of stressors, ranging from toxic pollutants, to pests, habitat fragmentation, and climate change. Urban nature, in all its diversity, is also critically important to urban residents, providing numerous potential benefits, ranging from aesthetic and health benefits, to climate control and recreational opportunities. However, these benefits are not equally accessible to all urban residents. The MSP Urban Long Term Ecological Research project is exploring how urban residents and urban nature interact with one another and respond to ongoing rapid environmental and social change, with the ultimate goal of figuring out ways that environmental outcomes can be improved for all people living in the city. The research will advance understanding of how pollutants, biodiversity, land cover, habitat fragmentation, and drainage network properties affect urban nature processes in the face of environmental and social change. The project will shed light on patterns of social disparities in human relationships with urban nature and how such disparities can be addressed through institutional and policy change and greater inclusivity in long-term research.

For questions related to this research project, please contact:

Sarah Hobbie at

Team Stream – Groundwater Group

Did you know that about 99% of global unfrozen freshwater is stored in groundwater systems? However, many questions remain about how the complex flows in groundwater systems influence mineral dissolution that governs the formation of karst and many important subsurface applications such as groundwater remediation and CO2 sequestration. In this REU opportunity, students are tasked with studying mineral dissolution through a mixture of laboratory bench experiments as well as opportunities to use cutting-edge microfluidic chips to visualize how groundwater flow influences mineral dissolution. Students also assist with fieldwork characterizing a fractured aquifer located on-site at the University of Minnesota, as well as work on tools for better explaining complex groundwater processes to a general audience through a visual teaching tool. In 2022, Team Stream – Groundwater is led by Assistant Professor Peter Kang and Dr. Michael Chen, and Assistant Professor Judy Yang, researchers at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.

For questions related to this research project, please contact

Peter Kang at, Judy Yang at, or Dr. Michael Chen at