Tennessee State University

July, 2021

Tennessee State University, located in Nashville, TN, has been a long-time member of GCSE. Through the College of Agriculture and the Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (IAGER), TSU conducts a considerable amount of research on soil, water, plants, and animals to sustain and enhance natural resources. The College of Agriculture promotes student training in the environmental sciences and brings together faculty from across the campus through an Environmental Sciences Focus Group to discuss and promote environmental awareness and programs at the university.

One of 19 HBCU Land-Grant institutions, TSU proudly commits to sustainability and the environment through various projects such as:

  • The Dream Machine Recycling Rally, a nationwide school recycling program designed to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and encourage students to make recycling part of their everyday lives. Since its inception in 2010, the initiative has recycled over 2 million pounds of plastic across 34 states.
  • Two students and a lead researcher are out in the field studying a marshland with tall grass.
    Tennessee State University has many opportunities for students to participate in research in agriculture, the environment, and sustainability, both in the lab and out in the field. Image Credit: Tennessee State University
    Research seeking to understand how climate change factors alter soil microbial processes and the degree to which these changes influence long-term carbon and nutrient cycling in soils and terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., bioenergy cropland).
  • Interdisciplinary research integrating field and laboratory observations and modeling approaches to address questions that intersect external disturbances and terrestrial biogeochemical cycles.
  • Improving soil model predictions in response to climate warming through research in thermal variations on mineralization of soil organic matter in croplands and assimilating long-term field and incubation data.
  • Assessment of the use of cover crops in the Brassicaceae family in conjunction with soil solarization, an environmentally friendly process of using solar energy to kill soil pathogens and control Phytophthora nicotianae in boxwood production. The results of this research will help to promote the adoption of biofumigants by documenting their effects in multiple nursery systems and demonstrating their potential as a sustainable field-grown nursery production system for nursery producers in the Southern region.
  • Identifying agricultural and environmental sciences in its long-term strategic plan to maintain its leadership in providing quality education and to have vital programs for recruiting and retaining students. The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences includes 51 faculty, 20 of whom are involved in the Environmental Science concentration.

The university also supports several sustainable living projects through the Family and Consumer Sciences program, such as sustainable living community workshops and encouraging locals to “go green” and make environmentally friendly life choices. As part of a USDA Capacity Building Grant, the department led the “Go Green North Nashville HUD” initiative, which provided 100 Nashville homeowners with energy retrofits such as programmable thermostats, weather stripping, and storm windows to educate homeowners on the cost savings of sustainable living. Additionally, TSU participates in paper, cardboard, and electronic shredding and recycling programs.

Did you Know? 

Since 2010, the TSU Greenhouse Plastic recycling initiative has helped recycle over 250 tons of greenhouse plastic in the middle Tennessee region.