|The MAPS Strategic Planning Team|
The MAPS project will utilize fundamental microbiome research to determine how microbiomes, e.g., MAPS, can enhance productivity, mitigate environmental problems in agricultural-dominated landscapes, and conserve native grasslands and their ecosystem functions. The steep precipitation gradient across the state and the importance of agriculture makes Kansas an outstanding outdoor laboratory for testing hypotheses related to the impacts of precipitation on microbial processes. The project's study of the interconnected nature of the soil, plant, and aquatic microbiomes makes it unique and potentially transformative. MAPS includes education and outreach initiatives focusing on microbiome science that extends from K-12 students and teachers to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members at tribal colleges and four year institutions, including a Haskell-based summer internship program (HERS).
Education, outreach, awards and meetings funding is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems (MAPS) The awards educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.