Research Partners


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Virtual Reality Game User

An alumnus of UMD tries out a virtual reality program created by Swenson College students and faculty in the MMAD Lab.

Research Resources

Swenson College has some great on-campus resources available for students and faculty.

Geospatial Analysis Center (GAC)

This is a geographic information systems (GIS) organization driven by a student workforce. For more than 10 years, the GAC has worked on projects with state agencies, counties, and regional organizations. Those projects have given local students the chance to gain valuable experience as they gather and analyze data and assist in putting the information to work.

The Center's staff also provide classroom and research project assistance. Services may include project design, identification of system and data needs, data acquisition, budget estimates and analysis or oversight of a project.

Data storage and hardware checkout is available. The Center is also a resource for technological advancement information in the fields of remote sensing, geographic data analysis, and global positioning systems.

Research Instrumentation Lab (RIL)

Another great resource, this lab is focused on providing the highest quality microanalytical data. Lab staff can teach researchers and students about the tools available and how best to use the equipment to gather the data they need.

The lab is open for use by students, faculty and staff of UMD, as well as regional commercial and non-profit groups with a need for the lab’s services.

UMD Research & Field Studies Center

Also known as the UMD Farm, the UMD Research & Field Studies Center is a 114 acre site about 4 miles away from the UMD Campus on Jean Duluth Road.

The Center is an ideal location for faculty to provide an outdoor lab experience for students and to conduct field research. In addition, the land at the Center is used by the College of Liberal Arts' Environment & Sustainability Program as a teaching space. Students help grow food that provides more than 25 tons of organically grown produce to the Residence Dining Center on campus. It's also a great spot for outreach and educational events for our community.

Swenson College Collaborations

In addition to research entities within our college, we also partner with agencies that provide amazing opportunities for students to put their expertise to work solving real-world problems.

Center for Economic Development (CED)

UMD’s Center for Economic Development provides one-on-one services to business start-ups and existing businesses. For example, they work on:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Market research
  • Surveys and business plan development
  • Loan packaging
  • Operational and procurement assistance
  • Manufacturing
  • Management
  • Compliance issues (EPA, OSHA, Revenue and Tax
  • Information technology

Their programs include the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) Business Group, the 21st Century Arrowhead Initiative and the Student to Business Initiative.

Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI)

This Institute was established in 1983 to encourage economic growth for Minnesota's natural resource-based industries while keeping watch over the impact of that growth on the environment. Today, students, faculty and staff at NRRI conduct research that impacts Minnesota’s minerals, forest products, peat biomass and water-related industries.

Minnesota Sea Grant

With nearly 12,000 lakes and a coast on the world’s largest body of freshwater, Minnesota possesses a bounty of aquatic and coastal resources. Through scientific research and public education programs, Minnesota Sea Grant works to enhance and preserve Minnesota’s coastal environment and economy.

Viz Lab / MMAD Lab

The Viz and MMAD (Motion and Media Across Disciplines) Labs are exciting resources for faculty, graduate and undergraduate projects across the UMD campus. They currently host multi-disciplinary collaborations between faculty in theatre, digital arts, exercise science, mechanical engineering and computer science. By providing a dynamic multi-media environment for design and scientific study, we can pursue original research in the areas of animation, visual imaging, and scientific visualization.

The MMAD Lab’s high-tech resources includes 3D motion capture technology, a high definition video production studio space, virtual reality hardware and a sophisticated sound booth.

The Viz Lab offers great resources, too, with a photography studio, 3D printing, state-of-the-art projection and high-end cameras and recording devices.