University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Lawrence A. Baker, Research Professor

Larry Baker photo
University of Minnesota
224C Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Bldg
1390 Eckles Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-1038


1984 Ph.D. Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida.
1979 M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University.
1973 B.S. Biology, Pennsylvania State University

Visit Larry Baker's lab website


Areas of Interest

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.

Selected Publications

Baker, L. Can urban P conservation prevent the brown devolution? In revision for Chemosphere.

Fissore, C., L. Baker, S. Hobbie, J. King, J. McFadden, K. Nelson, I. Jakobsdittor. 2011. Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus fluxes in household ecosystems. Ecological Applications, in press.

Baker, L.A. (editor). 2009. The Water Environment of Cities. Springer Scientific, Boston, MA

Baker, L., B. Wilson, D. Fulton and B. Horgan. 2008. Disproportionality as a framework to target nutrient reduction from urban landscapes. Cities and the Environment 1(2): Article 7.

Baker, L.A., J. Schussler and S. Snyder. 2008. Drivers of changes in lake clarity. J. Lake and Reservoir Management 24: 30-40.

Schussler, J., L. Baker and H. Chester-Jones. 2007. Whole-system phosphorus model for analysis of P management in watersheds. Ecological Engineering 29:294-304.

Baker, L.A., P. Hartzheim, S. Hobbie, K. Nelson, J. King. 2007. Influence of consumption choices on C, N and P fluxes through households. Urban Ecosystems 10:97-117.

Kaye, J., P. Groffman, N. Grimm, L. Baker, and R. Pouyat. 2006. A distinct urban biogeochemistry? Trends in Research in Ecology and Evolution 4: 192-199.

Courses Taught

Freshman Seminar: Living Sustainably in Urban Ecosystems (BIO 57058), Fall 2010; scheduled for Fall 2011.
Water Resources: Individuals and Institutions (WRS 5101/CE 5581), 2004-2008.

Current Research Projects