Agricultural Ecosystems Research Group

Who we are

The Agricultural Ecosystems Research Group (AERG) is a Wisconsin-based consortium of researcher, outreach and education specialists, land and natural resource managers, agency personnel, and farmers interested in whole-systems approaches to pressing conservation and resource management challenges. The AERG conducts, sponsors and supports collaborative field- and model-based research, publication of outreach materials, and other activities.

Our Mission

To facilitate an ecosystem management approach to research that addresses the intersection of agriculture, energy production, agronomy, economics, and wildlife ecology in order to foster critical interactions and links between researchers, land managers, energy producers, policy-makers, and the public at large.


In 1992, Steve Miller (then Chief of Wildlife Management in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - WDNR) conceived of the idea for a group to promote and support research and outreach efforts focusing on conservation and habitat needs of wildlife on private lands in Wisconsin. The challenge was to find ways to integrate agriculture and agricultural practices with conservation practices in ways that could improve environmental quality without reducing farm profitability. Several important publications resulted from the group’s efforts in interdisciplinary projects during the period 1992 – 2003 including peer-reviewed scientific articles, extension publications, annual reports, and numerous graduate student theses.

In 2003, major funding for the AERG was redirected towards other high-priority needs at that time, and the AERG was idled. In 2008, motivated by the rapid emergence of biofuel? production in the Midwest and simultaneous loss and risk of loss of major amounts acres in Wisconsin, Chris Ribic (U.S. Geological Survey) and David Sample (WDNR) proposed revival of the AERG. With funding from the 2008 Focus on Energy program, the AERG is again active.

See the Agricultural Ecosystems home page.

Anerobic Digestion and Biogas

UW Extension have created seven modules focused on the use of anaerobic digestion technologies. Details of the process are introduced, as well as factors that influence start-up, operation and control of anaerobic digesters at different scales.

Contact Us:


Carol Williams
(608) 890-3858 (office)
(515) 520-7494 (mobile)
Department of Agronomy
1575 Linden Dr.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

Subscribe to site changes

Delivered by FeedBurner


Grassland buffers protect Wisconsin’s waterways from excess nutrient runoff from agriculture. Photo: Anonymous.