Chris Shearer

Chris Shearer


BioWRAP Team

Meet Chris Shearer

Associate Professor

Institution: South Dakota School of MinesDepartment: Civil and Environmental EngineeringEmail: [email protected]

My research focus is on developing innovative materials for incorporation into a future sustainable infrastructure. I also research improved pedagogical approaches for engineering with a concentration on active and service learning. I have worked as a structural engineer and consults for industry on materials-related issues. For this project, I am applying the design concepts of pervious concrete to BioWRAP. I serve as the faculty advisor at South Dakota Mines for the Concrete Canoe Team and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). I also serve on three American Concrete Institute (ACI) committees and as the president of the ACI Dakota Chapter.  In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano and singing in the university choir. I also am an avid movie-watcher, music-connoisseur, reader, traveler, weight-lifter, eater, and hiker.



Frequently Asked Questions

We understand there are many questions you may have in regards to BioWRAP. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions that we receive.

The long-term goal is to create a locally-sourced, customizable, spray-on biopolymer-based films to serve as soil cover that can be synchronized to crop growth cycles under differing climatic conditions and applied using precision agricultural equipment. The system would also support socioeconomic resiliency, positive bioeconomic cycles, biotechnology adoption, sustainable crop production, and soil health in EPSCoR states.

Transforming biopolymers into a local material will equitably distribute the costs and benefits of biotechnology adoption by crop producers and support rural workforce development. Creating a protective, but permeable spray-on biopolymer cover will provide physical weed suppression, enable crop producers to reduce herbicide use, protect soil ecosystem diversity, effectively manage field edges, help conserve natural resources, buffer waterways from agrochemical runoff, enhance land productivity, and increase crop production resiliency.

We hypothesize that adoption of BioWRAP technology will vary by region and producer characteristics, climate conditions, soil type, and underlying preferences will lead to differential adoption across regions and cropping systems. Our team plans to assess the potential market for BioWRAP using structured group discussions in locations where producers and purchasers/retailers to gain the most accurate assessment of the market potential of biodegradable biofilm technology.

Initial testing will include corn and soybeans. Application of the product may include autonomous spray platforms as well as field scale commercial sprayers.

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