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ESPP student Lin Liu selected to speak at the International Agriculture and Rural Development conference

Monday, June 19th, 2017 | Author:

I was selected to attend the 53rd Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development annual conference through the Future Leaders Forum scholarship program. The conference was held in Washington D.C. in June 3-8, 2017. During my trip to D.C., I gave a talk on spatial evaluation of maize yield across Malawi. Thanks to the conference, I had opportunities to hear various perspectives from leading research institutes, organizations and private companies on securing food and eliminating poverty for the global community. In addition, I was able to interact with the other eleven fellows who also attended the conference. I would like to thank the Environmental Science and Policy Program (ESPP) at Michigan State University for partial funding to support my trip to Washington D.C.. I also would like to thank ESPP for offering training on interdisciplinary collaboration and public communication.

 

Learning lessons in human-wildlife interactions through a tigress by Brad Peter

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Author:

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) hosts one of the largest gatherings of geographers in the world. This year’s conference was held in Boston, Massachusetts, home of Paul Revere, Dr. Seuss, and some rather boisterous tea parties. The event is always exciting, bringing together geographers from myriad perspectives to interact and share their work. I happen to be somewhat of a traditional geographer, one that loves to make maps and transform data into scientific knowledge, but the breadth of the discipline spans the research gamut. Each time I attend I learn of new ways geographic principles are being applied. This year, I learned a bit about human-wildlife interactions through the story of a community-revered tigress named Machali at Ranthambore National Park in India, a bit about remote sensing and terraforming Mars, and a lot about cartographic design and information visualization. The versatility of the geographer’s craft is never mundane.

Looking ahead to a world of climate smart agriculture by Jelili Adebiyi

Monday, June 12th, 2017 | Author:

The ESPP provided me with a part funding to support my participation at the 57th annual conference of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Develop (AIARD). The AIARD consists of U.S. and internationally-based members who have devoted their careers to global agricultural development and hunger alleviation. The 57th annual conference of the AIARD was focused on the theme, “Looking Ahead: A World of Climate Smart Agriculture”. The conference attracted stakeholders from the Congress, universities, private sectors and international development organizations such as the DAO, FAO, World Bank, and IFPRI. There were also international participants, including from the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development AWARD and ICRISAT.

Jelili Adebiyi presents his research at the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development

Jelili Adebiyi paneled a session along with Kimberly Flowers, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Moderator), Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas, Vara Prassad, USAID Innovation Lab, Muhammad Ibrahim, and CATIE, Mark Rosegrant, IFPRI.

ESPP student elected to Board of Directors of AIARD

Monday, June 12th, 2017 | Author:

ESPP would like to congratulate Jelili (Gana) Adebiyi on his election to the Board of Directors of the Association for the International Agriculture and Rural Development, an association devoted to global agricultural development and hunger alleviation. Jelili, a doctoral student in Community Sustainability and Environmental Science and Policy, was elected to the board during their conference in Washington, D.C.

Jelili Adebiyi (ESPP and Community Sustainability)

Jelili Adebiyi (ESPP and Community Sustainability)

“This has presented with the opportunity to enhance my professional and managerial skills. During my membership of the board, I will work with fellow FLFers to initiate practical programs that will revolve around addressing a major agri-food issue in a developing country. Overall, the conference provided me the opportunity to network and to learn from senior colleagues in the field of international agriculture and rural development,” Jelili said.

Dam sanitation issues in the Amazon by Cristina Gauthier

Monday, June 12th, 2017 | Author:
Cristina Gauthier  is a student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences

Cristina Gauthier is a student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences

As a PhD student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences with a strong background in Environmental Engineering, my research focuses on the environmental and social impacts of dams in the Brazilian Amazon.

Hydroelectric power accounts for 65.2 percent of the total domestic electricity generated in Brazil.  This has led to heavy investments in hydroelectric development within the Amazon Basin, which holds 42.2 percent of Brazil´s hydroelectric potential. The most recent and largest hydroelectric project in the region is the Belo Monte dam, third largest hydroelectric dam in the world. The prevalence of septic systems in the Amazon region, coupled with the widespread use of water wells, and a rising water table from the dam construction which blocks water flow, has created sanitation and health concerns for communities upstream of the dam. These sanitation issues are expected to reoccur in Amazon communities facing future dam construction projects.

Honolulu – a fitting place to present research on seabirds by Kaycee Morra

Tuesday, June 06th, 2017 | Author:

Mahalo to ESPP for granting me a travel award that facilitated my participation in the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) 2017 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii! I finished the analyses required for my dissertation mere weeks before the meeting began, making ASLO my first opportunity to give a talk—“Persistent Foraging Segregation Between Closely-spaced Seabird Populations”—that predominantly featured my own data. This was a significant achievement after four years of persistent effort in the lab, refining challenging techniques.

ASLO 2017 was held in the beautiful Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. By Kaycee Morra

ASLO 2017 was held in the beautiful Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. By Kaycee Morra

Does irrigated agriculture increase malaria? By April Frake

Monday, June 05th, 2017 | Author:

Are efforts to mitigate food insecurity increasing malaria vulnerability? Irrigation systems are expanding across Africa to improve food insecurity, particularly given changing climate. While research has demonstrated a 2-4-fold boost in crop productivity, the transformation of the landscape for irrigated agriculture is associated with increasing malaria vulnerability for those living within close proximity to irrigated agricultural schemes. The research I am undertaking serves as a critical examination of the dynamic changes in irrigated agriculture on malaria vulnerability across Malawi.

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April Frake is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences. She researchers medical geography, infectious disease transmission in Africa.

 

Plastics Technology Conference 2017 by Edgar Castro-Aguirre

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 | Author:

I would like to thank the Environmental Science and Policy Program for supporting my attendance to the Plastics Technology Conference ANTEC® 2017 in Anaheim, California from May 8th to 10th, 2017. At the conference, I presented my poster titled “Bioaugmentation with Geobacillus accelerates the biodegradation rate of poly(lactic acid) films under simulated compost conditions” which showed part of my Ph.D. research focusing on the biodegradation mechanisms and end-of-life scenarios of poly(lactic acid).

ANTEC® 2017 highlighted interdisciplinary efforts in the research, development, and commercialization of plastic materials from academic, industrial, and governmental representatives. At the conference, I had the opportunity to attend the biodegradable polymers and blends session as well as the Plasticity forum in which an interdisciplinary group of experts shared their experiences regarding plastic sustainability and inclusion in the circular economy. The experts discussed the current opportunities and challenges related to recycling, resource recovery, waste reduction, and environmental footprint of plastics.

Sharing experience and knowledge with landscape ecologists by Hongbo Yang

Friday, May 05th, 2017 | Author:

The Annual Symposium of the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE) offers a great opportunity for landscape ecologists around the world to share their knowledge and experiences. I am truly grateful to receive the ESPP Travel Fund which afforded me to attend this symposium in April 2017, in Baltimore, MD.

Honggo Yang (Fisheries and Wildlife, ESPP) presents  his research in Baltimore.

Hongbo Yang (Fisheries and Wildlife, ESPP) presents his research in Baltimore.

At this symposium, I gave an oral presentation titled Post-disaster recovery of human well-being in biodiverse areas: drivers and implications. This talk focuses on my effort to evaluate livelihood adaptations after natural disaster in biodiverse area and quantify their effects on social and ecological recovery outcomes. This work is important because the number and impacts of natural disasters have been increasing globally, posing a great threat to biodiversity and human well-being in many areas around the world. With a better understanding among natural disasters, livelihood adaptations, and recovery outcomes, management agencies may be able to develop effective strategies to balance the demands of socioeconomic development and ecosystem conservation after natural disasters. This presentation was well-received as it generated meaningful questions, comments and discussions. In addition to this presentation, I also helped to organize a workshop in the conference. In the workshop, I assisted to introduce an award-wining framework and toolbox that participants can apply to their own socio-environmental research.

Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Multidisciplinary Fields by Yike Shen

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 | Author:

Thanks for the ESPP travel grant, I gave my first conference talk in Crystal City, Virginia on March 24, 2017 at American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) Conference on Innovative Microbial Ecology for Mitigation of Antibiotic Resistance and Bacterial Diseases. American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society consisted of 48,000 scientists and health professionals. I presented our research on Distribution of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Surface and Overhead Irrigated Greenhouse Lettuce. Agricultural practices are one of the important aspects of mitigating antimicrobial resistance. It is important for us to understand emerging contaminants such as antibiotics, antibiotics resistance genes distribution in fresh produce we consume everyday. By understanding difference agricultural practices such as irrigation methods and reclaimed water quality, we can ameliorate the risks of our food being contaminated. This conference is new and multidisciplinary. I enjoyed wonderful talks and posters on food, agriculture, medicine, computer science strategies to mitigate antibiotic resistance. It was eye opening for me, and I learned a lot beyond my discipline on antimicrobial resistance. It was a beautiful time in Washington D.C. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is in the same week. I get the chance to cycle around and see beautiful cherries. Fantastic conference.