Water for Food

Water for Food Global Institute announces 2015-2016 student support grantees

Sep. 7, 2015, LINCOLN, Neb.––The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute has awarded grants to seven University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty to provide assistantships to graduate students working on projects that contribute to a more water and food secure world.

The grants program supports interdisciplinary faculty research while enriching the education of students who will one day be scientific leaders in the effort to feed the world’s growing population with limited natural resources. The one-year grants, which include matching funds from the institute’s faculty fellows, total $112,000 and will support the research of three graduate and four doctoral students during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The projects range from wireless underground sensor networks for precision agriculture to better understanding the role international organizations play in addressing water security.

“Education is an essential part of the institute’s mission, said Christopher Neale, director of research. “We are excited to start the second year of our student support program and help faculty and their students pursue projects that will advance the University of Nebraska’s efforts to provide solutions for global water and food security.”

Faculty from five University of Nebraska-Lincoln departments received awards:

  • Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, associate professor, UNL Civil Engineering, for the project: Evaluating the Direct Effects of Climate and the Indirect Effects of Climate-Induced Animal Agriculture Clustering on the Fate of Trace Organic Compounds Originating from Production Agriculture. PhD student: Renys Barrios.
  • Junke Guo, associate professor, UNL Civil Engineering, for the project: Determination of River Ecological Discharge from Navier-Stokes-Forchheimer Equation. PhD student: Narendra Kumar Patel.
  • Adam Liska, associate professor, George Dempster Smith Chair of Industrial Ecology, UNL Biological Systems Engineering and Agronomy & Horticulture, for the project: Climate Change Feedbacks via Insurance. Masters student: Eric Holley.
  • Patrice McMahon, associate professor, UNL Political Science, for the project: Transnational Actors and Water Security. PhD student: Maria Benes.
  • Mehmet C. Vuran, associate professor, UNL Computer Science and Engineering, for the project: Taking Soil to the Cloud: Advanced Wireless Underground Sensor Networks for Real-time Precision Agriculture. PhD student: Abdul Salam.
  • Wayne Woldt, associate professor, UNL Biological Systems Engineering, for the project: Improving Variable Rate Irrigation Efficiency Using a Real-time Soil Moisture Adaptive Control Model Informed by Sensors Deployed on Unmanned Aircraft. Masters Student: Isaiah Krutak.
  • Haishun Yang, associate professor and crop simulation modeler, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture, for the project: Determination of Field Sensor Density for Real-Time Crop Management. Masters student: Babak Jafarisamani.

For more information on the institute’s student support program, contact Rachael Herpel, assistant director, at rherpel@nebraska.edu or (402) 472-4977. You may also visit our graduate student support page.

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska is a research, education and policy analysis institute committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs. For more information, visit: waterforfood.nebraska.edu

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