Emma Cutler is awarded Fulbright grant

MCRN member Emma Cutler, a graduating senior working under the direction of Mary Lou Zeeman at Bowdoin College, has received a Fulbright Research Grant.

Congratulations, Emma!

Q. What will be the focus of your research?

For my project, I will study land use in the hill country of Sri Lanka, focusing on water pollution resulting from deforestation and chemical fertilizers and pesticides used by farmers. I will quantify the use of agrochemicals and analyze these data using GIS software to examine the effects of these chemicals at the watershed scale. I will also survey households about consumption to determine the amount of land a typical household uses to maintain their livelihood and quality of life. Finally, by considering food production, effort required to farm the land, and local and downstream water quality, I plan to develop a mathematical model to determine how to optimize land use in this region. This will hopefully provide information about how to prioritize areas for establishing sustainable agricultural systems. For much of this project, I will be working with environmental science researchers and the NeoSynthesis Research Center, a non-governmental organization that works to protect the water resources of Sri Lanka by promoting the development of forest home gardens, a sustainable and traditional form of cultivation that mimics natural ecosystems.

Q. What are your future plans?

I will be there for 9 months. When I return, I plan to attend graduate school to study math and how it can be applied to questions regarding environmental sustainability.

Thank you, Emma. We look forward to hearing more from you and fellow MCRN collaborators!

More information on Bowdoin’s Fulbright recipients can be found here.


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