Indiana University students awarded grants for sustainability research

  • May 26, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Office of Sustainability has announced the recipients of Student Sustainability Research Development Grants for the 2015-16 academic year. Eleven IU Bloomington students or student teams received awards between $1,800 and $8,200 to support innovative, high-quality research on sustainability.

The grant program -- jointly sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the School of Public Health-Bloomington, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, the Integrated Program in the Environment, the Office of Sustainability, the Graduate Professional Student Organization and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs -- provides opportunities for graduate students to pursue research related to sustainability.

"Sustainability is a grand challenge that requires integration among multiple disciplines, as demonstrated by the joint support from these diverse sponsors and the wide range of research proposals submitted," Director of Sustainability Bill Brown said. "This seed funding will open up new doors for student research as Indiana University seeks to become an international leader in sustainability research, curriculum and campus operations."

The Student Sustainability Research Development Grant program is an outgrowth of a pilot initiative developed in the 2008-09 academic year by the IU Task Force on Sustainability and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. After recognizing a need for graduate student research funding, the Office of Sustainability shifted the program focus from faculty-student teams to graduate teams or individuals in 2013.

This year, for the first time, two grants were awarded to support research at the undergraduate level. Furthermore, one of these projects is designed to forge partnerships and collaboration between graduate and undergraduate researchers.

"This grant program offers a unique opportunity for IU students to develop innovative research programs that address fundamental issues of human-environment interaction," said Michael Hamburger, professor of geological sciences and co-chair of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board. "This unusual collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and seven academic units has helped catalyze new, interdisciplinary research efforts on the IU Bloomington campus that might not otherwise be possible."

The 2015-16 academic year recipients reflect wide interest in sustainability research across campus, from SPEA and from the departments of American studies, biology, chemistry, geography, geology and mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Recipients include:

  • Stefan Carpenter and Ursula Kreitmair -- “Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict: An Experimental Study of Collective Action Involving Discounting and Uncertainty”
  • Alex Chambers -- “Oil Workers, Disappearing Wetlands and Submerged Memory in Southern Louisiana”
  • Natalie Christian -- “Elucidating the Mechanisms of Endophyte Symbiosis for Sustainable Agricultural Practice”
  • Hamed Gholizadeh -- “Estimation of Aquatic Chlorophyll Concentrations Using Remotely Sensed Data”
  • Michelle Lee -- “Making Sustainable Energy Policies Count: Modeling Consumer Behavior”
  • Katherine Lind -- “Exhibiting Extinction: Negotiating Climate Change Education in Museums”
  • Joshua Mann -- “Development of Magnetically Recoverable Zeolites for Conversion of Methanol to Long Chain Hydrocarbons or Gasoline”
  • Richard Mercantonio -- “Water Scarcity and Implications of Conflict in Zambia”
  • Anna Nowicki -- “Can We Mitigate the Impact of Earthquake-Induced Landslides?”
  • Nathan Wisnoski -- “How Does Hydrological Flow Rate Alter Bioremediation of Pesticides at the Surface-Groundwater Interface?”
  • Ozan Yolasigmaz -- “Optimizing Summer Housing for Electricity Conservation”

For more information about the grant program, details on how to apply and a look at past recipients, visit the Research Development Grants program page.

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Nathan Wisnoski

Graduate student Nathan Wisnoski has been awarded an IU Sustainability Research Development Grant.

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