Ecological Design for Sustainable Communities
Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Design, Political Ecology
This past summer I was an undergrad assistant in the Altieri lab. There, I participated in two agroecological research projects, one of which will be my senior honors research thesis.
In this project different agroecological management regimes were applied to a monoculture of beans to determine if treatments of compost and/or mulch could increase soil moisture retention under simulated drought conditions. Four treatments were established: compost and mulch, compost only, mulch only and bare soil. These plots were exposed to watering regimes at 5, 10 15, and 30 day intervals. Soil moisture was measured throughout the project. Biomass and grain yield will be measured to determine if treatments were able to increase yield under these simulated drought conditions. This research is highly relevant for marginalized environments with increasing water insecurity due to global climate change.
Potential assistants will help with measuring, weighing, and analyzing data. The actual “field” part of this experiment is over but I am involved in several other experiments which will give applicants the ability to gain a breadth of experience in agroecological research.