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K-State Today

July 13, 2020

Geography and geospatial sciences faculty member to lead $500,000 USDA grant

Submitted by Chuck Martin

Katherine Nelson, assistant professor of geography and geospatial sciences, recently received an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling $499,948 over three years to investigate sustainable agriculture that supports long-term food security. 

Nelson will lead the multi-institutional, interdisciplinary project conducted with co-investigators Jeremy Cowan, Kansas State University horticulture and natural resources department; and Emily Burchfield, Emory University environmental sciences department.

During the project, "Agricultural Landscape Management for Improved Sustainability: Quantifying Relationships, Barriers, and Opportunities," Nelson, Cowan and Burchfield will examine how landscape simplification affects agricultural productivity and identify barriers and bridges to diversification in agricultural landscapes using a combination of data-driven modeling and in-depth localized case studies. The team's goal is to generate knowledge on the connections between landscape diversity, agricultural production and human activities that will enable development of locally relevant landscape diversification strategies that provide synergistic benefits for agricultural and ecological systems and that support the long-term viability of U.S. agriculture.