Project FA16a: Tracking Phosphorus Fertilizers for Local Agriculture

Project FA16a: Tracking Phosphorus Fertilizers for Local Agriculture

Researcher: Russell Hedberg rch206@psu.edu

Position type: data collection/entry, some cartography/GIS

Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2016

Application URL: http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply

Position description

This project is a component of dissertation research assessing soil fertility resilience and sustainability on small farms that sell produce through a network of farmer's markets based in New York City. One of the key components of this work is mapping the sources of fertilizers, especially for nutrients like phosphorus that are largely sourced from non-renewable mineral deposits. I am looking for a motivated undergraduate research assistant to help trace phosphorus inputs from participating farms back up the supply chain. Data collection will be conducted on the internet and over the phone when necessary. The assistant will enter data into a spreadsheet, and create geolocation points for mapping nutrient supply networks. Students with more advanced cartography skills my also explore visualization techniques as time allows in the semester. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in food & agriculture, or sustainability issues, and will serve as a great resume builder for those wishing to pursue work in these fields after graduation.

Desired qualifications

- Strong verbal communication skills
- Preference for some competency with either ArcMAP or QGIS, or the desire to learn the necessary skills
- The successful applicant will need to obtain IRB training (which is factored into the work requirements), thus prior IRB certification is a plus

This project will require 45-135 hours of work over the course of the semester, and the successful applicant will earn 1-3 credits for the fall term.

To apply

Prospective candidates should complete the application form at http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply by 5:00 p.m. on the application deadline. Follow all instructions.

Tags: 
uroc