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Amy Sapkota Investigator on Project To Sustain Agricultural Production Funded by $10 Million USDA Grant

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Nebraska Corn Field: Amy Sapkota Investigator on Project to Sustain Agricultural Production Funded by $10 Million USDA Grant

University of Maryland School of Public Health Professor, Amy R. Sapkota, will serve as an investigator on a five-year $10 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The grant was awarded to a team of University of Maryland researchers to help farmers in the Corn Belt navigate efficient water and nutrient use in order to increase crop production. 

The researchers plan to develop a Dashboard for Agricultural Water use and Nutrient management (DAWN) a large-scale modeling system that will help maximize corn, soybean and bioenergy crop production in the Midwestern United States. They expect DAWN to identify innovative ways of increasing land- and water-use efficiency given competing resource demands and varying water availability and quality

DAWN will be designed collaboratively with end-users to provide short-term forecasts for real-time decision-making, seasonal outlooks for mid-range planning, and scenario projections for long-range planners and policymakers to address adaptation strategies for improving agricultural and food system sustainability.

The project team includes researchers, extension specialists, educators and stakeholders. Partners in the project include researchers at Colorado State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska and FamilyFarms Group. 

Additional investigators on the project from the University of Maryland include Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) Professor Xin-Zhong Liang (PI), Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Professor, Chair and ESSIC Director Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm; ESSIC Assistant Research Professors Michael Gerst and Thomas Wild; ESSIC Visiting Research Scientist Xuesong Zhang; ESSIC Project Manager Michael Maddox; ESSIC Assistant Research Scientists Junyu Qi and Mitchell Schull; and ESSIC Postdoctoral Associates Yufeng He, Chao Sun and You Wu.

Dr. Sapkota is a professor of applied environmental health and the director of CONSERVE and UMD Global STEWARDS. Her research explores the relationship between environmental exposures and infectious disease and on making reclaimed water safe for agricultural use. Working with a multinational team, Dr. Sapkota’s proposal “Ensuring Food Security and Climate Resilience Through a Food-Energy-Water Solution” is currently among the top 100 proposals for MacArthur $100 Million Grant. 

Read more on the grant on the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences website. 

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