About Lauren: Lauren Tarpey is a second year in the College majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish. Lauren is a member of Green Campus Initiative and is especially interested in reducing bottled water use on campus; she is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the campus’s co-ed service fraternity. She is a captain of the University of Chicago Women’s Varsity volleyball team and currently works as an SAT tutor. Lauren has participated in the Student Conservation Association as a crew member in Pecos National Historic Park, New Mexico, where she built a trail for improved visitor access to the park. She speaks Spanish and enjoys playing the violin.
About Madelyn Freed: Madelyn Freed is a third-year Anthropology major, Environmental Studies minor. Madelyn’s interest in food, its creation, distribution, and politics, began with her decision to become a vegetarian. Armed only with vague notions of her carbon footprint, growing health consciousness, and aversion to the corn lobby, she determined to increase her knowledge and perhaps improve her life. Her small interest grew overnight and she has since read and researched voraciously on the subject of urban agriculture and sustainability. Her perspective is framed by her Anthropology background; she plans on writing more extensively on the cultural consequences of the American food system. Finally, as a committed city dweller and long time food eater, she feels responsible for and driven to fix the unsustainable urban agriculture structure. Among her other interests are, long distance bicycle riding, singing a cappella, and improving her drawing. This summer, Madelyn is interning at the Green Youth Farm (a project of the Chicago Botanic Gardens).
Last week, Pam, Esther and Todd attended the Annual Association of American Geographers Meeting in Seattle (12th - 16th April 2011). Pam presented some of the group's mapping work on "Envisioning Regional Foodsheds in the Midwest." The talk was part of a session "Food". Other talks in the session included looking at resilience at the farm-scale in the Pacific Northwest, saving farmland for native Hawaiians, and examining alternative food networks using tools used in network theory.
There was a full day of talks on various aspects of urban agriculture as well as sessions on water resources and regional climate change. Students thinking about graduate work associated with the environment and food system might want to check out the abstracts from the annual meeting archived online at the AAG website to get a sense of current directions.
Todd Schuble and Esher Bowen will give a half an hour presentation on mapping the regional Foodshed at the IL GISA conference on October 21, 2010. They will present results examining the capacity of local and regional agriculture lands to support urban and rural populations in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States.
Esther will present preliminary modeling results of the effects on nutrient runoff and hydrologic cycle from increased produce production in the Upper Mississippi Watershed at the Fall AGU session. Her poster with be part of the special session in the Biogeosciences Section, "Upper Determining the Controls of Terrestrial Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) and Related Processes at Regional to Global Scales." The meeting will be held in mid-December in San Fransisco.
The work Esther will be presenting is the work we have been doing in conjunction with Euguen Yan and Yonas Demissie at Argonne National Laboratory. Esther is using the SWAT model with our own model of regional foodsheds to estimate how different scenarios of converting commodity crops and accommodating food and biofuel production might affect nutrient runoff, water quality and stream flow.
Check out fashion queen interns Bryn and Rachel on the "Surprising Benefits of Gardening" featured on WGN...