Food Research Posters

Agroforestry Systems May Play Vital Role in Mitigating Climate Change

Andrea De Stefano, Michael Jacobson

Agroforestry systems could offer a viable opportunity to deal with climate change issues, having the potential to sequester and store atmospheric CO2 over long periods. The purpose of the study was to provide an empirical foundation to support agroforestry systems as a strategy to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration and mitigate climate change. A meta-analysis was carried out to investigate changes in soil organic carbon (SOC).

Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol as an Expandable Green Alternative to Crude Oil Use

Deepak Jaiswal, Amanda P. De Souza, Søren Larsen, David S. LeBauer, Fernando E. Miguez, Gerd Sparovek, Germán Bollero, Marcos S. Buckeridge, Stephen P. Long

Cafeterias are Classrooms: Measuring Student Food Waste in the National School Lunch Program

Melissa Terry

The expanding footprint of food and agriculture represents one of the biggest threats to biodiversity on the planet. Even more problematic, it’s estimated that the US wastes 63 million tons of food every year. A large percentage of this food waste ends up in landfills where it emits harmful methane greenhouse gas emissions, while also wasting water, energy and wildlife habitat that was sacrificed to grow [wasted] food.

Can nitrous oxide emissions be reduced by changing the application timing of dairy manure fertilizer and amount of total nitrogen input to crops?

Jessica Chou

A portion of animal manure and inorganic urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer applied to farmland as fertilizer can emit as the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N 2 O), which has a warming potential 298 times greater than carbon dioxide. A potential opportunity to reduce nitrogen losses to the environment is improving the application timing and amount of fertilizers.

Changing Behaviors to Reduce U.S. Emissions: Seven Pathways to Achieve Climate Impact

Katherine Heller, Antonius Gagern, Michael Berger, Kevin Green, John Thomas

Human behavior is at the core of many of the world's greatest environmental threats and climate change is no exception. Project Drawdown’s seminal list of 80 global climate solutions contains 30 in which individual and household behavior changes play a significant role. The United States is one of the highest-emitting countries of greenhouse gases and studies show that individual behavior contributes significantly to these emissions.

Climate Action Accelerator for Campuses: "Drawdown Campus"

John Moorhead, Chris Jones, Antoinette Vermilye, John Vermilye

Schools are pillars of communities. They provide children with inspiration, knowledge and tools to take into the world. Due to concerns about the climate crisis, biodiversity and plastic pollution facing our planet, students across the world are mobilizing and striking in protest of the lack of action, to raise awareness and to demand change to protect our futures.

Climate Change Across the Curriculum: Teaching 'Drawdown' Solutions in Higher-Education

David Proffitt, Ariane Mohr-Felsen

Climate change affects every aspect of our world, from human health and the ecosystems we live in to the ways we support ourselves both materially and emotionally. But the siloed world of higher education can make it difficult to present cross-cutting solutions to climate change in the classroom.

Coupling Carbon Sequestration with Nitrogen and Phosphorus to Synergize Water Quality Trading in the Muskingum Watershed of Ohio

Richard H. Moore

Our project aims to synergize an existing successful phosphorus(P) and nitrogen (N) trading program by adding carbon sequestration measures. By bundling C conservation measures with N and P, the program will lower its overall cost and expand. The C conservation measures will focus on no-till farming and cover crops.

Croton Tree – Is It the Answer to Africa’s Growing Demand for Cheap, Low-Carbon Energy?

Michael Jacobson, Yau-Huo Shr, Floris Dalemans, Christine Magaju, Rodrigo Ciannella

Trees that produce oilseeds have the potential to improve rural livelihoods through the production of vegetable oil for energy and other purposes, as well as valuable co-products, such as animal feed and organic fertilizers. In Kenya, Croton megalocarpus (Croton) is a prolific and widely distributed tree with such potential being currently underutilized.

Cultural Context for the Implementation of Integrated Pest Management on Mushroom Farms in Pennsylvania: Perceived Control Matters

Mira Baum

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) includes exclusion, biological, and chemical controls that aim to reduce the spread of pests and pathogens. When successful, IPM helps reduce reliance on pesticides to control pests. However, the extent to which IPM is implemented on commercial mushroom farms in Pennsylvania is unknown. Moreover, over 90% of the agricultural mushroom workforce in Pennsylvania is Latino. Relationships between nativity and IPM implementation have not yet been studied.

Does Tillage Depth of Cover Crops and Manure Impact Nitrous Oxide Emissions?

Whitney Ashead

Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with 298 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide, causing it to be a major contributor to global warming and depletion of the stratospheric ozone. A large portion of nitrous oxide emissions occur in agriculture, primarily in saturated or low-oxygen soil conditions with excess nitrogen. Nitrous oxide is challenging to measure and there is little data that illustrates the effects of cover crops and livestock manure on nitrous oxide emissions.

Drawdown Learn Conference: Empowering Schools & Communities to Address Climate Change

Laura Weiland

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) opened in 2009 with the construction of our EcoMachine, a natural wastewater reclamation facility designed in partnership with acclaimed biologist, John Todd. As the world’s first LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certified project, the center receives thousands of visitors and many school groups each year. In 2018 we worked with Project Drawdown to produce the first Drawdown Learn Conference.

Enhancing the Impact of Gen Ed-level Environmental Science at Penn State Using Drawdown Solutions

Eduardo Granata-Rodriguez

With the goal of improving understanding of carbon cycling to a non-STEM, collegiate-level audience, we have developed an interactive video series to explain the impact of Drawdown solutions in local to regional-scale communities. Initial development is aimed at students of EARTH 100, a Gen-Ed level environmental science course at Penn State University.

Feeding Cities: Reconfiguring Urban Environments and Food Systems for Future Resilience

Chris Jones

As we move towards a global population of 9 billion + with our urban areas hosting most of the planets people, the need to be creative in providing quality food in a responsible way is ever greater.

Flood and Soil Property Impacts on Crop Yields: Where Perennial Buffers May Make Sense Financially within Pennsylvania Watersheds

Jack Lattimore

Flooding can lower annual cash crop yields and threaten the economic prosperity of farmers. As flooding events become more intense, frequent, and long-lasting due to the effects of climate change, more consideration is needed for which crops to place in high-risk areas. Previous studies have examined the broad impacts of weather events such as flooding or drought on crop yield and farmers’ revenue using long-term averages.

From Eating Plants to Smaller Families, Strong Reactions to Low-Carbon Behaviors

Katilyn Mascatelli, Sarah States

Background: Perceptions of potentially difficult yet impactful individual actions to reduce carbon emissions are understudied. These impactful actions include having one fewer child, living car-free, and eating a plant-based diet. A mixed-methods approach prompted conversation about these topics by soliciting direct input and measuring emotions and planned behaviors people have in reaction to information about the carbon savings of these individual actions.

Full-Circle Nutrient Management for Regenerative Agriculture in a Local Watershed

Rachel Brennan, Georgia Christopoulos, Ashleigh Henry, Benjamin Roman

The overarching goal of this project was to evaluate the feasibility of full-circle nutrient management by absorbing nutrients (N, P, and K) from wastewater effluents and agricultural runoff into aquatic plant biomass (ex., duckweed), and then using that biomass as a sustainable soil amendment to support regenerative agriculture.

Full-Circle Nutrient Management Using an Aquatic Biomass for Regenerative Agriculture in the State of Pennsylvania

Georgia Christopoulos, Ashleigh Henry

Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from agricultural runoff is the leading cause of eutrophication in the Chesapeake Bay, followed by discharges from wastewater treatment plants. This project evaluates the feasibility of full-circle nutrient management by using duckweed to absorb nutrients from wastewater effluents and agricultural runoff. Duckweed can then be applied as a sustainable soil amendment to support regenerative agriculture.

Indiana Drawdown

Daniel Poynter

Indiana Drawdown is inspired by Georgia Drawdown and others. It's grassroots and modeled after the opensource software movement. It values radical transparency and participation. Our main goal is to reduce Indiana's emissions 45% by 2030, as the IPCC says we must.

We've identified 200 entities already implementing Drawdown solutions in Indiana. Most don't know about Drawdown or how impactful their work is regarding climate change.

Integrated Migrant-Pasture Systems in Montane Agropastoralist Communities: Untangling Interactions of Environmental Change, Livestock, Remittances, and Left-Behind Children

Guangqing Chi, Erica Smithwick, Jennifer Glick, Katherine Zipp, Armen Kemanian, Scott Yabiku, Kathleen Hill, Ashton Verdery, Ludmil Zikatanov, Mark Feinberg

Environmentally-driven migrants are estimated to increase to 200 million globally by 2050. As environmental changes disrupt livelihoods, families use labor migration as a human resilience strategy. Migrant remittances can affect family income and relations, children’s well-being, and pasture dynamics and soil quality, but we lack information on how this flow of people and resources affects the dynamics of integrated socio-environmental systems (SESs) in origin communities.

Integrated Pest Management Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Case of Pennsylvania Mushroom Farms

Hayley Furman

Pennsylvania (PA) is the leader of mushroom production in the U.S.; 63% of all mushrooms in the U.S. are produced in PA. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is heavily implemented on commercial mushroom farms, and is employed via exclusionary, behavioral, and biological methods of pest control, leaving chemical pesticide use as a last resort for eradication of pests. This is critical, since pesticides may contribute to the anthropogenic impact on the planet’s climate.

Integrating Holistic Thinking into Cornerstone Engineering Curriculum

Courtney Claire Barber, Clara Bardot

Engineering Design 100 (EDSGN 100) is the cornerstone course taken by nearly all first-year Penn State engineering students. One of the course’s emphases is the importance of systems thinking in the engineering design process.

Localizing Drawdown: Collaboratively Building Regenerate Lancaster

Eric Martin Usner, Eric Sauder, Michael Jennings, Tony Israel, Ana Furnari, Ian Godinez, Kris Williamson, Benjamin Jennings

Regenerate Lancaster is a collective of co-working individuals launching a Drawdown plan for Lancaster County, PA. Grounded in sustainability as a regenerative project for communities, economies, and ecologies (cf. Lovins, Wallis, Wijkman & Fullerton 2018; Raworth 2018; Rodale Institute; UN SDGs), we are identifying the twenty-five most relevant solutions for our place, connecting organizations to act on these solutions, and nurturing the initiatives we seed within our community.

Mirrors for Earth’s Energy Rebalancing (MEER:ReflEction): Resource-Driven Engineering Leveraging Earth’s Chemistries to Immediately Offer Remediation

Ye Tao

Anthropogenic aerosols and greenhouse gases (GHG) enter the atmosphere as peoples exercise their unalienable rights in pursuit of well-being and prosperity.  Once airborne, the aerosols cool the Earth almost as much as co-emitted GHG warm it.  This balancing act has masked an additional 1C of warming, should the aerosols disappear when phasing out the fossil fuels without compensatory solar radiation management.  In this scenario, existing knowledge about ecosystem responses project a probabl

POLARIS: The Pursuing Opportunities for Long-term Arctic Resilience for Infrastructure and Society

Guangqing Chi, Davin Holen, E. Lance Howe, Chris Maio, Ann Tickamyer, Kathleen Halvorsen, Erika Smithwick, Andy Baltensperger, Matthew Berman, James Ford, Kathleen Hill, Anne Jensen, Leif Jensen, Nic Kinsman, Philip Loring, Joshua Moses, Bronwen Powell, Todd Radenbaugh, Alyssa Rodrigues, Douglas Wrenn, Junjun Yin, Qiujie Zheng

Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities face severe, urgent, and complex social and infrastructural challenges resulting from environmental changes. However, the magnitude and significance of impacts are unclear; as is how local communities will respond to resulting disruptions and disasters.

Species Mixtures May Enhance Disease and Water Use Benefits Under Climate Change

Mark Boudreau, Breath Hand, Barbara Shew, Laura Duffie Andrako

Throughout agricultural history, intercropping has been the dominant system of cultivation. Although industrialization has emphasized monoculture, there is strong evidence that species mixtures often provide greater productivity and resilience, representing both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Indeed, Project Drawdown includes three forms of agricultural diversification in its carbon-reduction rankings.

Study of Hydrothermal Liquefaction as a Process for Utilizing Municipal Solid Waste Without Separation

Mahadevan Subramanya Seshasayee, Phillip. E. Savage

Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) breaks down municipal solid waste (MSW) into useful components. Organic carbonaceous wastes such as food waste and wood are broken down to organic, aqueous, solid, and gaseous phases under subcritical conditions (280-374˚C). Nitrogen and Phosphorous compounds enriched in the aqueous phase can be utilized as nutrients for fertilizers. The organic phase derived from the process serves as bio-oil.

Swiss Exponential Climate Action Roadmap to 2050

John Moorhead, Alexandra Gavilano

In 2017, Switzerland ratified the Paris agreement and committed to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030 (from 1990 levels), including carbon offsets abroad. Switzerland also announced an indicative objective to reduce its emissions by 70%-85% until 2050 (from 1990 emissions), including offsets abroad. Studies that describe the existing solutions, their combined potential and the possible pathways to achieve such objectives are uncommon.

The New Carbon Economy

Kathleen Draper, Albert Bates

In the IPCC’s Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C (2018), biochar was listed as one of several promising negative emissions technologies (NET).

The Role of Non-CO2 Mitigation Options Within the Dairy Industry for Pursuing Climate Change Targets

Kristina Rolph, Chris Forest, Matt Ruark

Mitigation of non-CO2 climate forcing agents must complement the mitigation of CO2 to achieve long term temperature and climate policy goals. A large share of global non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions is attributed to agriculture, with a significant contribution related to dairy production. As demonstrated by the results of a recent USDA coordinated project, Dairy-CAP, dairy farmers can significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by implementing beneficial management practices (BMPs).

Trade-off Analysis on the Expansion of Frontier Agriculture in the Subarctic

Lisa Ashton

By transforming the environmental conditions in the subarctic, climate change is creating an expansion opportunity for frontier agricultural production. In particular, interest is mounting in northern Ontario where there is a combination of warming temperatures that crops can thrive in, relatively inexpensive land prices, and government support for sector growth.