Healthy Land-Water Systems Wins Multi-disciplinary Team Award

April 24, 2019
Healthy Land-Water Systems Team wins award at the 2019 CFAES Annual Research Conference.

"Healthy Land-Water Systems: Water Quality, Economics, and Human Behavior" won the Multi-disciplinary Team Award at the 2019 CFAES Annual Research Conference on Monday, April 22 at the Nationwide Ohio Farm Bureau and 4-H Center in Columbus, OH.

Accepting the award at the conference were team leaders and faculty members at The Ohio State University - Robyn Wilson, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Elena Irwin, Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics; and Jay Martin, Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering.

For more than a decade, Drs. Jay Martin (Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering), Robyn Wilson (School of Environment and Natural Resources) and Elena Irwin (Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics) have worked across disciplines to publish journal articles and win over $11.5M in grant funds. By integrating across their areas of expertise, they have addressed important knowledge gaps linking the physical behavior of water with the decisions made by stakeholders. Dr. Martin uses engineering models and field experiments to analyze how the flow of water and nutrients can be influenced by climate and agricultural management practices. Dr. Wilson develops and analyzes surveys to understand how human decisions are influenced by behavioral and economic motivations, with a goal of identifying management practices most likely to be adopted by farmers in response to different policies. Dr. Irwin analyzes land use change to understand how both spatial and behavioral heterogeneity drive land use. By integrating their research, they have identified management effective strategies that farmers are likely to adopt, enhancing our ability to improve water quality while supporting agricultural production. These results address a key need in the Great Lakes and across the globe, where nutrient runoff threatens downstream water quality, resulting in impacts such as harmful algal blooms and dead zones.

The award consists of a plaque and $1,000 check to each awardee, as well as $8,000 added to the operating expense account of the team's research project.