Fellow Story

Niles awarded Gund award to lead comprehensive study of nitrogen

Five interdisciplinary teams will receive Gund Catalyst Awards between $35,000 and $50,000 to establish new research projects seeking real-world solutions to critical environmental issues.

The inaugural Catalyst Awards will accelerate new efforts on global climate modelling, renewable biofuels, climate impacts on mountain communities, nitrogen ‘trouble zones’ and sustainable agriculture.

“We are excited to support these ambitious projects with our first Gund Catalyst Awards,” says Donna Rizzo, Acting Director of the Gund Institute for Environment. “These are important efforts that will attract more funding to UVM, address critical issues, and develop solutions for the people of Vermont, the U.S. and worldwide.”


Meredith Niles (CALS), Eric Roy (Rubenstein) and colleagues will lead a comprehensive study of nitrogen use across the U.S., including areas where excess nitrogen – largely from agricultural fertilizers – poses risks to human health and ecosystems, including air quality and water. Faculty and students will identify counties where farmers are most likely to participate in nitrogen use reduction programs based on socio-economic, behavioral, agricultural, and environmental factors, and collaborate with carbon offset initiative stakeholders to reduce GHG emissions resulting from nitrogen hotspots. 

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