Dr. Adhikari, a PrinTimber faculty member is awarded a $6M award from the NSF

This collaborative research project involving universities in different regions aims to address the complex issue of climate change’s impact on agriculture. Greenhouse gas emissions from farming contribute to climate change, leading to more severe droughts that disrupt water supply for crops, affecting farmers’ livelihoods. The project’s main goal is to enhance agricultural sustainability and food security by developing and evaluating practices that can mitigate the effects of droughts and reduce emissions.

The project involves three universities and focuses on creating resilient agricultural systems. It aims to achieve this through three key areas: (a) developing specialized biochar for agricultural use, (b) understanding the environmental and crop effects of using this engineered biochar, and (c) quantifying the socio-economic advantages of its application. The research covers several objectives, such as reducing nitrous oxide emissions, identifying plant genes that respond positively to biochar under water stress, examining its impact on nutrients and emissions, modeling extreme events’ effects on crop yield, and evaluating the economic aspects of using biochar with animal waste.

The project not only contributes to scientific knowledge but also emphasizes education and outreach. It seeks to engage a diverse audience, including students, rural communities, and underrepresented groups, by developing educational materials. The collaborative effort aims to create a skilled and diverse workforce, including students at various levels and early-career researchers. Ultimately, the project’s overarching aim is to build climate-resilient agricultural systems, reduce emissions, and enhance farmers’ ability to withstand climate change’s challenges.

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