Schmidt's Tanzania project receives funding

June 8, 2011

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) announced the recipients of their spring 2011 Academic Venture Fund awards on May 29. The awards, which were given to 10 interdisciplinary projects, total $705,318.

Among the winners are Assistant Professor Stephan Schmidts project Property Formalization and the Role of Technology in Tanzania. Schmidt, along with researchers from the Law School will examine the possibilities and obstacles for using geographic information systems in formalizing and incorporating customary tenure in Tanzania. The research will also examine the role of technology in the development process and consider ways in which public participation could play a role toward developing a more comprehensive understanding of land ownership and access.

ACSFs Academic Venture Fund, initiated in 2008, was designed to stimulate original, cross-disciplinary research at Cornell in sustainability science, particularly work with the potential to involve external partners such as industry, government, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations.

Of 33 proposals submitted, nearly 80 percent included investigators from more than one college or school, and 70 percent encompassed two or more of ACSF's sustainability themes of energy, environment, and economic development. More than 30 percent included faculty from three or more colleges or schools.

Other projects receiving funds are: New Sales Approaches for Improved Cookstoves; Threats to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the Finger Lakes; Harnessing Genomics to Advance Biodiversity and Conservation Research; Ecologically Sustainable Disease Management for Emerging Bioenergy Crops; Implications of Methane Production Related to Natural Gas Extraction From Shale; Sustainable Pest Management and Yield Increase Strategies; School Gardens Improving New York State Youth Ecological Literacy, Diet, and Physical Activity; Developing Meaningful Evaluations of Sustainability; and Developing a Soil-Based, Sustainable Specialty Crop Greenhouse Industry in the Northeast.

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