Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, Colorado State University is entering its third year of PhD. Students from different backgrounds to help solve complex problems at the intersection of multiple sectors.
The multidisciplinary training, education and research program in Food-Energy-Water Systems or Intervention brings together students and teachers interested in studying food, energy and water systems, as well as many ways in which those systems interact with each other.
This fall, the program received a third group, with a total of 20 trainees representing five colleges and 10 departments. The INTERFEWS faculty includes eight colleges and 21 departments.
“The special focus of INTERFEWS is the multifaceted collaboration between students,” said Sibil Sharville, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of INTERFEWS. “This active student group will serve as the next generation leader in solving complex problems in food, energy and water management.
With the pressures of population growth and climate change, trainees’ ability to work together in the education sector and use systems to solve strong challenges is becoming more important than ever.
The program prepares trainees by offering a number of courses on food, energy and water issues; Involve them in comprehensive research on this link; And liaise with training partners through industry partners, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. INTERFEWS also provides career development opportunities and science communication training.
The INTERFEWS faculty offers a wide range of research projects that are in line with the program’s focus. Trainees can choose to join the project they want, and the faculty advises students who have chosen their projects.
INTERFEWS projects showcase the scope of CSU research in this area and foster collaboration in all departments and disciplines.
PhD student Anika Weber applied for the INTERFEWS program to further her studies in food science and nutrition.
“I was interested in the health and nutrition aspects of my research, but I saw the need to implement a larger lens that incorporates food-energy-water ideas,” says Weber. I thought it would make sense for me to consider just a few touches on food science and nutrition if we really want to find realistic and lasting food solutions.
Weber is collaborating with Elizabeth Ryan, associate professor of environmental and radiology health sciences, to develop rice bran as a nutritious and sustainable food source. Rice branding is a staple of rice processing, but it can help reduce food insecurity and prevent malnutrition and diarrhea. Last year, Weber was the lead author and co-author of the second edition of this research.
Weber says she has taught value to many disciplinary groups.
“It’s important to have research and discussions with my peers from a variety of fields, from politics and social sciences to engineering and crop and soil science,” says Weber. Their questions and resources helped me find new research perspectives that I did not gather.
Weber’s popular INTERFEWS experience so far has been a workshop where the trainees have visited local farmers, rainforests, environmentalists and hydraulic brake stations. These various stakeholders shared their views and food-energy-water issues with students.
“I gained a lot of value by hearing directly from stakeholders, and we were reminded of the need to conduct research in line with the needs of our community,” Webber said.
INTERFEWS is receiving research ideas from teachers and external partners. To submit a research project, please visit the INTERFEWS website. Training ideas can also be provided online.
INTERFEWS Postgraduate Student Applications Opens Fourth and Final Call October 25 Train Fall 2022. Application closes January 14. The program is open to CSU PhD. Students are given priority for entering the first or second semester of their program. Students over the third semester of PhD are not eligible. Both financially and unresolved jobs are offered.