Marcus Speigel‘s project on “_Modeling Agricultural Expansion in Zambia to Predict and Minimize Tradeoffs__” _has been selected for support from the Smith-Newton Scholars Program in the Princeton Environmental Institute. To complete his project, Marcus will be working under the guidance of Kelly Caylor.
The program is honorific in nature and designed to reward students who have shown exceptional promise in their academic coursework and in select summer research apprenticeships under the guidance of Princeton faculty. The Program will support Marcus’ research for up to 2 years and will cover the cost of research supplies and materials, as well as his summer stipend.
Marcus’s project will seek optimal strategies for agricultural expansion in Zambia by generating a spatial tradeoff model to simulate the effects of different scenarios for developing new agricultural land. The model will be constrained by varying ecological (carbon emissions, biodiversity loss) and economic (transport and input costs) cost constraints. Additionally, Marcus will conduct interviews in Zambia to collect socioeconomic data that will inform his understanding of agriculture in the region and work with local farmers to install sensors to monitor crop growth in their fields and calibrate the model.