The William J. Benton Graduate Student Awards and the Donald L. and Joy G. Sparks Graduate Fellowship Award have been helping University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) graduate students with their research since 2007, and this year’s winners are no exception.
Sudarshan Dutta in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences has been awarded the 2011 W.J. Benton Graduate Student Award for doctoral students and Jacob Fooks in the Department of Food and Resource Economics has been awarded the Benton Award for master’s students.
Matt Siebecker, a doctoral level student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, has received the 2011 Donald L. and Joy G. Sparks Graduate Fellowship Award.
William J. Benton Graduate Student Awards
The awards were established in honor of William J. Benton, former CANR associate dean of research and professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
Dutta is researching the transport of hormones in agricultural runoff from soils receiving poultry manure. Dutta explained that in many U.S. states, land application of poultry manure is a common practice and that it is important to make sure that this agricultural management practice is safe for the environment in all aspects.
Of the award, Dutta said, “I consider this award very motivating and helpful for a young researcher like me who wants to continue his career in research in an academic setting.”
Fooks’ primary research focuses on behavioral and experimental economics, revolving around the behavior of landowners in voluntary conservation programs. Fooks has also done work to reduce stigma towards individuals with HIV in Kenya and India, and he said that he is currently working on a project that measures the visual impact of offshore wind farms.
Fooks said that he was “very honored to be chosen for this award,” and credited his adviser, Kent Messer, assistant professor of food and resource economics, and the rest of the food and resource economics faculty for giving him support.
Article by Adam Thomas
Photo by Danielle Quigley