Monday, May 15, 2017

URSP Student Jesse Muzzy Uses a Mathematical Equation to Determine Potential Food Growth in D.C.

My interest in urban agriculture specifically began my Junior year of college when I worked in the hydroponic greenhouse on campus. I began learning about so many new technologies and innovative growing methods to grow food in urban areas and how urban agriculture addresses environmental and social issues related to food insecurity.

After graduation, I personally plan to learn more about growing food at the individual and community level using ecologically sustainable practices. Once my experience in growing is deepened, I plan to pursue urban agriculture either through non-profit work, commercial growing, or an entrepreneurial endeavor. 

For my URSP project, I meet with my mentor just about every week for 1-2 hours. Our meetings are extremely helpful because she keeps me on track and holds me accountable to deadlines, as well as helps me work through certain questions and issues that come up as I’m doing my research. Much of my time is spent reading articles, researching public records, and making notes so that I can easily keep track of sources and connections that I make between articles. From now until the rest of the semester, I will be working on my analyses and creating a research paper, as well as creating a poster to display my research and conclusions.

One thing I discovered this term was that I am capable of more than I originally thought. After a lot of brainstorming with my mentor, I came up with the idea of using a mathematical equation to figure out how much food could potentially be grown in Washington D.C. If you had asked me in January if I would be using math to answer my research question, I probably would have giggled and responded with the inherently casual response of “math is not my thing.” However, now I feel more guided, focused, and excited about my research and believe that I do have the tools and brains to figure something out that hasn’t been attempted before, and that just might have an impact on the future of urban agriculture.