Researchers get $2M NSF grant to develop Africa water-food-energy network

“The SustainFood network will organize place-based collaborative learning schools in Pennsylvania, Morocco, Mali, South Africa and Uganda over the next five years,” he said. “These schools will provide an opportunity for convening network partners to participate in activities including problem elicitation with stakeholders, participatory modeling and policy dialogues — all of which will involve both African and US students.”

Other network-building activities include early career researcher engagements, student-led webinars, “Collab-a-Thons” and ongoing data integration, synthesis and product development among partners, Jacobson added.

Deanna Behring, assistant dean for International Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences, believes it is critical for Penn State to be engaged with Africa and to use the University’s expertise and resources to address challenges at the nexus of the continent’s water, energy and food security. .

“Penn State and the college are dedicated to work to advance the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and this project helps move the needle forward on several of them,” she said.

Other members of the team at Penn State are Christopher Scott, professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management; Abdullah Konak, distinguished professor of information sciences and technology, Berks campus; and Esther Obonyo, associate professor and director of the Global Building Network in the College of Engineering.

For more information about the Sustainable Food Network, contact Jacobson at [email protected]

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