The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation is pleased to announce the application period for its annual scholarship program has started. The scholarship is available for undergraduate through PhD students studying at a college or university in the United States. The scholarship is for $4,000, and also includes an invitation to present research findings at a US Composting Council Annual Conference.
The goal of this scholarship is to bring assistance to students interested, compost research and to spark interest in future careers in the composting industry.
The research project for this scholarship must be ongoing during the term of the grant and be research in the fields of composting and compost use. More specifically, the ideal candidate will have interest in improving the compost process and the application and the utilization of finished compost to increase drought tolerance, soil nutrient content, reducing erosion and water pollution, and increasing carbon storage in soils to combat climate change.
- Completion of the online application
- Submission of research project description - Project Requirements
- One recommendation letter from a professor or supervisor involved in the student's research activities
- Research must be conducted by a student, during the term of the scholarship, at a college or university in the United States.
- The application must include a budget for the project
- A final report detailing the project and the results is required
Submission Opens: February 15, 2019
Application Deadline: April 12, 2019
Submit Application Here
Recipient of the scholarship will be awarded funds to support their research and education. Recipient may also be invited to attend the USCC Annual Conference to display a research poster or to make a presentation. Travel expenses to the conference would be covered for the scholarship winner.
Meet the Two Winners of a Young Investigator Scholarship
Donald De Alwis is currently studying towards dual degrees in Environmental Science and Public Health Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. He specializes in environmental health, and enjoys exploring the interface between humans and the environment. He hopes to continue researching the human-environment nexus after his bachelor’s degree through a graduate or professional degree program.
Donald’s project focuses on the use of locally sourced compost to facilitate hydric soil conditions in wetland restoration. He will use cow manure and Bloom, a biosolid produced by a local water utility company, at three different cure times. Through a soil microcosm experiment, he will analyze ferrous iron and methane production with the intention of determining which soil amendment and cure time maximizes microbial activity while reducing greenhouse gas production. The results of the experiment will determine the feasibility of a novel use for compost, and will inform restoration practices for Maryland’s vast wetland ecosystems.
Sally Landefeld received a BA in chemistry from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Upon realizing that many preventable chronic diseases stem from lifestyle and food nutritional quality, Sally changed her plans to attend medical school and left the biomedical research field to focus on the root of the issue: soil health. She earned a MS in Environmental Science and Engineering from Oregon Health and Science University in 2017 and is pursuing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington.
Sally’s research aims to characterize the relationship between soil health and plant health: Does healthier soil grow healthier food? This project is looking at common garden crops grown in four types of soil amendments: composted biosolids from Pierce County (TAGRO), composted biosolids from King County (GroCo), vermicompost, and bokashi. These soils will be tested for a suite of chemical, physical, and biological properties to characterize the soil health, and crops are undergoing analysis for macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, and phytonutrients that act as potent antioxidants. Sally is hoping that her project may help “close the loop” on urban waste, provide fertile soil to local urban gardens, and sequester carbon in the form of soil organic matter.
See Additional Projects Awarded Scholarships