College Compost Research Scholarships

The deadline to apply for this scholarship was May 10th. Applications are under review and the students who will be awarded scholarships will be announced by July. Look during the winter of 2021 for the next opportunity to apply.

The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation offers an annual scholarship to college students to assist with their compost research projects. 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. Other compost-related projects will also be considered.


Meet the Students Who Were Awarded
the 2019/2020 College Scholarships

Anaya Hall is a PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley where she focuses her research on data-driven models of coupled human and natural systems. She earned an MS from Tufts University in Agriculture, Food & Environment and a BA from Stanford University in Human Biology. As a PhD student, she is building on her interdisciplinary background linking ecological and economic sciences to promote equitable, sustainable, and climate-resilient food systems.

Anaya’s project will develop a spatial model for the state of California to connect organic waste streams with composting infrastructure and working lands in order to critically evaluate the feasibility and anticipated abatement costs of using composted municipally-generated organic waste as a soil amendment to both sequester carbon and meet state-level diversion requirements. This analysis combines spatial optimization and life-cycle assessment to consider the technical, economic, and institutional potential of actively managing the State’s food scraps and green waste for climate change mitigation. The research models a range of scenarios to estimate the cost per ton CO2eq of this abatement strategy and provides the first approximation of the potential impacts of organic waste management for soil carbon in California.

Anne Hallee is currently enrolled at The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington pursuing her Bachelors of Science Degree with a focus in Chemistry.  She brings a background in sustainable agriculture and nutrient management planning to her academic focus in plant nutrient cycling and the symphony of microbiology at play in soil chemistry.  She plans to work in the agricultural sector as an educator and researcher.

Anne’s research project will investigate phosphorus availability in composts of varying feedstocks.  She will assess the amounts of soluble, plant available phosphorous typical of compost samples from static aerated composting facilities targeting three groups of feedstock types: manure based, green waste based and food scrap-based composts when applied to a low fertility soil.  Her project will involve compost characterizations, soil blends and an incubation mimicking a growing year to evaluate the representative phosphorous availability in land applied compost products. The information gathered from this study will inform the composting community of phosphorus content within various feedstocks, offer guidance for determining composting recommendations that limit phosphorus losses into the watershed, and inform best management parameters for manure-based compost, green waste-based compost and food waste-based compost.

Here's the Winner of the Special North Carolina Scholarship
donated by the North Carolina Composting Council

Onnr Grogan is a junior in the undergraduate Biological Engineering program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The objective of her project is to determine how the method and schedule of turning a compost affects the temperature profile, nutrient contents, and time required for production of the compost. Wooden open-air pens will be compared to tumbler bins for ease and efficiency. Additionally, the turning schedule will be varied to determine the ideal frequency for compost turning with each method.

The long-term goal of her project is to develop the infrastructure and a process necessary to begin a comprehensive compost program through the main dining hall on campus. A cost benefit analysis will be performed to determine the economic sustainability of a continuous composting program compared to the current process of discarding all food in a trash compactor. When the project is completed, the plan is to present a proposal for a continuous composting program to the NC A&T Chancellor and a representative of Sodexo, the school’s food service provider.

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Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF)
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Suite 115
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Mailing Address:
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tel: 301-897-2715