PSU Graduate Student Earns National Recognition for Educating on the Dangers of Homeowner Overuse of Fertilizer

February 20th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Plymouth State graduate student Nick Stevenson recently won the 2009 Student Poster Competition at the National Water Conference in St. Louis.

“Changing Homeowner’s Lawn Care Behavior to Reduce Nutrient Losses in New England’s Urbanizing Watersheds: The Role of Social Science,” highlights a multi-year project to protect water quality by reducing homeowners’ over-fertilization of lawns.

The poster was selected from a field of approximately 40 posters submitted by master’s and doctorate students from around the nation. The conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was attended by over 500 accomplished scholars and agency personnel from across the country. Stevenson said he hopes the poster message makes a difference.

“We want it to bring exposure to our project,” said Stevenson. “It feels like a good accomplishment.”

Stevenson is enrolled in PSU’s Master of Science program in Environmental Science and Policy and is a research assistant working with Brian Eisenhauer, CFE associate director and assistant professor of sociology.In photo,left to right, Eisenhauer poses with Stevenson in front of the poster.

The project uses outreach by Cooperative Extension offices throughout New England to reduce the application of excess nutrients by homeowners in targeted, urbanizing neighborhoods. The project involves researchers, students and outreach professionals and demonstrates the importance of using insights from both the natural and social sciences to develop effective educational programs, whose ultimate goal is to protect surface and groundwater quality.

Eisenhauer said the poster’s message about protecting water quality is a goal PSU embraces, and the award-winning status emphasizes its relevance to the region.

“The recognition highlights the importance of the research for developing effective programs that reduce water pollution,” Eisenhauer said. “The award reinforces PSU’s role as part of a regional effort to improve water quality.”

The poster project is funded by the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and involves a team from universities across New England including the Center for the Environment (CFE) at Plymouth State University, the University of New Hampshire, and the Universities of Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes

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