Kontgis awarded NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship

May 30, 2013

Caitlin Kontgis, a doctoral student in the Department of Geography and the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, has been awarded a prestigious Earth and Space Science Fellowship from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Caitlin Kontgis

The three-year fellowship will fund Kontgis’s research proposal titled "Urbanization, climate change and rice crop sustainability."

Kontgis studies the sustainability of rice systems in Vietnam, one of the world’s leading exporters of the crop. There is concern that a combination of urban expansion and climate change could lead to a substantial decrease in rice yields in the region, Kontgis explains. She hopes to reveal new insights into how current and future rice production will be affected.

Kontgis’s research integrates findings on agricultural land lost to urbanization, future land cover and climate scenarios, and simulations from a crop systems model. She is advised by Annemarie Schneider, an assistant professor of environmental studies.

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program aims to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals.