Emma E. Bonham
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Graduation date: Spring 2021
FURI | Fall 2020
Assessing Urban Agricultural Practices in the Desert CitiesIs there a mismatch between urban farmers’ perceptions of their farm’s environmental sustainability and its actual environmental impact? Focusing on the use of water and nutrients on each farm as described by the farmers through interviews, it is evident that there is some level of disconnect between ideals and practices. This project may aid in bridging the gap between the two in regard to the farmers’ sustainability goals. This project will move forward by continuing interviews with farmers as well as collecting soil and water from the farms in order to more accurately quantify the sustainability of the farms’ practices.
Mentor: Rebecca Muenich
Featured project | Fall 2020
What made you want to get involved in FURI?
With sustainability being a big selling point for any product these days, I’m interested to see if people — specifically urban farmers — are holding true to their sustainability values and I knew that FURI could help me get there.
What has been your most memorable experience as a student researcher in FURI?
The most memorable part of being a student researcher has definitely been the interviewing process and getting to know the local farmers and what they are passionate about.
How will your engineering research project impact the world?
I think my project could provide some helpful insight as to understanding not everything is what it seems and just because something is labeled as “sustainable” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. It is also important to realize that there are varying definitions and degrees of sustainability.
What is the best advice you’ve gotten from your faculty mentor?
The best advice I’ve received is to be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but just try your best and keep going!
Why should other students get involved in this program?
Other students should get involved because this is a great opportunity to go your own route and learn about something you are interested in and also get valuable experience along the way.