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Camila Merino Franco and Morgan Shultz complete their REU program with the SRN

August 23, 2017
Sustainable Healthy Cities network urban agriculture research group: From left to right – Grace Garbini, Sam Tabory, Peter Nixon, Morgan Shultz, Graham Ambrose, Maria Camila Merino Franco, Rachel Kosse, Anu Ramaswami

This summer, the Sustainable Healthy Cities network at the University of Minnesota hosted two undergraduate students through the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Maria Camila Merino Franco (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) and Morgan Shultz (Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, MT) worked alongside SRN researchers at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with the University of Michigan, to map urban agriculture practices in St. Paul, Minnesota.  This project mapped various types of urban agriculture through a combined method of GoogleEarth digitizing and field searches. The objective of the work was to assess the current level of urban agriculture in St. Paul and variation across neighborhoods with differing socio-demographic characteristics. “Having Camila and Morgan on board served several goals of our SRN, not only providing useful data and analysis, but giving us additional perspectives and insights about how to move the project forward.  In addition, they were terrific people to work with, and we hope the experience will be valuable to them as they continue to develop and pursue their future careers!” said Frank Douma, coordinator of the network’s participation within the REU program.

Camila is a student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities studying Biosystems and Bioproducts Engineering with an emphasis in Ecological and Environmental Engineering. Morgan is completing his first year at Salish Kootenai College, a Tribal college in Montana, where he majors in Hydrology. The purpose of the REU program on Sustainable Land and Water Resources is to introduce undergraduate students to key elements of research on land and water resources that are essential to improving management practices, with a focus on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and diverse interdisciplinary research teams.

Morgan presenting his poster during the REU Research Symposium.
Camila with research group member, Graham, at the REU Research Symposium poster presentation.