USDA National Needs
Ph.D. Fellowship Program
The Departments of Biological Systems Engineering, Crop and Soil Sciences, and The School of Economic Sciences, with assistance from the Department of Foreign Languages & Cultures, offer an international multidisciplinary Ph.D. graduate program in sustainable development and natural resource management.
This program is funded by the USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Grants Program.
Increased global population growth, climate change, and the recent trend in agriculture toward converting croplands for bio fuel production will lead to increased pressure on agricultural lands and natural resources, both nationally and internationally. The purpose of this Fellowship program is to train graduate students in an interdisciplinary and international program linking engineering and economic sciences. We support fellowships that encourage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees where there is a national and international need for their scientific and professional expertise. This program emphasizes rigorous training in engineering, economics, leadership, critical thinking, and communications.
Fellows will receive an annual stipend for 3 years. Additional support beyond the three years will be granted to Fellows to complete their Ph.D. program, should a fourth year of study be required.
Emphasizing leadership, critical thinking, and communications, our program at WSU will focus on the following areas:
- Productivity - environmental impact versus the long-term sustainability of agricultural systems
- Agricultural Practices - Conservation versus convention tillage, agricultural sustainability
- Global Change - Economic, managerial, and technical challenges of climate change
- Erosion - Scientific, economic and political causes, effects, and solutions
- Scarcity - Consequences of growing populations, diminished water supplies, and vanishing farm land
- Water and Land Resources - Consequences of changing availability of water and land resources
A Semester In Italy
To further global awareness and understanding, program Fellows have an opportunity to spend a semester in Italy at the University of Bologna where they will attend relevant courses and conduct research. WSU and the University of Bologna have established a Graduate Student Exchange Program which allows course credits to be transferred between the universities.
The internship in Bologna is supported by an International Travel Allowance of $8,000. Preparation for the international internship includes Italian language training by the Department of Foreign Languages at WSU.
- Internship opportunity at a University research center or a federal research unit.
- Support from multidisciplinary research centers in the form of facilitation of collaborative research and relevant seminar series and workshops.
- Fellows will be part of a multidisciplinary team sharing experiences and a special outreach project.
- Attendance at national and regional conferences and workshops.
- Evaluation and assessment of program performance by the WSU Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology.
- Emphasis on Leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills.
Markus Flury (Principal Investigator) is a Professor in the Departments of Crop & Soil Sciences and Biological Systems Engineering. His research emphasizes the physical properties of soils as they relate to agricultural productivity and environmental protection. (firstname.lastname@example.org; 509-335-1719)
Joan Wu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. She is a hydrologist and agricultural engineer specializing in watershed processes. Dr. Wu is actively involved in promoting women in science and engineering. (email@example.com; 509-335-5996)
Claudio Stöckle is Chair of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. He is an agricultural engineer specializing in soil and water engineering and agro-environmental engineering. (firstname.lastname@example.org; 509-335-1578)
Phil Wandschneider is Professor in the School of Economic Sciences. His research and outreach activities are in the economic evaluation of agricultural, environmental, and natural resource projects and policies. (email@example.com; 509-335-1906)
We are seeking highly qualified applicants at the Ph.D. level. Applicants must be US citizens or native residents of U.S. territories. Candidates should have a M.S. degree in Engineering, Soil Science, Environmental Science, or Economics. Outstanding candidates without a M.S. degree will also be considered.
Underrepresented minorities and first generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply.
For more information and detailed application procedures, please contact Dr. Markus Flury, the principal investigator for this program.
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