The Brown Graduate Fellowship has been awarded to Virginia Nichols. The Brown Graduate Fellowship is to be used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust. The areas of study include science, agriculture, and space science. The preference is to fund Ph.D. students, although exceptional M.S. students will be considered.
Virginia Nichols is originally from Canon City, CO, a “prison town”. She earned her undergrad at the Colorado School for Mines where she majored in Chemical Engineering. Gina is currently earning her PhD. Gina is currently looking for ways to take messy agriculture data and pull out gems of understanding with regard to cropping systems. Statistics, R, and crop models are a big help. For example; did you know crop rotation reduces weed density by ~50%? Her major professors are Dr. Sotitris Archontoulis and Dr. Matt Liebman.
Gina read Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. It was the first time Gina thought about agriculture as a science and food as a decision. Reading the book is what first sparked her interest in her research.
During Gina’s time here in Ames has been great. They can have backyard chickens if they want! One spring, they put a chicken coop in the front yard, and ended up getting a ticket for having an ‘unsightly auxiliary building’ in the front yard.
Congratulations on your achievement, Gina!