$10,000 winner

School: University of California, Berkeley

PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy Management 

Colony Collapse Disorder provides us with a unique opportunity to look critically at the end results of our agricultural systems if we proceed without change. Honeybees, it seems, are a canary in the coal mine that point to a possible collapse of our food system if we don’t shift our agricultural landscapes to sustainable models. And while beekeepers are an important source of knowledge about agricultural sustainability, they are also both co-producers and captives of an industrialized food system that pushes them to manage their bees in ways that are unsustainable.

This, then, is what I want to research: How can we create farming systems that are pollinator friendly and diverse? What changes must beekeepers make to promote bee health? How can we measure the costs and benefits of creating a more pollinator-diverse agricultural system to make sure it is economically viable? And then how can we identify points of leverage to effect policy changes that will support these systems as well?”