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Aidan Wills

Aidan Wills
Modeling Food, Water, and Energy Nexus in The Connecticut River Watershed
Program Year: 
Environmental Science
Timothy Randhir

This summer I was lucky enough to be able to work with Timothy Randhir to analyze the connection between food, water, and energy within the Connecticut River Watershed. This project allowed me to learn how to operate and manipulate data using GIS software such as ArcGIS Pro and BASINS. I used GIS data that I found online such as US Census of Agriculture and US Energy Atlas data to gain information surrounding the agriculture and energy outputs for certain counties. Using ArcGIS and Excel I was able to shape this data to learn about the food and energy productivity of the watershed as a whole as well as at the sub basin level. I found this process very rewarding as I had to navigate many different technological challenges as well as think of the best ways to accurately depict my findings using maps of the region. Another aspect of this project was using the BASINS P-LOAD model to determine the pollution load and load per acre of certain pollutants such as total nitrogen and total phosphorus. Finally to complete the project, I performed GWLF-E analysis of the watershed to determine precipitation, stream order, soil type, total pollution discharge, and land coverage. Going forward, I hope to be able to put the skills I learned this summer to use in future research projects. I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to work on this project and learn the usefulness of GIS.