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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Central Washington University
  • James A Cook
  • (412) 648-7372
Award Date:05/19/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ NaN
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 248,076
  • FY 2009=$248,076
Start Date:04/01/2009
End Date:03/31/2012
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Negotiations and Impacts: Great Western Development, Rural Peasants, and Water Policy across China?s Loess Plateau
Federal Award ID Number:0851541
DUNS ID:055484950
Parent DUNS ID:055484950
Program:Cross-Directorate Activities
Program Officer:
  • Fahmida Chowdhury
  • (703) 292-4672

Awardee Location

Street:400 E. University Way
Awardee Cong. District:08

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Central Washington University
Street:400 E. University Way
Cong. District:08

Abstract at Time of Award

In this project, the PI-team proposes to increase recruitment and retention of talented undergraduates in social science research by (1) establishing a multidisciplinary, collaborative research program on the impacts of national and provincial policies regarding economic growth and environmental resource management in one of China's most fragile ecosystems -- the Yellow River Loess Plateau and (2) focusing specifically on water resource management among local users (rural peasants). This work will be accomplished through the establishment of four international, multidisciplinary and faculty-mentored Study Teams. Each Team will select a research question in economics, biology, or sociology, design a research agenda and perform primary research in social sciences at rural villages. Through village-level surveys, interviews, research observations, and archival research, faculty mentors will lead students on a journey of discovery that will ascertain how water resource policies have affected the rate of erosion of the Loess Plateau and what can be done to fashion effective solutions. This proposal is based in part on the most successful elements of the PIs' previous work combined with their current intent to build the conservation and land use database, focus attention on priority areas, expand and deepen international collaboration and continue to engage students in international research with scientific, national and global relevance. Whereas their previous work concentrated primarily on urban themes, this proposal tracks increasing academic and applied interest in rural issues. This is a topic of current interest because although 80% of the water consumed in Northwest China is used in agriculture which is accomplished by individual families in isolated villages, whether/how conservation measures are implemented in the field is not well-documented. Intellectual merit: This proposal is unique among water resource management studies because it will address rural rather than urban issues -- a notable distinction in that most of the water in Northwest China is used for agriculture rather than municipal or industrial purposes. It is believed that one of the most significant contributions of this work is that it will provide a database for critical water research and planning in one of the world?s most vulnerable ecosystems. The Study Team features a unique combination of multi-disciplinary, international mentors who leverage international, academic and applied backgrounds to accomplish work that more traditional groups cannot do. The PIs have over 10 years of research experience in Northwest China, including the design and management of two previous programs that provided the experiential background for this proposal and led to numerous scientific and social contributions of more than 50 students since 2001. Further, it reinforces both academic and national demand for civic engagement as it places science in the center rather than the periphery of the planning arena. It will support four mentors, two graduate assistants, and 12 undergraduates per year from the United States. An equal number of Chinese faculty and students will participate and be supported by their home institutions. Broader impacts: This work will play a key role in discovering current conservation practices and the parameters that influence them. A practicable framework for conservation in light of both national and international demand to improve the availability and quality of water to people in a sustainable manner will be provided. Recruitment will be specifically directed to undergraduate institutions that serve underrepresented groups. This work will provide access to current research methodologies in both the social sciences and land/resource management for our Chinese partners while preparing participants for the multi-disciplinary and international-based challenges of social science research in the 21st century by infusing teaching, training and new methods of learning in every aspect of the program. This award is co-funded by the Office of international Science and Engineering (OISE), from its East Asia and Pacific (EAP) program.

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