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UTSA researcher awarded NSF grant to create computer models for food insecurity project
Date:8/6/2014

SAN ANTONIO August 6, 2014 Eric Jing Du, assistant professor of Construction Science in The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Architecture, has been awarded major funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research Program (IBSS) to complete a four-year research project about food security issues in West Africa using real-time simulation computer models.

Du's funding is part of a larger interdisciplinary project on which he is a co-principal investigator, "Participatory Ensemble Modeling to Study the Multiscale Social and Behavioral Dynamics of Food Security in Dryland West Africa," that includes researchers from two other universities. The collaborators received a cumulative $1 million grant from the NSF.

According to a 2013 report by global risk analysis firm Maplecroft, 75 percent of the countries in Africa are considered either at a 'high' or 'extreme' risk for food insecurity. Many populations in the area do not have easy or sustainable access to food. In light of this, the researchers will attempt to explain the region's food insecurity and provide tools for long-term policy-making for improved food availability, access and stability.

Du will partner with researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) and North Carolina State University to develop and test a suite of simulation models for long-term policies related to food security in the region. This research will focus on a region that includes Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria.

The project will examine and attempt to predict the different factors that contribute to the region's ongoing food security concerns. The team will also meet with policymakers in the region and hold public seminars to gain insight into the lives of the people in the area.

The researchers will produce computer models to test for a variety of factors including human behavior and migration, cl
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Contact: Jesus Chavez
jesus.chavez@utsa.edu
210-458-7904
University of Texas at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert  

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UTSA researcher awarded NSF grant to create computer models for food insecurity project
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