Colton Loftus ’23
Growing in the Garden State: Understanding Factors That Impact Food Production
I worked on analyzing different methods of agriculture across New Jersey and how they affect crop productivity. I worked with the other interns on this project to collect and analyze data such as insect quantities, plant disease, plant size, and environmental factors at five different organic farms in the area around Princeton, New Jersey. We also collected soil samples to provide the farmers with more insight into their land, as well as a better understanding of the impact of decisions regarding tillage, pesticides, pruning and weed control. We also used internet-connected agricultural sensors to monitor crops remotely. As a computer science major, I used my software development skills to write a program for efficient data extraction. This program allowed the internship team to automatically collect data from the sensors in the field and prepare it for analysis. I am grateful for the hands-on opportunity and to the farmers who let us conduct our studies.
Food Systems, Water And Human Health
Rubenstein Research Group, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University- Princeton, New Jersey
Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Gina Talt, Food Systems Project Specialist, Office of Sustainability