Martina Qua ’25


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Climate Resilient Food Systems

I worked on two projects with the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Resilient Food Systems team. One goal was to bring more attention to blue foods — aquatic plants and animals — as they play crucial roles in providing food and nutrition security worldwide. Blue foods are often managed as natural resources to be conserved, but it is important to view them as food; aside from being nutritious, blue foods are central to the livelihoods and economies of many coastal communities. I created a database to track the investments of donor countries and multilateral organizations going into blue foods that EDF can use to identify top funders and advocate for more blue foods funding. I also did research for a regenerative aquaculture project in the Philippines that aims to raise seaweed (Sargassum) with mussels to create an ecosystem that stores carbon and will diversify livelihoods in the community. Through online research and interviews with community members in the Philippines, I created a report on the opportunities and potential alternative uses of Sargassum in the community. Overall, I learned a lot about aquatic food systems and developed my online and in-person research skills.

Internship Year


Project Category

Food Systems and Health


Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) - Austin, Texas


Karly Kelso, Director, Climate Resilient Food Systems, EDF