Michelle Lau, 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering

I spent this summer working closely with a post-doctoral researcher in the Woodrow Wilson School researching the effects of climate change on crop yields and biodiversity in South Africa. This project focused on South Africa because it is an area with a large agricultural sector that is highly vulnerable to climate change. The main objective of the project is to understand how climate change will affect crop yields in the next century, as well as how human responses to climate change will influence South Africa’s biodiversity. My main responsibilities included preparing crop, soil, and weather data to use as inputs for modeling crop yields. I also worked to calibrate a crop modeling program and interpreted the results that the model produced. I am looking forward to and will be continuing this research into the semester.