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Nora Haenn

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Date: 08/15/11 - 7/31/18
Amount: $2,998,062.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

This IGERT project will create a transformative graduate education program that trains students in technologies needed for manipulating pest genomes as well as methods needed to assess the environmental and social appropriateness of specific products of these manipulations. The concept of genetically manipulating a pest species to destroy or render it benign dates back to the 1940's, and there have been several major successes in using this approach. However, restricted tools of classical genetics limited the broader application of Genetic Pest Management. Recent advances in molecular genetics have provided much more precise techniques for manipulating the genomes of pests, and efforts are now underway for development and potential release of transgenic mosquitoes and transgenic agricultural pest species aimed at achieving Genetic Pest Management. The future of this pest management strategy will be determined by further technological advances, public attitudes to the novel technologies and products involved, and the creativity and wisdom of researchers and policy makers. Although esteemed scientific groups including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences have repeatedly emphasized that risk assessment for transgenic organisms should focus on the specific product and not the process, the legacy of genetically-engineered crop commercialization has made the logic behind this idea obscure to most people, including many scientists. For new applications of genetic engineering to be developed and judged appropriately, diverse social and cultural groups will need to more deeply examine the ramifications of each application. Broadly trained PhDs in biological and social sciences will facilitate this examination and help foster more sophisticated interactions among policy makers, academicians, and members of societies where Genetic Pest Management may be applied. Intellectual Merit of this IGERT derives from the fact that this could become the first graduate program in the world that is specifically training graduate students to understand, build, and assess impacts of transgenic organisms. All students will receive core transdisciplinary training that will encompass ethics, communication, economics, ecology, epidemiology, molecular biology, and population genetics. Each student will use expertise from at least two of these specialties in developing a dissertation. Our program is broad in integrating across diverse disciplines, but maintains the focus of students and faculty by specifically studying a small set of species that are targets for Genetic Pest Management. In each of the first years of the program, we will recruit graduate students in biological and social sciences. Each cohort of about six students, balanced across disciplines, will work together with faculty to choose a single target species as the focus of their dissertations. Focus on single species will challenge both student and faculty to work together, develop a common vocabulary, and understand how each other's disciplines operate. We are developing a set of core courses, which will provide all students with a basic toolkit for working in the field of Genetic Pest Management. Students specializing in the disciplines of a specific course will act as mentors to the other students taking the course. Broader Impacts of this IGERT fall into the following categories: 1) Improvement in the administration and extent of integrated graduate education at NCSU, 2) Impact on US integrated graduate education by evaluating a novel model of such integration, 3) Increased number of students from underrepresented groups that receive interdisciplinary education, 4) Improvement of methodologies for assessing and introducing new technologies, 5) Ph.D.s in biology and social sciences who have tools needed for future interdisciplinary, global work. 6) Education of local communities. Furthermore, most of the target pest species are of importance in poor nations, and we will use existing and newly developed partnerships to set up internships and dissertation projects in thes

Date: 07/01/11 - 6/30/12
Amount: $4,000.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Faculty Research & Professional Development Fund

Since the 1990s and 2000s, Latino immigrants have increasingly bypassed traditional southwestern and urban immigrant gateways, opting to settle instead in nontraditional parts of the Southeast, including North Carolina. New immigrant destinations offer higher wages and a better quality of life than is available in enclaves found in places such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, and New York. Receiving communities often benefit from Latino influxes, yet they face obstacles in assimilating migrants and providing adequate social services. The diversity of economic, sociocultural and political arrangements forged in these places present new challenges to researchers seeking to understand immigrant incorporation.. Employers are an important but often missing piece of the puzzle. Newcomers rapidly integrate into local labor markets, but little is known about how employers help to make migration possible and how the day-to-day interactions on job sites influence social integration into receiving communities. The proposed project is a first step in examining employers' dispositions to their immigrant workers as a way to understand how immigrants connect to U.S. society and what role particular U.S. citizens play in socializing migrants. The project focuses on non-Latino citizen employers who hire Latino employees. How and why do these employers initially turn to a Latino labor force? What forms of compensation do they offer and why? And, most importantly, how do employers conceptualize and manage cultural differences at their worksite? We seek to answer these questions through the collection of preliminary data from North Carolina employers with Latino employees. Data collection will consist of twelve formal interviews: four interviews in each of three industries (agriculture, construction and service) where Latinos are concentrated. The proposed research attempts to go beyond a narrowly economic focus to investigate the larger role employers may play in immigrant lives. The project conceptualizes the worksite as a "cultural borderland," a place where people who espouse diverse meaning systems and ways of understanding the world come into close contact. The notion of a "cultural borderland" shifts attention away from the geographical border that unites/divides the United States and Latin America and toward the daily, cross-cultural interactions taking place between Latino immigrants and U.S. citizens in workplaces throughout the country. The qualitative assessment will delineate in employers' own words why they value Latino employees and what support employers offer to facilitate migrants' stay in the United States. This support includes material compensation but may also entail friendship, moral support and the cultural information necessary to adapt to life in new home country.

Date: 05/15/10 - 10/31/11
Amount: $63,452.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

One-fourth of Mexico's parks and protected areas are located in states where large-scale international migration has only recently become the norm (CONANP 2008). The significant movement of people, primarily men, from these regions raises questions about how migration affects household economies and community-based land use planning. An analysis of the effect of migration on land use planning is pressing in light of a separate shift in the management of parks and protected areas from federal to local hands. Research establishes that, where protected areas once relied on federal dictates, today their management relies heavily on public participation and community-based approaches (CBC). This shift in management is now challenged by the transformation of household economies through remittances, as well as changes in decision making at the local level, as migrating men transform the household into a transnational environmental actor. Thus, the proposed project asks: 1) How does migration alter household economies and land use? 2) How do participatory forums associated with conservation respond to the significant growth in international migration? The project answers these questions in Calakmul, Mexico, home to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Data collection will take place August 2009-July 2010 and includes ethnographic research of two conservation forums and two ejidos (common property institutions) that have implemented CBC programs. During that time, the PI will follow the round of household economic activities for a subset of 20 families to be included in a land use and land-cover change (LUCC) survey of 200 households in 20 ejidos. Carried out in collaboration with a Mexican research institution, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), the survey combines sample populations from the PI?s and ECOSUR?s prior investigations to update previous findings and to contrast today?s migration-based economy with the past. The project is presently supported by Fulbright CIES. This application seeks supplementary support for the household survey.


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