Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Scholarship Awarded

The Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Scholarship for 2016-17 has been awarded to UMaine rising senior Sierra Kuun for work she plans to carry out at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. A chemical engineering major, Kuun is part of the MItchell Center Materials Management team. Her proposed research project will focus on household solid waste.

The scholarship involves working with faculty advisors to conduct research throughout the 2016-17 academic year. Her project will focus on waste reduction through implementing a pilot program at UMaine that will give students living in campus apartments the opportunity to divert food scraps and have them converted into compost that is used around campus. The data collected from her project will help inform public policy on the management of household waste at the university level and the broader community.

“We have developed a list of goals on how to tackle the problem of organic waste in Maine through increasing awareness of the benefits of composting, reaching out to organizations involved in food production and processing, and connecting them to organizations who specialize in managing food waste, and participating in community events,” Kuun says.

Kuun will present the results of her project at the UMaine 2017 Student Research Symposium next April.