Graduate Student Riva Denny Receives Research Enhancement Funding

Dr. Marquart-Pyatt and Riva Denny were awarded a Michigan Applied Public Policy Research (MAPPR) grant by MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) in summer 2017 for their collaborative project, “A Statewide Survey of Residents’ Perceptions of Water Quality, Quantity and Access in Michigan.”

This grant allows them to put questions on the Michigan State of the State Survey. Denny applied for Research Enhancement Funding to be able to add a few additional questions to their section of the survey that will enhance and extend her dissertation research on knowledge and water concerns among US farmers. The additional questions will let her compare the views of farmers and non-farmers in Michigan on the relative importance of different sources of nutrient pollution, including from agriculture.

One of the issues that has emerged in her dissertation research with farmers is the potential for an important rural-urban divide over sources of nutrient pollution, with farmers pointing to urban sources like lawns and golf courses, and wastewater treatment plants as significant contributors. Previous research suggests that familiarity with a risk causes them to discount its severity and likelihood, and she is interested in the ways that farmers, rural non-farm residents, and urban residents, evaluate the risk and severity of agriculture related sources of nutrient pollution, as opposed to urban related sources. The results of this research would have important implications for outreach efforts to reduce nutrient pollution from urban, rural and agricultural sources.