University of Minnesota
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Stemig receives Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

Third-year graduate student Amanda Stemig has received a 2013-14 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship. Her research interests are in environmental chemistry, specifically the fate of environmental contaminants in aquatic systems. Amanda is co-advised by Professor Lee Penn from the Department of Chemistry and William Arnold from the Department of Civil Engineering.

With the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship, Amanda is studying the effect of environmental conditions on the aggregation and chemical behavior of iron oxide nanoparticles. Her research is titled, Assessing the Potential Societal Outcomes by Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Technology in Groundwater Remediation Systems: A System Dynamics Study.

Iron oxide nanoparticles are known to dramatically increase the rate of environmental contaminant degradation under anoxic groundwater conditions. By better understanding their role in environmentally relevant reactions, more efficient groundwater remediation systems can be developed and implemented. However, there are major concerns regarding how social, political, and cultural systems will perceive implementation of such technology. To address this, Amanda will be collaborating with Professor Jennifer Kuzma from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to develop a model that will help maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of using nanoparticle technology in remediation systems. Amanda will also be a resident with the Institute on the Environment.

This fellowship awards outstanding graduate students with interdisciplinary dissertation topics who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the university’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes. The fellowship provides unique study opportunities for students with research and scholarly interests that complement those of the host center or institute and its faculty.
 The fellowship provides Amanda with a $22,500 stipend and tuition.