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LunchUP: MURP Professional Project and Thesis Final Presentations

LunchUP: MURP Professional Project and Thesis Final Presentations

Presenters: Jess Wunsch and Cristian Munoz Abarca

From 2000 to Today: A Retrospective Evaluation of State Food Policy Development in Michigan
The client for this project is the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS). Established in 2012, CRFS serves Michigan communities through facilitating research and interdisciplinary collaboration to promote a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system. CRFS’s work is based on the Michigan Good Food Charter (Charter), a broad vision for guiding the development of local and regional food systems throughout Michigan. The Charter identifies six goals and 25 agenda priorities to advance institutional food purchasing, equitable food access, viability of farms and farmers, youth education, and food system infrastructure. While several state policies related to the goals of the Charter have been passed in recent years, the extent to which these policies promote and fulfill these goals is unclear. In addition, little is known about specific processes by which the food policy agenda in Michigan is set and policy is enacted. To answer these questions, I use a mixed-methods approach to evaluating state policies passed between 2000 and 2018 through content analysis and case studies. The results of the project will provide guidance to CRFS in developing policy advocacy support for Michigan food organizations and inform upcoming discussions around shaping a statewide food policy voice.

PLANNING FOR RESILIENCE: Devising landscape strategies for the protection of urban wetlands in Concepción, Chile
Urbanization is one of the main causes of urban wetland loss in coastal metropolitan regions, exerting significant impacts on the structure and function of hydrological and sedimentation regimes. Furthermore, costal wetland ecosystems play a key role in the mitigation of natural disasters, specially tsunamis, acting as natural energy dissipators. This is particularly relevant to Pacific South American coast given its high degree of urbanization and its vulnerability to constant tectonic movements. Through the case study of Concepción, Chile, this investigation explores the use of resilience and landscape principles to devise urban policy and design guidelines for the regional transformation of urban wetlands. In all, this research aims to contribute with resilient urban development schemes that can help balance natural and urban dynamics in mid-size coastal South American cities.

These sessions are a response to requests from faculty and students to learn more about what’s going on in the field in an informal environment. We hope this can inspire emergent thoughts and connections that will inform our scholarship. 

Lunch is included, please bring a drink.