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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Zhang Named a 2014 Ohio State Presidential Fellow

April 30, 2014

AEDE doctoral student Wendong Zhang was recently named a Spring 2014 Ohio State Presidential Fellow. This fellowship is the most prestigious award given by the Ohio State Graduate School and recognizes the outstanding scholarly accomplishments and potential of graduate students entering the final phase of their dissertation research. Zhang is the first graduate student from AEDE to receive the award.

The Presidential Fellowship provides financial support to enable winners to devote one year of full-time study to the completion of his or her dissertation or degree project unimpeded by other duties.

Zhang, who is advised by Professor Elena Irwin, focuses on the interdependence of land use, land management, ecosystem services and public policy in his studies at Ohio State. Zhang will use the fellowship funding to focus on his dissertation, “Improving the Sustainability of the Lake Erie Region: Linking Agricultural Land Management and Lake Ecosystem Services.”

For his dissertation, he is currently working with Professor Irwin to investigate how the land management decisions of farmers’ in the Maumee River watershed impacts the incidence, intensity and extent of harmful algal blooms and downstream Lake Erie ecosystem services. Using an integrated economic-biophysical modeling framework, the researchers aim to evaluate the environmental and economic tradeoffs of alternative nutrient management policies to quantify the costs of upstream farm management changes and the associated benefits of downstream ecosystem services.

Zhang has received numerous accolades for his work, including grant funding from NOAA/Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), and he has been recognized by the department as the 2012 winner of the best doctoral manuscript, as well as recognition from his industry peers through research awards at the North American Regional Science Conference and the Midwest Graduate Student Conference on Regional and Applied Economics.

Zhang earned his MA in Economics from Ohio State University and he has a BS in Environmental Science from Fudan University in his home country of China. 

April 30, 2014