Graduate School News

Lauren Patterson selected as 2011 Udall Dissertation Fellow

May 23, 2011

Nationwide, only two doctoral candidates received dissertation fellowships this year from the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation of Tucson, Ariz.

Lauren Patterson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was one of them. The West Lafayette, Ind., native will receive up to $24,000 in living and academic expenses over the next year.

As a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Lauren Patterson's dissertation, “Interconnections between drought and water policy in the South Atlantic, USA,” focuses on examining drivers of water scarcity in the South Atlantic and exploring potential policy options. Her research interests were fueled by the tensions between residents and politicians, as well as between water conservation and economic development during a recent severe drought. Water scarcity is a growing issue in the South Atlantic and it is an exciting time to contribute research for policy formation and implementation.

Patterson received an M.A. at UNC, examining the effectiveness of flood policy and she has worked with local governments through the Environmental Finance Center to address sustainable financing strategies for watershed protection. Relationships and financing strategies are crucial to implement research findings. Post dissertation, it is Patterson's hope to continue to serve society at the nexus of water science and policy.

The Udall Dissertation Fellowship is awarded to outstanding doctoral candidates who have achieved distinction in their scholarly research and who are entering the final year of writing the dissertation. The dissertation topic must be significant and relevant to national environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution. The award covers both academic and living expenses up to $24,000 for the year. There have been 30 Udall Fellows since the first awards in 1997.

UNC News story

See photo and announcement from Udall Foundation website