The focus of our research is on how a small island developing state could become climate resilient through sustainable agriculture and energy solutions, and how these social enterprises could build economic opportunity by equipping residents with the tools they need to supply the tourism industry with locally grown food. We intend to take our research on this test case to create a sustainable food production and livelihood system that can serve as a replicable model for climate resilience.    

In partnership with UVA startup Babylon Micro-farms, led by Alex Olesen ’18, we are developing and testing a prototype of an automated, solar powered rapid rollout hydroponic system. This system has a unique opportunity to be applied to areas globally that may be affected by climate change, devastated by hurricanes or are not able to sustainably grow food. In the coming year, we will evaluate the potential application of the hydroponic system on the island of Dominica.  This island presents an ideal case study, as a microcosm of an independent developing state reliant on imports of food and traditional energy and water systems in the immediate aftermath of climate change related disasters such as hurricane Maria on September 18 2017.