Turning water into food
Utah State University has flown more experiments in space than any other university in the world. Thirty years ago Bruce Bugbee and his students began working with scientists on a NASA-funded project to develop a life-support system for people traveling away from our planet. This task requires a recycling system that produces food from waste and keeps carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water in perfect balance. This project led Bugbee to appreciate the elegance of Earth’s biological systems where plants recycle gasses, purify water, and provide food. Humans are increasingly aware of the impact of fossil fuels on climate change but overlook the impact of limited water on heir ability to grow food. Bugbee and his talented colleagues have sought to improve water use efficiency in agriculture. He presents an analysis on the enormous water requirement for food production, reviews the crisis in world water supply and shows how small changes in diet can have a major impact on our global food-print.
Bruce Bugbee teaches Crop Physiology and Plant Nutrition at Utah State University where he was awarded the Graduate Mentor of the Year award in 2001, the Researcher of the Year award for the College of Agriculture in 2005, and the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2012. Bugbee is a past Chairman of the Crop Physiology division of the American Society of Agronomy. NASA has funded much of his research on the physiology of plants in the controlled environments of space. Bugbee has presented at several Universities as well as conferences in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Brazil and has authored or co-authored over 100 journal articles and book chapters.