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Capstone Projects

The Mississippi River Basin: An Analysis of Regenerative Agriculture as a Solution for Nutrient Pollution Reduction

Program: Sustainable Management Bachelor's
Location: Not Specified (remote)
Student: Julissa Scott

The proposed capstone project is a case study to investigate nutrient pollution runoff in the Mississippi River Basin and the technical and financial feasibility of adopting a regenerative agriculture system. The study will include an in-depth analysis of current examples of implementation of a regenerative agriculture system. The goal is to determine if regenerative agriculture is a feasible solution for reducing nutrient pollution runoff in the Mississippi River Basin to ultimately reduce the hypoxia dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.   This case study will focus on the societal, environmental, and economic implications of adopting regenerative agriculture as a means to reduce nutrient pollution. Research analysis, quantified data, and interviews will be included to determine regenerative agriculture’s role in reducing nutrient pollution as well as the cost-effectiveness. States as well as major food companies have gathered together to work with farmers to reduce their impact and adopt a new system, which will be analyzed from a systems-thinking perspective.

Throughout the course of my capstone experience, I was able to gain more experience and skills than I could have imagined when starting the project. This capstone course has pushed me out of my comfort zone and given me the ability to network as well as conduct interviews with professionals. Conducting interviews and making connections with professionals was new to me, so I am grateful to have been able to have this experience before graduation. In addition, the capstone experience has taught me to ask for help when needed and to trust my technical abilities. Before the course and throughout my life I have struggled with confidence. After producing a project of this magnitude, I have gained more confidence in my abilities, and I know I will be able to make a difference in my field after graduation