Kate Nelson

Kate Nelson


BioWRAP Team

Meet Kate Nelson

Assistant Professor

Institution: Kansas State UniversityDepartment: Geography & Geospatial SciencesEmail: [email protected]

I am an assistant professor of nature-society interactions in the Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences at Kansas State University. I have a background in environmental engineering, management, and policy. My research interests include landscape diversity, agricultural adaptation, strategic retreat, vulnerability assessment, rural sustainability, and scale-based uncertainty. I am the PI of the Sustainability of Communities and Agricultural Landscapes (SCALes) lab, which examines the joint influences of environmental hazards, land use, and socioeconomic conditions in socioenvironmental systems. Our goal is to identify policy and practice solutions that promote social equity and the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems for future generations. SCALes projects use a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches but there is an emphasis on data-driven spatial analysis and programming approaches for large integrated social-environmental datasets. 

SCALes – KSU, KSU, Dept of Geography and Geospatial Sciencesu)



Frequently Asked Questions

We understand there are many questions you may have in regards to BioWRAP. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions that we receive.

The long-term goal is to create a locally-sourced, customizable, spray-on biopolymer-based films to serve as soil cover that can be synchronized to crop growth cycles under differing climatic conditions and applied using precision agricultural equipment. The system would also support socioeconomic resiliency, positive bioeconomic cycles, biotechnology adoption, sustainable crop production, and soil health in EPSCoR states.

Transforming biopolymers into a local material will equitably distribute the costs and benefits of biotechnology adoption by crop producers and support rural workforce development. Creating a protective, but permeable spray-on biopolymer cover will provide physical weed suppression, enable crop producers to reduce herbicide use, protect soil ecosystem diversity, effectively manage field edges, help conserve natural resources, buffer waterways from agrochemical runoff, enhance land productivity, and increase crop production resiliency.

We hypothesize that adoption of BioWRAP technology will vary by region and producer characteristics, climate conditions, soil type, and underlying preferences will lead to differential adoption across regions and cropping systems. Our team plans to assess the potential market for BioWRAP using structured group discussions in locations where producers and purchasers/retailers to gain the most accurate assessment of the market potential of biodegradable biofilm technology.

Initial testing will include corn and soybeans. Application of the product may include autonomous spray platforms as well as field scale commercial sprayers.

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