SNRAS student awarded Space Grant fellowship
Study on greenhouse lights
Geography major Nina Schwinghammer (pictured at right) has been awarded a $5,000 fellowship by the Alaska Space Grant Program. Under the tutelage of Professor Meriam Karlsson . She will be testing Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) and light-emitting diode (LED) lights in a controlled environment. Schwinghammer will analyze biomass output to see which type of light produces better crop yields. Two identical growth chambers will be created and a light-inhibiting fabric will cover the frame to limit outside light sources. A reflective surface will be applied to the inner walls to promote reflectivity of light. The crop to be grown will most likely be lettuce. Factors such as temperature, humidity, reflectivity, and nutrients will be identical for both test situations. Schwinghammer, who hails from Juneau, works as a student representative for the Associated Students of UAF as the gardening sustainability coordinator and for Facilities Services designing an LED light system for a food-producing greenhouse. Advisor Karlsson said Schwinghammer has a well-developed interest in local crop production, food security issues, and sustainability. “The project is timely and can be expected to generate information for immediate implementation in local greenhouse and controlled environment production,” Karlsson said. Schwinghammer is well known at UAF not only as a serious student but for her excellent photography skills which she puts to good use for the student newspaper, the Sun-Star.