Matthew Cooper uses data science to study land cover and nutrition as part of his PhD in Geography at the University of Maryland. His interest in the environment and food systems has led him to conduct fieldwork in countries including Mali, Uganda, and the Philippines; act as data manager for a project that harnesses data for agricultural decision-making, and work on remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) projects. Cooper’s passion for ecosystem services and nutrition led him to apply and be a finalist in the 2017 Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Young Earth Solutions (YES!) Research Grant Competition. His project proposal, Using Forests to Support Nutrition During Times of Drought: A Multinational Social-Ecological Analysis, aims to explore how forests support nutrition during periods of low rainfall.
Food Tank had the opportunity to talk with Cooper about his BCFN research proposal and his other research pursuits related to forests and ecosystem services.