Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Lisa AinsworthSoyFACE Data Compilation and Analysis
Soybean is a high-protein and oil seed crop, which is sensitive to atmospheric changes including rising carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone concentrations. As of 2004, CO2 levels had risen by 30% since the Industrial Revolution, and it has been estimated that levels will rise by another 30% as we come to the middle of the 21st century. Since the increase in human activity following the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels have increased by 50% percent as of 2021, which was just before its projected elevation period (Morgan, 2004). Soybean, which is one of the most widely consumed crops in the world, is one of the earthâ€™s most ozone-sensitive crops, showing evidence of damage at higher ozone levels (Morgan, 2004). It is for this reason that testing the effects of elevated ozone on this dicotyledonous plant is imperative to interpreting future crop data related to climate change. For the past 20 years, field experiments at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have examined the response of soybean crops to rising CO2 and ozone levels using Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE). Free-Air Concentration Enrichment is a technology that releases carbon dioxide or ozone gases across crops to test how atmospheric changes will impact crop development, growth, physiology, productivity, and quality in the future. The FACE treatment is delivered by wind, and the SoyFACE team at UIUC has over 20 years of data describing wind speed, wind direction, fumigation efficiency, and additional weather metrics. The wind data is of particular importance since it is used as in input for the Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller algorithm. The goal of my REU project this summer is to analyze the SoyFACE data to identify trends, and to determine the effects of wind speed and direction on the accuracy of the elevated carbon dioxide and ozone in SoyFACE treatments. For this REU internship, the goal is to develop coding and data analytical skills that can be applied to this SoyFACE data analysis project. Furthermore, I plan to spend time this summer networking with mentors, to gain experience in scientific writing and public speaking.