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Essential Element

Phosphorus is an essential element to life, underpinning many critical biological processes and driving the productivity and sustainability of global food systems.

The Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center is a convergence research community of diverse and leading scientists that addresses the complex challenges in phosphorus sustainability by integrating disciplinary contributions across the physical, life, social, and economic sciences. The STEPS vision is to facilitate a 25% reduction in human dependence on mined phosphates and a 25% reduction in losses of point and non-point sources of phosphorus to soils and water resources within 25 years, leading to enhanced resilience of food systems and reduced environmental damage.

A Roadmap to Phosphorus Sustainability

STEPS Announces a Roadmap Toward U.S. Phosphorus Sustainability

STEPS is pleased to share “25-in-25: A Roadmap Toward U.S. Phosphorus Sustainability,” a project led by our partner institution RTI. This roadmap serves as a guide for the actions needed to improve sustainable management of phosphorus (P) in the United States. We outline current P management problems and their impact on stakeholders and organize sets of actions into Impact Opportunities. This roadmap is the result of collaboration between STEPS and external stakeholders, including industry representatives, policymakers, and others.

Roadmap cover image
REU students taking soil samples at Tidewater Research Station

STEPS REU Program

STEPS will support 15 students for ten weeks during Summer 2024 through a multi-institutional Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

The STEPS Summer 2024 REU Program Begins in May.

Multi-institutional Research Experience

Convergence research through a collaborative cohort project.

Projects that align research and career interests.

🚨New publication alert!🚨 STEPS researchers continue to lead in the area of #urine #diversion research. Their latest work produces benchmarks for urine volume generation and #phosphorus mass recovery in commercial and institutional buildings. 🔑 Key finding: Urine diversion is most viable in commercial and institutional buildings. Read the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589914724000173?via%3Dihub

🚨New publication alert!🚨 STEPS researchers continue to lead in the area of #urine #diversion research. Their latest work produces benchmarks for urine volume generation and #phosphorus mass recovery in commercial and institutional buildings. 🔑 Key finding: Urine diversion is most viable in commercial and institutional buildings. Read the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589914724000173?via%3Dihub ...

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Algal blooms—when beautiful blue lakes turn bright green due to algae growth—occur when excess nutrients run off into the water. These blooms are increasingly occurring and costing local economies, which lose recreational opportunities due to these toxic blooms. This Guardian article shows how Clear Lake in California is so green it's visible from space: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/31/california-clear-lake-green-space-images 

Photo credit: @NASA

Algal blooms—when beautiful blue lakes turn bright green due to algae growth—occur when excess nutrients run off into the water. These blooms are increasingly occurring and costing local economies, which lose recreational opportunities due to these toxic blooms. This Guardian article shows how Clear Lake in California is so green it`s visible from space: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/31/california-clear-lake-green-space-images

Photo credit: @NASA
...

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🚨New publication alert!🚨 STEPS researchers have published a paper characterizing spatiotemporal variability in phosphorus export across the United States using Bayesian hierarchical modeling. They find precipitation important in determining hydrologic export rates and emphasize the importance of P from geogenic sources in overall river export. Read online: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.3c07479

🚨New publication alert!🚨 STEPS researchers have published a paper characterizing spatiotemporal variability in phosphorus export across the United States using Bayesian hierarchical modeling. They find precipitation important in determining hydrologic export rates and emphasize the importance of P from geogenic sources in overall river export. Read online: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.3c07479 ...

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🎙️ Our podcast team released a new episode! Hosts Lucas Crane & Dr. Ashton Merck took a deep dive into urine diversion research 🚽 They discuss the science, recent publications, and the potential for urine diversion broadly. 

📲 Link in our story

#NewEpisode #Phosphorus #Podcast

🎙️ Our podcast team released a new episode! Hosts Lucas Crane & Dr. Ashton Merck took a deep dive into urine diversion research 🚽 They discuss the science, recent publications, and the potential for urine diversion broadly.

📲 Link in our story

#NewEpisode #Phosphorus #Podcast
...

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📣 Publication Alert!! 📣

A STEPS team recently published a paper discussing the need for system level thinking to improve the resiliency of our P fertilizer supply in the face of exogenous shocks!

📲 Find the link to the full article on our LinkedIn and X !

#phosphorus #supplychain #systemsthinking #newpublication

📣 Publication Alert!! 📣

A STEPS team recently published a paper discussing the need for system level thinking to improve the resiliency of our P fertilizer supply in the face of exogenous shocks!

📲 Find the link to the full article on our LinkedIn and X !

#phosphorus #supplychain #systemsthinking #newpublication
...

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Congratulations to Scholar Chanheung Cho for a successful PhD dissertation defense last week! 🎉

Dr. Cho's second chapter addresses the dynamic decision-making process of farmers regarding the use of P fertilizers and legacy P stocks in cropping systems under limited information. The research presents an innovative extension of Mixed-Observability Markov Decision Process methods in farm management to examine how risk preferences impact decision-making and legacy P dynamics. 

Dr. Cho was advised by: Zachary Brown (@are_ncstate) and STEPS PI Justin Baker (@ncstatecnr)

#PhDdefense #PhD #agriculture #economics #agricultureandresourceeconomics #NCState

Congratulations to Scholar Chanheung Cho for a successful PhD dissertation defense last week! 🎉

Dr. Cho`s second chapter addresses the dynamic decision-making process of farmers regarding the use of P fertilizers and legacy P stocks in cropping systems under limited information. The research presents an innovative extension of Mixed-Observability Markov Decision Process methods in farm management to examine how risk preferences impact decision-making and legacy P dynamics.

Dr. Cho was advised by: Zachary Brown (@are_ncstate) and STEPS PI Justin Baker (@ncstatecnr)

#PhDdefense #PhD #agriculture #economics #agricultureandresourceeconomics #NCState
...

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Happy National DNA Day! 🧬 Did you know phosphorus is vital to the formation of our DNA? Read more above ⬆️
#phosphorus #DNADay

Happy National DNA Day! 🧬 Did you know phosphorus is vital to the formation of our DNA? Read more above ⬆️
#phosphorus #DNADay
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Join researchers, practitioners, & decision makers at a Knowledge Co-Production Workshop at App State. You'll discuss surface waters, nutrient cycling, and microplastics to co-create knowledge and inspire future research projects. Learn more and RSVP at: https://rieee.appstate.edu/co-producing-knowledge-about-decisions-that-impact-surface-waters-of-the-nc-high-country/.

Join researchers, practitioners, & decision makers at a Knowledge Co-Production Workshop at App State. You`ll discuss surface waters, nutrient cycling, and microplastics to co-create knowledge and inspire future research projects. Learn more and RSVP at: https://rieee.appstate.edu/co-producing-knowledge-about-decisions-that-impact-surface-waters-of-the-nc-high-country/. ...

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