Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

CBS graduate student Marci Baranski first to earn PhD from 4E Track

Photo of Marci Baranski

The history of Indian wheat agriculture unites science and society.

On Thursday, January 22, 2015, CBS graduate student Marci Baranski became the first person to earn a PhD in the Ecology, Economics, and Ethics of the Environment (4E) concentration of the Biology & Society degree.

Baranski defended her dissertation, titled, “The Wide Adaptation of Green Revolution Wheat” in Wrigley Hall on Tempe Campus in front of a full audience and her committee members: professor Ann Kinzig (Chair), senior sustainability scientist and associate professor Hallie Eakin, co-director for the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and professor Daniel Sarewitz, senior sustainability scientist and assistant professor professor Jameson Wetmore, and regional director (interim) of Bioversity International, Dr. Prem Narain Mathur.

Baranski began her doctoral work at ASU in 2010 under the supervision of Kinzig.

Baranski’s dissertation focuses on the history and policies of wheat agriculture in India, from the 1950s to 1990.

According to Kinzig, Baranski’s research is, “a seminal work on the history of wheat breeding, Norman Borlaug, and wide adaptation (of wheat) in India, with implications for Indian food security that reverberate through to today. This was an ambitious and fundamentally interdisciplinary endeavor.”

Baranski’s scholarship exemplifies the interdisciplinary, socially embedded research that brings science and society together called for by both the ASU Charter and the CBS mission.

In 2012 Baranski was awarded an NSEP Boren Fellowship that supported six months of research in northern India, where she worked as a research fellow with the international non-profit organization, Bioversity International, in New Delhi.

Baranski’s dissertation is based off of archival work that she conducted at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute Library in New Delhi, India, the Directorate of Wheat Research Library in Karnal, Haryana, India, the Special Collections Department at Iowa State University, and the Rockefeller Archive Center in Tarrytown, NY, and interviews that she conducted at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Bihar and Delhi, as well as Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India.

Baranski has participated in several ASU projects, including Graduates in Integrative Society & Environmental Research (GISER), and the Embryo Project, as a writer, editor, and finally, the Embryo Project Special Projects Manager.

More Information:

Marci Baranksi