Jennifer Burney, a postdoctoral researcher helping understand how changes in cooking habits could have complementary effects on climate change and public health, has been named an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society.
The $10,000 award provides financial support to the research efforts of scientists who are in their early careers. Burney is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and is an affiliate of Stanford University's Program on Food Security and the Environment.
At Scripps, she is part of a team headed by Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Science Veerabhadran Ramanathan studying the effects of replacing homemade cookstoves in rural India with cleaner-burning alternatives in an effort called Project Surya.
Among Burney’s objectives is to study the links between energy poverty and food and nutrition security and the environmental impacts of food production and consumption. In the case of Project Surya, this will mean helping Ramanathan assess what happens when emissions of soot and other black carbon are substantially reduced in a given area. Ramanathan expects that the experiment will show immediate reduction in the contribution of greenhouse agents from that area.
Burney and the other new Emerging Explorers are introduced in the June 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine. Read more at