Martha Roberts (BS ’04, MS ’06) was named the 2006 Whitley Scholar for her extensive work and research efforts internationally on issues of sustainable development and sustainable agriculture, and for her efforts closer to home to bring a sharper focus on issues of the environment and sustainability to the Stanford campus.
Martha received her BS in Earth Systems with a focus in land use policy and environmental economics. During her undergraduate years, Martha received a Stanford in Government summer fellowship at the Stockholm Environment Institute, where she researched the integration of vulnerability analysis into development planning. Martha also worked as a fall intern at Environmental Defense in Madison, WI researching environmental conservation on farmlands. During the winter of 2004, Martha attended the Stanford in Washington program, where she was an intern at the World Bank. She graduated with Interdisciplinary Honors for her award-winning honors thesis entitled “Transitions in Organic Production: A Survey of Growers in the Salinas Valley, CA.”
Martha spent the year between her BS and MS coursework working in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam as one of the 2004-05 Luce Scholars at An Giang University. Among her many projects were an assessment of rice marketing systems and the development and promotion of wetland wastewater treatment facilities.
For her MS degree, focused on natural resource economics and policy, Martha researched the impact of El Niño conditions on rice production in the Philippines. She also shared her expansive knowledge of sustainable agriculture with other students as a member of the World Food Economy T.A. team.
While at Stanford, Martha was a coordinator for Students for a Sustainable Stanford and the Redwood Action Team. She was a docent at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where she assisted with the East Palo Alto Prep field studies course. She also managed the garden at Synergy House and served as an Earth Systems Student Advisor.
Martha’s other awards and honors include the 2003 Earth Systems Award for Academic Excellence, a BS with Distinction, and the 2003 Goldman Prize for her excellent honors thesis. Next up for Martha is a year-long position with Environmental Defense through the 2006 Lokey Fellowship, working on U.S. Farm Bill conservation programs at the Center for Conservation Incentives in Boulder, CO.