Joanna Ory

GFI Fellow - Class of 2015

Graduate Student, Environmental Studies
UC Santa Cruz


Environmental Impacts of Atrazine Reductions


Water pollution from the herbicide atrazine impacts public health worldwide, as atrazine is used extensively and is a common water contaminant. My research investigates how restrictions on atrazine have led to changes in water quality, farming practices and farmer decision-making. My research consists of two case studies. The first case study is on the complete ban of atrazine in Italy. My second case study is on atrazine application rate restrictions and prohibition areas created in Wisconsin. In the two case studies I combine interview data, surveys, water quality analysis and archival research to investigate what factors led to the policies and whether they resulted in improved environmental outcomes.

Results from both case studies show that atrazine pollution has improved through use reductions, yet it remains a problematic water contaminant and its alternatives pose their own risks. My poster includes a discussion of strategies to reduce pesticide use in agriculture and protect water quality. In addition to this graduate research, my poster has information about the topic of food equity and education and outreach activities conducted through the Global Food Initiative.

View poster (PDF)