8th Class, 2015-2017
Field Placement: Foundation for Ecological Services (FES); Anand, India
Julia supported FES’s work to build local capacity from the village to district levels to strengthen natural resource management. She contributed primarily to its experimental games project and Rural Colleges. The experimental games, developed in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, are a means to help villagers conceive of groundwater as a common resource requiring common self-governance. In addition to observing the games in action and providing feedback on how to improve them, Julia worked with the games team to create supplementary posters and produce instructional videos to aid in scaling up the project from villages in the south to those in the north. For her work with the Rural Colleges, Julia conducted four audience analyses to guide the translation of resource manuals produced by international organizations into various communication pieces more appropriate for these audiences. With the Rural Colleges, she drafted and piloted modules based on theories of adult learning. She also worked on coupling the modules with monitoring and evaluation tools to help measure effectiveness and indicate changes needed to finalize the product as well as produced a guide that tracks this process to aid future manual translations for these audiences.
Education and Experience:
Julia was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Northeast Missouri. She earned her BS in Agricultural Journalism, with and emphasis in International Agriculture, and BA in Communication, with a Multicultural Studies Certificate, from the University of Missouri in Columbia. After undergraduate, Julia spent 6 months volunteering with a USAID Feed the Future project in Ghana led by ACDI/VOCA and worked in Washington, DC, doing communications for a soybean-growers association. As a graduate student earning her MS in International Agricultural Development at the University of California Davis, Julia surveyed apple farmers in China to determine how cooperative membership influenced the adoption of information communication technologies (ICTs) to access agricultural information. During graduate school, Julia provided communication consultation to a small firm in Nigeria through the USAID John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer project, the University of Cape Town in South Africa as a USAID Research and Innovation Fellow, and the John Muir Institute of the Environment in Davis, Calif., as a graduate student researcher.