By Katie Pratt
Biosystems and agricultural engineering doctoral student Staci McGill has received a predoctoral fellowship from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pursue the research project of her choice.
The predoctoral fellowship program helps to develop new scientists and professionals to enter research, education and/or extension fields in the food and agricultural sciences within the private sector, government or academia.
McGill’s research project will develop ways to improve the air quality of indoor arenas to make the facilities healthier for humans and horses. Under the advisement of UK Assistant Professor Morgan Hayes, McGill’s research will explore designs that can aid in reducing the environmental concerns of indoor arenas such as dust, poor ventilation and excessive moisture. It will also explore the best footing materials and management.
“I love being able to go to farms and help them provide the best environments for their horses,” she said. “Ideally, my career after graduate school will continue to focus on how to help the equine industry as an agricultural engineer whether that be in extension, as a consultant or in some way I haven’t discovered yet.”
From her findings, McGill will develop design guidelines and recommendations for engineers, project managers, construction companies and members of the equine industry on how to build better indoor arenas. She also plans to create extension publications, presentations and materials for the equine industry and curriculum focused on indoor arenas. She is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia.