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McNair Scholar 2011John Tarnowski

John Tarnowski is a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in biochemistry. His life experiences have motivated him to improve the human condition through research. John plans to earn an MD-Ph.D.

John Tarnowski photo
My dream is to increase our understanding of health related issues that affect our society. I hope to do this by working in a federal laboratory after earning an MD-Ph.D.

Research project

Mapping Nutrients Crucial to a Growing Population

Abstract: ver two billion people worldwide suffer from inadequate levels of micronutrients, mainly in the form of iodine, iron, and vitamin A deficiencies. With a growing population, producing crops that contain high amounts of these micronutrients is of increased importance. Addressing these deficiencies sustainably requires a detailed examination of the agricultural production of the micronutrients. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not enough of these important nutrients are produced to meet the nutritional needs of the global population, and to determine where nutrients are most deficient. We used area specific crop production data to map where and how much iron and vitamin A are produced from major crops. Our study found that iron is grown in a sufficient amount to meet the needs of our global population, but developing regions do not produce enough iron per person to meet their population’s needs. There was not enough vitamin A produced from major crops to meet the needs of the global population. All continents did not produce enough vitamin A to feed their population. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Jon Foley is the director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Foley’s work focuses on global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of global-scale ecological processes, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet’s climate and water cycles, and the sustainability of our biosphere. This work has led him to be a regular advisor to large corporations, NGOs and governments around the world.