Rotary: Lillian Petersen Discusses Research

Los Alamos High School senior Lillian Petersen has won multiple awards at Intel Science and Engineering competitions. At a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, she described how she analyzes large data sets to investigate climate, agriculture, malnutrition and poverty. She explained her research on creating a real-time monitoring system to predict crop yields in every African nation several months before harvest and how this tool can predict areas of malnutrition. Her work has captured global attention, and she has been an invited speaker at 11 different aid organizations and research institutes, including USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Big Data in Agriculture conventions in both Kenya and India. Petersen is interning with the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in San Diego, Calif., where she is exploring how gene activation is related to leukemia. Photo by Linda Hull