Gund Graduate Fellow, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

A graduate fellow in the transdisciplinary NSF IGERT Smart Grid program at UVM, Sonya Ahamed is interested in energy system transitions and the use of complex systems to tackle both practical problems in environmental and social science and theoretical problems in physics and math. As a researcher for ten years at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia's Earth Institute, much of her work centered around the development of data and information systems for digital soil mapping.


  • P . Sanchez, S. Ahamed, F . Carré, A. Hartemink, J. Hempel, J. Huising, P . Lagacherie,
  • A.B. McBratney, N.J. McKenzie, M. de Lourdes Mendonça-Santos, B. Minasny, L. Montanarella, P. Okoth, C. Palm, J. Sachs, K. Shepherd, T. Vågen, B. Vanlauwe, M. Walsh, L. Winowiecki, G. Zhang. (7 Aug 2009) Policy Forum: Digital Soil Map of the World. Science. 325, pp. 680-681.
  • C. Palm, P. Sanchez, S. Ahamed, A. Awiti. (2007) Soils: A Contemporary Perspective. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 32 (1), pp. 99-129.
  • L. Montanarella, P. Wilson, S. Cox, A. McBratney, S. Ahamed, B. McMillan, D. Jacquier, J. Fortner. (2010/5) Developing SoilML as a global standard for the collation and transfer of soil data and information. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol 12.
  • S. Ahamed, D. Balk, R. Flor, M. Levy, C. Palm, P. Sanchez, A. Storeygard, and S. Wood. Soil Functional Capability Classification Map of the World. Poster presentation at18th World Congress of Soil Science, 2006.
  • MG Walsh, S. Ahamed, AE Hartemink, J. Huising, P. Okoth, C.A. Palm, P.A. Sanchez, N. Sanginga, K.D. Shepherd, T.G. Vågen, L. Winowiecki. A new information system for managing sub-Saharan Africa’s soil: why and how. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies, KSSSF- RDA, Seoul, Korea.
  • Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project, Version 1 (GRUMPv1): Urban Extents Grid,
  • Contributor: v1/acknowledgments. Center for International Earth Science Information Network - CIESIN - Columbia University, International Food Policy Research Institute - IFPRI, The World Bank, and Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical - CIAT. 2011. Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center.
  • M. Walsh, J. Chen, S. Ahamed. Data acquisition strategies for developing digital soil maps of Ethiopia.



Awards and Recognition

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Smart Grid Fellowship at the University of Vermont, 2015
  • University of Toronto Open Master's Fellowship Award, 1995
  • Merit-based full tuition support for 2nd year of Masters study (GPA: 3.7/4) Cum Laude, BA, Bryn Mawr College, 1993

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Energy system transitions, food-energy-water nexus, GIS/remote sensing and community mapping, multispecies ethnography, global systems


  • MSc, Planning, University of Toronto
  • BA, Anthropology, Bryn Mawr College