Edward Marram and Karen Carpenter Gift to Support New Academic Track on Food-Water-Climate

Picture of Karen and Ed

UMass Amherst has announced a donation from Edward Marram ’59, ’61G and Karen Carpenter to support the launch of a Food-Water-Climate track within the UMass Amherst Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) Program. This gift will enhance the program’s ability to address critical challenges in the areas of food security, water resource management and climate change.

“The innovative teaching approach being pioneered by the UMass iCons Program is critical for inspiring a new generation of problem solvers,” said Marram. “We’re delighted to partner with such an important program by supporting its move into new problem areas.”

Since its launch in 2010, the UMass iCons Program has offered two educational tracks to undergraduates: one in Biomedicine, focusing on human health problems and related environmental issues; and another in Renewable Energy, addressing the need for a fast and fair transition to clean and sustainable energy.

The new iCons track in Food-Water-Climate will expand the impact of the program by connecting students to industries and jobs including sustainable food and farming, wastewater treatment and environmental conservation. The new iCons track will also connect more directly with other departments at UMass Amherst including Food Science, Nutrition, Resource Economics, Finance, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Earth, Geographic & Climate Sciences.

The Marram-Carpenter gift of $200,000 allows the UMass iCons Program to launch the new Food-Water-Climate track and to operate the track for four years. Funds will be used to attract new instructors into iCons, and supply students with top-notch research opportunities. The Food-Water-Climate track will launch in Fall 2024 with the recruitment of its first cohort of iCons students. The program plans to outfit a new food-water-climate laboratory upon the track’s launch, and is presently fundraising to reach this important goal.

“This gift from Carpenter and Marram breathes life into the aspirations of iCons and our students to tackle problems in a totally new area – the food-water-climate space,” said Scott Auerbach, Mahoney Family Sponsored Executive Director of the UMass iCons Program. “Adding this new track to iCons inspires us to wonder – what other big problems could iCons tackle?”

Marram is a double alumnus of UMass Amherst, having graduated with a bachelors in chemistry and a masters in physics. He was the founder and president of GEO-CENTERS, a company focused on developing new sensing and detection technologies. Marram is now professor of practice in entrepreneurship at Babson College. Carpenter is presently the CEO of Polestar Technologies.