Matthew Lane, anthropology, graduate student has been named a UCI Public Impact Distinguished Fellow for his dissertation exploring recyclable metals in the U.S. and India.

The UCI Graduate Division awards 14 Public Impact Fellowships—four of which are ‘Distinguished’—each year to grad students whose research has the potential to positively influence the lives of national and/or global communities. Candidates may be from any school on campus but must maintain a GPA of 3.7 or higher, and their research must demonstrate critical public impact.

In Lane’s case, his focus on the trade of scrap metal recyclables—from origins in Chicago to shipping through Los Angeles to financing and, finally, smelting in India—offers a deeper understanding of the multiple cycles that make the process possible. He hopes that his findings will draw attention to the individuals that facilitate these processes and the great strides they are making in reducing landfill capacity and carbon emissions. He also hopes that the scrap metal economy can serve as a model for the future expansion of recycling.

Lane, who is expected to earn his doctorate this year, received $10,000 from the fellowship to use toward research and academic funding.

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