M.S. Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2002
Maggie is a doctoral student working with Prof. Menachem Elimelech on issues relating to water quality, sanitation, and public health in developing countries. Her specific research focus is investigating the effectiveness of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions in reducing trachoma. Trachoma is a preventable disease that causes blindness and affects 100 million people who live in some of the world's poorest countries.
Maggie completed her B.S. (with honors, civil/environmental engineering) and M.S. (engineering) at Stanford University. After graduating, Maggie served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar (2002-2003) in Tanzania. She held a post-graduate research position at the University of Dar Es Salaam and collaborated with bilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations on implementing and evaluating shallow well, latrine, and constructed wetlands to treat wastewater projects. She has since returned to East Africa on several occasions to volunteer with Engineers Without Borders on water, sanitation, and health projects, and is currently working on the Ngelenge, Tanzania project. Maggie also worked for two years as a project engineer at RMC, Inc. in San Francisco on various Northern California water recycling efforts. Maggie is licensed as a Professional Civil Engineer (P.E.) in the State of California.
Three main research objectives frame Maggie's research on the environment and trachoma. These objectives are largely based on research Maggie conducted while completing an internship in the Water, Sanitation, and Health Unit at the World Health Organization (May-August 2006).
For nine months in 2007, Maggie conducted her doctoral fieldwork on the effectiveness of environmental factors in preventing trachoma in Kongwa, Tanzania. Maggie collaborated with the Kongwa Trachoma Project and led a team of three Tanzanians in collecting the environmentally related field data. Four main field methods were used: (1) an environmental and health survey in 700 randomly selected households, (2) a survey of geographical coordinates of factors associated with trachoma, such as latrines and cattle pens, (3) experimentation with flies to approximate their density and relative role in trachoma prevalence, and (4) interviews with key informants and community groups. At the completion of the field data period, Maggie and her team compiled the preliminary results and wrote a 30-page report in Swahili which they presented to villagers and district, regional, and national stakeholders. For a colorful description of her research, refer to Sweet Mangos.
Preliminary analysis indicates significant clustering and association among diseased households, quality and use of latrines, and household hygiene behavior. Such evidence has not been spatially investigated in relationship to trachoma. This research could prove beneficial in the creation of improved and targeted interventions in the WHO-led Alliance for the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma by 2020 (GET 2020) as well as assist in reducing the burden of a multitude of other water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases.
Maggie's doctoral work is primarily funded through a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF). She has received additional grants from the P.E.O. National Scholars Fund, the Yale Lindsay Fellowship for Research in Africa, and the Yale World Coca Cola Fund.
In addition to her research, Maggie is an active volunteer with the Engineers Without Borders Ngelenge Water and Health Project near the shores of Lake Nyasa. She was most recently in Ngelenge in December 2007 assisting with the completion of the health dispensary and the establishment of a latrine revolving fund.
During her first two years at Yale, Maggie served as a member and then co-editor of the Yale-UNDP Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment (PPPUE) Program. The endeavor explores innovative approaches to solving urban environmental problems in developing countries.
Besides her academic studies, Maggie loves to swim, hike, mountain bike, spend time in the kitchen with her sisters, write poetry, explore, and return as often as possible to her home in rural Iowa.
Montgomery, M. "Sustaining Trachoma Control and Elimination; The basis for environmental indicators in the certification of the elimination of blinding trachoma", 2006, WHO/SDE/WSH/06.08, World Health Organization, Geneva.
Montgomery, MA, and Elimelech, M. Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries: Including Health in the Equation. Environmental Science and Technology, 2007, 41: 17-24.
Montgomery, M. Maji ni Uhai. In Global Health Narratives from Ghana to Guatemala: A Guide to Public Health for Youth, ed. E. Mendenhall. University of New Mexico (in press).
Womenspeak. Stanford Literary Magazine. Various published poems 2000-2002.
Self-Published Poetry Books include:
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Last updated on 25-Mar-2008 10:47 PM