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Past Golden Funnel Award Winners

Each year at the Rich Earth Summit, the Rich Earth Institute presents the "Golden Funnel Award" to an individual who is making waves in the field of urine reclamation. Below is a look at our past recipients and their accomplishments.

Tove Larson

Tove Larsen's work has been instrumental in driving the field of urine diversion. She retired from Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) in 2023 after 24 years of pioneering work. Dr. Larsen’s foundational literature has been a cornerstone to the current work of many Summit participants. Her work has led to the development of innovative technologies for source separation. Tove was the PI of the prize-winning projects Novaquatis on urine source separation (2000-2006) and Blue Diversion (2011-2013), a project in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC) of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 



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William Tarpeh

William is a mobilizing force in the urine diversion industry who

brings passion to his research and inspiration to his mentees at Tarpeh Labs. William completed his B.S. in chemical engineering at Stanford and his M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and a UC Berkeley Chancellor's Fellowship. He conducted postdoctoral training at University of Michigan in environmental engineering. Will is a member of the Bouchet Honor Society, NBCBLK's "28 Under 28" African-American Innovators, and Forbes' "30 Under 30" 2019 Science List.


Pat Lando

Pat received this award for his tireless efforts to forge

regulatory pathways for the beneficial use of urine. Pat is the Executive Director of ReCode, a nonprofit organization that creates sustainable and equitable building code and policy solutions for water, sanitation and nutrient recovery systems.  Intentionally collaborative, his leadership finds solutions by convening regulators, technical experts, community leaders, legislators and impacted communities.  Pat is the co-chair of the National Gold Ribbon Commission for Urine Reuse, and in 2021 he joined the People’s Water Project steering committee to help the coalition draft national water and sanitation related policies.  

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Louise Raguet

Louise is a champion of the female urinal and nutrient reclamation

with her company Marcelle. Through an inclusive design process, Louise created a popular urine diverting system which feeds her “Goldilocks Bread” project. This project, which grows the wheat to make bread found that, some 29 million baguettes of bread could be produced daily using wheat fertilized by human urine, or roughly 10 times the current daily consumption. By switching to urine-fertilized wheat, they claim farmers could save 703 tonnes of nitrogen used in artificial fertilizers on a daily basis”.

Lowell Ben Howard

Ben received this award for his dedicated efforts to find pathways for urine diversion in Ohio to address rural sanitation needs. Ben is a Senior Rural Development Specialist with Rural Community Assistance Partnership. He received his Master of Public Administration in 2017, with a Concentration in Ecological Sanitation.



Shawn Shafner.png

Shawn is an artist, educator and activist now based out of Washington, DC. Founder of The People's Own Organic Power Project, he has created award-winning theater, film, podcasts, the book Know Your Shit, and countless educational events to catalyze conversation about sustainable sanitation from the floor of the United Nations to the mountains of Rwanda. Shawn is a current graduate student at George Washington University, earning an MFA in Social Practice Art with an Emphasis in Public Policy. He is devoted to manifesting a world of creativity, community and joy. 

Shawn Shafner


Jay & Janet Bailey

Jay and Janet Bailey have been the farmers at "Fair Winds Farm" in Brattleboro for over 35 years. The Baileys were Rich Earth's first farmer partners, and have been applying urine fertilizer to their hay fields since 2012. Their commitment to completing cycles and keeping nutrients local was foundational to the origins of Rich Earth Institute. Their dedication to this work continues to inspire our efforts for seeding and growing community-scale nutrient cycles locally and beyond.  




Nancy Love

Dr. Nancy Love is the Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University Michigan, and an adjunct Professor at the Institute of Biotechnology at Addis Ababa University. In collaboration with her students, Dr. Love works at the interface of water, infrastructure and public health in both domestic and global settings. Throughout her work Dr. Love has recognized the urgent need for alternative wastewater management practices to alleviate the strain on conventional systems and mitigate environmental impact. 


Peter & Marion Abell

Peter & Marion Abell were early local advocates for the Rich Earth Institute's community urine recycling program in Brattleboro. Through their participation on Rich Earth's Board of Directors and their influential efforts to support this work, they enabled the program to launch and grow in its early stages of development. Prior to his involvement with Rich Earth, Peter Abell, DMD, was a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Pure Water for the World,  a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides hygiene education, the means to clean safe drinking water, and sanitation to developing countries in Central America and the Caribbean.  


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