Marissa Cuevas

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Marissa Cuevas

2019 Climate Fellow
Founder of microTERRA

Marissa Cuevas 2019 Climate Fellow

Bold Idea 

Create clean waterways for people in Latin America by capturing excess nutrients in agricultural water to produce organic fertilizer and clean water.

Multimedia 

Photo credit: microTERRA
Summary 

microTERRA uses microalgae to produce an organic fertilizer from the excess nutrients in agricultural wastewater. Its mission is to create circular economy solutions for water. microTERRA manufactures, sells, and installs systems that transform waste into a resource, cleaning the water and making it reusable to irrigate crops. Over time, microTERRA wants to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizer and clean Latin America’s waterways. microTERRA aims to be a leader in biotechnological solutions with high social and environmental impact.

Experience 

Marissa Cuevas is the founder and CEO of microTERRA, a start-up that develops decentralized water treatment systems to harvest fertilizer from runoff. Trained as an energy engineer, Marissa participated in the 2017 Global Solutions Program at Singularity University, based in NASA's Ames Research Center. Before this, she worked for the German Cooperation Agency as an energy advisor and external senior consultant. In 2014 she founded Kitcel, a circular economy start-up focused on upcycling Styrofoam waste and transforming it into wood varnish and coatings, thus reintroducing Styrofoam waste into the industry. Marissa was named a National Geographic Explorer in 2018, and she was also named an Ocean Leader by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Marissa attended the Technical University of Berlin and holds a master's degree in sustainability management from Columbia University. Marissa is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow.

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