Dartmouth grad honored as part of 29 Who Shine program

May 22, 2019

Daniel Moriarty’s work in climate change and agricultural entrepreneurship is getting the attention of Gov. Charlie Baker.

The Bridgewater State University graduate and Dartmouth resident visited the Massachusetts State House and met with Gov. Baker as part of the 29 Who Shine program. The program honors student graduates from the state's public colleges and universities.

When Moriarty first learned about the 29 Who Shine program after getting a vague invite to meet with Bridgewater State President Frederick W. Clark Jr., he thought he was in trouble. He had just spoken out against the university’s food vendor, Sodexo, due to ethical concerns he had with the company.

“I thought I was in trouble for that,” Moriarty said.

Students have to be nominated by a faculty member. For Moriarty, that was Jenny Shanahan from the Office of Undergraduate Research. She worked with him to secure grants and scholarships for his research.

Much of his research throughout his time at Bridgewater State University focused on local agriculture and climate change.

He directed an independent research project, working with New Bedford food delivery startup GotChew and area residents to assemble policy suggestions for tapping into technology to tackle climate change on the South Coast.

“It’s looking at how we can best have an innovation center [on the South Coast] that doesn’t turn into another Silicon Valley, one that actually serves the community while innovating rather than just widening the wealth inequality,” he said.

He’s still working on the proposals and has not yet introduced them.

He’s also involved in the region’s startup scene. Last year, he started work on FarmThrift, an app designed to help foodies locate fresh produce to purchase at local farms and farmers markets.

The app is currently a part of GotChew, as Moriarty had to focus on his studies this year. He said he plans to work with area farmer’s markets to get them online and using the app.

Now that he’s a college graduate with a degree in political science and a minor in sustainable agriculture, he plans to focus on building up his savings, taking night classes at New Bedford Vocational Technical High School to pick up trade skills, and get a sustainable agriculture certificate from Bristol Community College.