SANREM Innovation Lab

Federally-Funded Research at a Land-Grant University

The SANREM Innovation Lab was a research project funded by USAID and managed through Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development. The program brought together scientists from leading agricultural universities to implement conservation agriculture in at-risk regions in the developing world. The organization had extensive reporting requirements at the federal, State, and university level, and needed to communicate with a variety of stakeholders.

I installed and configured WordPress, and followed a step-by-step tutorial to write a custom WordPress Theme from scratch. I also updated an extremely out-of-date visual identity, keeping common elements where possible and updating to a much clearer visual hierarchy. I migrated and reorganized content from a large, outdated existing website, and maintained code, content, and hosting for the organization.

Custom WordPress Theme and jQuery

I wrote a limited amount of custom jQuery to include features that have since become readily available through plug-ins, such as drop-down menus and a “back to top” button. I also customized the sidebar navigation element to include a list of sibling pages to the current page, helping visitors navigate to information related to what they’re currently viewing.

An Information-Dense Archive

The project had a large volume of information that they needed to archive for project partners and other stakeholders. I created the clear visual hierarchy, content organization, and navigation elements were crucial to the easy dissemination of project information.

A Decade of News Stories

While WordPress’s blog functionality is ideal for publishing and archiving news stories, the long history of the project created a need for navigation elements that would allow visitors to find stories from deep in the project’s archives. In addition to a standard “recent stories” sidebar element, I created the “archives by month” element that is displayed on this page.