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Welcome to the Northern Plains Area Director’s Office. The Northern Plains Area (NPA) is one of 8 administrative areas of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the in-house research arm for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ARS researchers, including those in the NPA, are charged with conducting research on agricultural problems of high national priority to:
NPA scientists at our 14 research locations in 8 states are addressing all of these goals through the 85 to 100 agricultural and nutritional research programs typically underway in the NPA at any one time. The Area Director’s Office supports these many vital research efforts by providing administrative, technical and budgetary assistance to our locations. Our goal is to provide superior service to all our customers and employees to further the ARS research mission and the multi-disciplinary research efforts underway in the NPA. We sum it up this way:
Research Excellence: Meeting Customer Expectations!
Meet the Directors
Dr. Laurence (Larry) Chandler - Area Director
Dr. Chandler received his Ph.D. in entomology from Texas A&M University. He joined USDA-Agricultural Research Service in 1982 and has served in several positions including Research Entomologist in Weslaco, TX (1982-1989), Research Entomologist in Tifton, GA (1989-1994), Research Leader of the Northern Grain Insects Research Laboratory in Brookings, SD (1994-1999), Director of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, ND (1999-2004), Associate Director of the Northern Plains Area in Fort Collins, CO (2004-2008), Director of the Midwest Area in Peoria, IL (2008-2012). He transferred back to Fort Collins, CO in 2012 and currently serves as the Director for the Northern Plains Area. During his active research career he conducted research on IPM of horticultural and field crop insect pests. He has previously served as the ARS Technical Coordinator for the Corn Rootworm Areawide Pest Management Program and the ARS Coordinator for the National Sclerotinia Initiative, and currently co-chairs the ARS Information Technology Steering Committee. He received an ARS Technology Transfer Award in 1999 and the USDA Secretary’s Award for Superior Service in 2002.
Dr. Michael (Mickey) McGuire - Associate Area Director
Dr. McGuire received his B.A. degree in Biology from Kansas Wesleyan, Salina and went on to the University of Illinois where he received a M.S. degree from the Department of Ecology, Ethology and Evolution in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Entomology in 1985. He was then selected into the first class of ARS “Kinney” post docs and was stationed in Bozeman, Montana to work on pathogens of grasshoppers. In 1988, Dr. McGuire accepted a Research Entomologist position in Peoria, Illinois where he developed formulations of environmentally sensitive biological pesticides. Dr. McGuire became Research Leader of the Bioactive Agents Research Unit in 1995 where he resided until 2000 when he accepted a position as Research Leader and Location Coordinator for the ARS efforts in Shafter, California. He is recognized scientifically nationally and internationally for his expertise in insect pathogens with an emphasis in discovery and formulation. Dr. McGuire joined the Northern Plains Area office in 2006 as the Assistant Area Director and became the Associate Area Director in 2009. He transitioned to an Associate Area Director position in the Plains Area Office in 2014. Among Dr. McGuire’s awards are two ARS awards for transfer of novel technology related to control of insect pests. Dr. McGuire served on two patent committees and as an RPES panel chair. He also served in various officer roles for the Society for Invertebrate Pathology and the Entomological Society of America.
Bryan Kaphammer received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Notre Dame in 1988 and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan from 1987 to 1990 studying the regulation of genes in Pseudomands involved in toxic waste degradation. In 1990, he joined Union Camp Corporation in Princeton, NJ as a Research Scientist where he developed butter flavor components for microwave popcorn and tissue culture methods for genetically engineering forest trees. Dr. Kaphammer became the Intellectual Property Manager at Arborgen for a short time before joining ARS in 2001 where he currently serves as the Technology Transfer Coordinator for the Plains Area of ARS.
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