|CDs / RLs / AOs|
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Area Office - Fort Collins
Laurence Chandler (Larry)
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), and Director of the Midwest Area in Peoria, IL (2008-2012). He transferred back to Fort Collins, CO in 2012 where he served as the Director for the Northern Plains Area through Sept. 2014. He currently serves as the Director of the new 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. He also chaired and co-chaired the ARS Information Technology Advisory Group. He received an ARS Technology Transfer Award in 1999 and the USDA Secretary’s Award for Superior Service in 2002, 2012 and 2014 for both research and Agency related activities.
Michael Mcguire (Mickey)
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.
ASRU - Fort Collins
Lajpat R. Ahuja (Laj)
Laj received his B.S.(Hons) and M.S. degrees from India, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. He joined ARS in 1979 at the National Agricultural Water Quality Laboratory, Durant OK, and transferred to the current position in 1991. His major contributions are in the areas of: (1) physics and modeling of infiltration; (2) chemical transfer to runoff from surface and subsurface sources & transport to groundwater through soil matrix and macropores; (3) simplified methods for determining soil hydraulic properties, their spatial variability, and their intrinsic scaling relations for different soil types; (4) quantifying the effects of soil management practices on soil properties & processes; and (5) synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge to develop process-level models of agricultural systems. He is author or coauthor of 170+ refereed journal papers and 105+ other publications. He has served as Associate editor (1987-92) and Technical editor (1994-97), and is currently serving as Book Review editor, for the SSSAJ. He has organized international symposia for the ASA, SSSA, IUSS. He is Fellow of the SSSA and ASA, and received the SSSA Don and Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award, 2004, the ASA Environmental Quality Research Award, 2006, and the ARS Team Award for Superior Efforts in Technology Transfer, 2006. He has served as an expert for IAEA and FAO, an International Advisor for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Guest Research Professor of the China Agricultural University. He is Faculty Affiliate of the Colorado State University and serves on graduate student committees.
NCGRP - Fort Collins
Dr. Blackburn received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M in Animal Breeding and Genetics and held a joint appointment in the departments of Animal and Range Sciences until 1990. From 1990 to 1996, he was a Livestock Advisor at the U. S. Agency for International Development and the World Bank where he initiated programs focusing upon sustainable livestock production and animal disease. In 1996, he joined the Agricultural Research Service at the U. S. Sheep Experiment Station and transferred to his current position as Coordinator of the National Animal Germplasm Program in 1999. In that capacity he has developed the Agency’s collection of animal genetic resources, formed and operated livestock species committees to assist in collection development, and evaluated genetic diversity of livestock populations. He has also represented the U. S. at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources where he chaired the development and drafting of the first Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and that organization’s first manual on gene banking animal genetic resources.
Dr. Walters is the Research Leader of the Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Walters received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University in 1981 (Plant Science major) and 1986 (major in Botany and minors in Biochemistry and Agricultural Engineering - computer science). Her Ph.D. thesis focused on contributions of interstitial water to structural stability and metabolism in plant cells. She was hired by ARS as a postdoctoral associate in 1986 and has continued to apply her thesis research work to elucidate the mechanisms of deterioration and dormancy-breaking in preserved germplasm. Dr. Walters uses her expertise in seed physiology and physical chemistry to expand the capacity of genebanks to preserve seeds and pollen previously considered not-storable and to increase the efficiency of sampling and maintaining seed germplasm collections of domesticated and wild plant species. Dr. Walters is known for her work optimizing moisture to maximize seed longevity, predicting temperature effects on shelf life, and developing new technologies that non-invasively monitor changes in viability during seed storage. Her long term research goal is to understand the basis of seed quality and the contributing genetic and environmental factors that affect seed responses in the genebank. Dr. Walters is a member of the Science Advisory Counsel for the Center of Plant Conservation and the editorial boards of Seed Science Research, CryoLetters, and Cell Preservation.
SBRU - Fort Collins
Leonard Panella (Lee)
Dr. Lee Panella received his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California at Davis in 1992. Lee came to the genetic improvement program of the Sugarbeet Research Unit after his graduation from U C Davis. His major research interests are sugar beet germplasm development and genetic resources, and the genetic diversity of sugar beet and its major pathogens. His research program combines traditional methods of crop improvement with the use of new molecular biology techniques. In 1998 Lee took over the Research Leader position for this Research Unit. He is chairman of the Sugarbeet Crop Germplasm Committee and has been North American representative to the World Beta Network (organized through the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute). He has served as president of the Western Society of Crop Scientists, on the board of directors of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists, and as chairman of the sugarbeet crop registration sub-committee of the CSSA. He has received many awards including the USDA-ARS, NPA Early Career Scientist of the year, and ASAE – Outstanding Entry in the Educational Aids Competition.
SPNR - Fort Collins
Dr. Delgado received his B.S. degree from University of Puerto Rico and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University. His Ph.D. work was conducted using radioactive 35S to trace the transport of sulfur in soils and crop uptake. He joined the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in 1992 as a Post-doctoral Research Associate to work on trace gas emissions and 15N isotopic research at the SPNRU. He has been working at the SPNRU since 1992 as a soil scientist and is a national and international authority on nitrogen management. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific publications and has frequently been invited to present keynote seminars at national and international meetings. He is the Research Editor of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. Jorge is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), American Society of Agronomy, and Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). Among other awards, he has received the SWCS Hugh Hammond Bennett Award (2010), SSSA Soil Science Research Award (2011), and SSSA International Soil Science Award (2009). He also received the 2012 ARS Technology Transfer Award for Superior Effort.
WMR - Fort Collins
Thomas J Trout
Dr. Trout received his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University in 1979. His early work was in international agricultural development for CSU, USAID, and the World Bank. In 1982, he joined ARS at Kimberly, Idaho where he developed surface irrigation systems, including cablegation, soil infiltration management practices, and methods to evaluate and reduce irrigation-induced erosion. In 1995, he became research leader of the Water Management Research unit in Fresno, CA. In California, he improved irrigation water management practices for several horticultural crops including strawberries, peaches, peppers, lettuce and nurseries using drip irrigation systems and remote sensing. He also lead a team of soil chemists, plant pathologists, and nematologists to develop drip irrigation application of soil fumigants for high-value crops as an alternative to fumigation with methyl bromide. His methyl bromide alternatives team won several awards including a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award, a White House Closing the Circle Award, an EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, and an ARS Technology Transfer Award. In 2006, he transferred to Fort Collins, CO to be research leader of the Water Management Research Unit where he is developing practices to sustain irrigated agriculture faced with declining water supplies in the Central Plains.
JoAnne Fernandez Kniptash
JoAnne is the Administrative Officer for the Research Units in Fort Collins, CO and Cheyenne, WY. She has more than 29 years of federal service, 25 with ARS. She began her career with ARS at the Area Office in Fort Collins as a Budget Clerk. JoAnne was promoted to the Area Transportation Assistant, servicing NPA until 1997 when she accepted a position in Columbia, MO, as an Administrative Officer. When the Agency was restructured in 2012 there was a need for an Administrative Officer in Fort Collins, CO that would support both the Fort Collins and Cheyenne Research Units. Excited at the opportunity to return to Colorado, JoAnne applied and was chosen to fill the position, allowing her to again service her friends in the NPA.
CGPRS - Akron, CO
Merle F. Vigil
Dr. Vigil received his Ph.D. in soil science from Kansas State University in 1989. Merle’s field of expertise is soil fertility and nutrient cycling in no-till alternative dryland cropping systems. He has made contributions in factors affecting the rate of N mineralization from organic matter and crop residues and in understanding rotation sequence effects on cropping system sustainability. He joined ARS in 1989 as a postdoctoral research associate with the Soil and Water Conservation Research unit in Lincoln Nebraska. He then joined the Central Great Plains Resources Research unit at Akron, Colorado in 1991 as a soil scientist. Since 2000 Merle has served as the Research Leader in that unit focusing research on high priority regional dryland production problems. He has served on the editorial board of the American Society of Agronomy, on the board of the Colorado Conservation Tillage association and has served on several regional advisory panels on global climate change impacts on soil resources. He is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, The Soil Science Society of America, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Sarah is the Administrative Officer for the Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, CO. She began working with ARS at the NPA Area Office as a part-time office automation clerk in 2008. In May 2010 she transferred to the Akron location to serve as the Financial Technician and then accepted the Administrative Officer position in March 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Business from Colorado State University.
Thomas Shanower (Tom)
Center Director of the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR formerly GMPRC) in Manhattan, Kansas. Dr. Shanower was raised in Naperville, Illinois. He received a B.S. degree in Biology from Marietta College in Ohio, and went on to the University of Illinois, where he received a M.S. degree in Entomology in 1982. He then joined the Peace Corp where he worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests in the Kingdom of Tonga (South Pacific) for 2½ years. After returning to the US, he attended the University of California at Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in Entomology in 1989. Tom worked 8 years at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India and 2 years at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cotonou, Bénin, West Africa. In 1998, he accepted a Research Entomologist position at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL) in Sidney, Montana. He has been Research Leader for the Pest Management Research Unit at NPARL since 2000 where his personal research focused on biological control of the wheat stem sawfly, a key pest of wheat in the northern Great Plains. He has authored more than 85 scientific publications and numerous popular articles and abstracts, and has frequently been invited to present seminars and lectures. Dr. Shanower is a member of the Entomological Society of America, the Kansas Entomological Society, and the South Carolina Entomological Society. He is the Editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. He was the recipient of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Exchange Fellowship in 1999, Rockefeller Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship for 1987-1990, Noyes Research Grant in 1985, and the von Alexander Memorial Prize in Biology in 1978.
David Scott McVey
Research Leader of the Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit in Manhattan, KS. Dr. McVey received his DVM degree from the University of Tennessee in 1980. He spent three years in a dairy practice in East Tennessee. He earned the PhD degree in Veterinary Microbiology from Texas A&M University in 1986. While at Texas A&M University he was awarded the Jack Delaplane Award for research excellence in livestock diseases. Dr. McVey joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 1986 as an Assistant Professor of Immunology. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1992. While at Kansas State University, Dr. McVey directed the Clinical Immunology and Flow Cytometry service laboratories. He was board certified in the ACVM in 1989 (Immunology) and 1990 (Bacteriology). Dr. McVey was course coordinator for immunology and also taught significant portions of infectious disease courses to undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students. Dr. McVey was awarded the SmithKline Beecham Award for Research Excellence in 1992. In late 1995, Dr. McVey joined Rhone Merieux as a Production Animal Scientist working in developmental research in veterinary biological products and diagnostics. He was awarded the Veterinary Information Network Special Services Award in 1997. In January of 1998, he joined Pfizer Bioprocess Research as a Senior Research Investigator and his most recent position there was Director of Laboratory Sciences, Biologicals Development of Pfizer Animal Health in Lincoln, NE (through April 2006). Dr. McVey is now at the University of Nebraska, where he is Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Center and supervises diagnostic bacteriology and teaches bacteriology in the University of Nebraska-Iowa State University joint program for veterinary medicine. Dr. McVey was recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. He also is President of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and has also a served on the Blue Ribbon Panel for Counter Measures for Terrorist Threats to Agriculture for the President of the United States (2003-2004). Dr. McVey is the author of over 50 research articles, book chapters and patents as well as numerous abstracts and reports.
Robert L. Bowden
Floyd E. Dowell
Dr. Dowell received his M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1985, and his Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1988. Floyd’s field of expertise is in developing instrumentation to measure grain quality. He joined ARS in 1988 as an Agricultural Engineer at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia where he developed instrumentation for measuring peanut quality. Floyd transferred to the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (formerly GMPRC) in 1995 where he developed automated near-infrared instrumentation to measure single-kernel grain quality. Floyd became the Research Leader of the Engineering Research Unit in 1999 and leads research to measure grain quality and to develop improved storage and handling techniques. He has received numerous awards including the ARS South Atlantic Area Young Scientist of the Year in 1994, the ARS and Federal Engineer of the Year in 2000, the ARS NPA Senior Scientist of the Year in 2002, the Harald Perten Prize in 2005, and the ARS Technology Transfer Award in 2005. He is a member of American Association of Cereal Chemists, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology.
Research Leader of the Grain Quality & Structure Research Unit at the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, Kansas. Dr. Herald was raised in Michigan. He earned his B.S. degree in Food Science from Michigan State University, East Lansing MI in 1980. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1980-1983 in Swaziland, Southern Africa. Dr. Herald completed his MS and PhD degrees in Food Science at Michigan State University in the area of food chemistry. Dr. Herald worked in the food industrial sector with Yoplait USA and Kellogg’s. He recently completed a 16 + year career at Kansas State University holding the rank of professor in the Food Science Program. Dr. Herald’s research focus was on the chemical and physical properties of food and food ingredients. He has 58 peer-reviewed publications and numerous invited presentations at national and international meetings. As Research Leader for the GQSRU, Dr. Herald will integrate his technical background into the identification and utilization of wheat cultivars and sorghum hybrids for use in value-added systems that will include both food and non-food application.
Franklin (Frank) Arthur
Dr. Arthur joined the USDA-ARS in March, 1986 as a Research Entomologist at the Stored Product Insects Research and Development Laboratory in Savannah, Georgia. He was transferred to the CGAHR in Manhattan, Kansas, in December 1994. He received a BS degree in Forestry and Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Entomology from North Carolina State University. Dr. Arthur is responsible for planning, coordinating, and developing an independent research program on insect pest management in stored raw agricultural commodities, mills, and food warehouses. He is internationally recognized for his research accomplishments. Dr. Arthur has authored or co-authored more 173 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and to date has given more than 200 presentations at scientific conferences, training conferences sponsored by private industry, and programs sponsored by state universities.
Brad is the Administrative Officer at the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR) in Manhattan, Kansas. He received a B.A. in History and a minor in Spanish from Ohio Northern University in 2002 and is currently a graduate student in the Public Administration program at Kansas State University. While on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army from 2002-2008, he served at multiple locations across the country and deployed twice to Iraq. Following his honorable discharge, he became a Team Lead for McLane Advanced Technologies, a private sector defense contract company based in Temple, Texas. He first entered civil service in 2009 with the Department of the Army at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was a Logistics Management Specialist. In 2011, Brad transferred to his current position in ARS.
Miles City, MT
Dr. Petersen received his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1981. Mark started his career in 1981 as an Extension Specialist for the University of Wyoming and later moved on to Montana State University where he served in a research and teaching position as an Associate Professor in the Animal & Range Sciences Department. In 1991 he accepted a similar role as a Professor of Range Nutrition in the Animal & Range Sciences Department at New Mexico State University where he taught graduate courses and conducted applied field scale research. His research has focused on year-long grazing of the beef cow herd and utilizing targeted, small sized and potent nutrient supplements to reduce purchased feed costs and optimize reproduction while improving overall ranch profitability. In 2009 he moved back to Montana to serve as research leader for the Ft Keogh Range & Livestock Research Laboratory and continues a collaborative range nutrition research program. During his career he has received the Western Section, American Society of Animal Science "Young Scientist Award" and "Distinguished Service Award."
Amy Bontrager is the Administrative Officer for the Forage and Range Research Unit in Miles City, Montana. Amy transferred from the Department of the Army, where she was serving as a Budget Analyst. Her federal career began in the United States Army as an Intelligence Analyst in 1996.
Dr. John Gaskin
Dr. Gaskin was raised in Northern California and spent 13 years as a long-haul truck driver in the USA and Canada before turning to a career in science. John received a B.A. degree in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1996. He then went on to a combined program at Washington University in St. Louis and Missouri Botanical Garden to earn a Ph.D. in Evolution and Population Biology in 2002. John joined ARS in 2002 as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL), working on population genetics of invasive plants and molecular systematics of taxonomic groups containing important weeds. He then accepted a Research Botanist position at NPARL where his personal research has focused on invasive plants such as saltcedar, whitetop, and rush skeletonweed; investigating how population structure and hybridization in plant invasions interact with biological control efforts. John has authored/co-authored more than 40 scientific publications and has frequently been invited to present seminars and lectures. He conducts fieldwork throughout the USA and in South America, Eurasia, and Australia. John is a member of the Weed Science Society of America, California Botanical Society, and the Montana Native Plant Society. He was the recipient of an EPA-STAR Fellowship in 1999 and has received grants from USDA-CSREES-NRI and the National Geographic Society.
R. Kelly Roberts
Kelly is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force with extensive experience in administrative and financial procedures from serving 24 years in the military in addition to 9 years of providing administrative assistance in financial planning. He received many medals for various achievements while enlisted before retiring as a decorated non-commissioned officer in the Air force. After embracing many duties within his military career in a variety of locations worldwide, he and his wife, Ivy, were able to live stateside in Hampton, Virginia, for the last three years of his enlisted service (1995 1998). Here, he was manager and superintendent of the Command Conference Center, where day-to-day operations were administered to in addition to managing a staff of seven enlisted personnel. Following his successful military career (1978-1998), Mr. Roberts was an office manager and executive administrative assistant with a financial network in Seattle, Washington, from May 1998 through February 2007. Here he exemplified the term ‘customer service’ to both fellow workers and customers in all aspects of personal financial planning. He was an integral part of making any office a step above the rest and continuously demonstrated high expectations in any office he held. Mr. Roberts acquired his new duties on September 23, 2012, after serving more than 5 years as NPARL’s Purchasing Agent. Prior to becoming the AO, he received his $10,000 contracting warrant shortly after his one year anniversary at the Sidney location in September 2008 and powered ahead to increase the contracting warrant to $25,000 in August 2009. About that same time he also became the LAPC in July 2009. By 2010, he was serving as Purchasing Agent and LAPC to the Livestock and Range Research Laboratory (LARRL) in Miles City, Montana, in addition to his home-based location.
Clay Center, NE
E. John Pollak
Center Director of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska. He received his B.S. degree in Animal Science from Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Breeding from Iowa State University in 1973 and 1975, respectively. Dr. Pollak started his career in 1975 as an Assistant Professor in the Animal Science Department at the University of California in Davis, California. He recently completed a 29+ year career at Cornell University holding the rank of professor in the Animal Science Department where he served as division leader of the animal breeding group. He currently serves as an emeritus professor at Cornell University and as an adjunct professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Pollak served as Director of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) where he led the development of programs and projects, fostered interactions among researchers, organized multidisciplinary research teams, built coalitions with industry partners, and conducted research. Dr. Pollak has also served on the international committee of the World Congress on Genetics as Applied to Livestock Production for two terms (eight years) and as that organization’s president in the last term. During his career, he has received numerous awards including “Educator of the Year Award” and “President’s Award” from the New York Beef Producers Association, “Edgerton Career Teaching Award” from Cornell University, “Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics” from the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), “Pioneer Award” from the Beef Improvement Federation, and the “Young Scientist Award” from the Northeast Section of the ASAS.
Gary L. Bennett
Research Leader of the Genetics, Breeding, and Animal Health Research Unit at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska. Dr. Bennett received his Ph.D. in Animal Science from Ohio State University in 1977. His fields of expertise are genetics, linkage analysis, selection, and computer modeling of livestock. He has modeled components of litter size in pigs to better understand how litter size can be increased, collaborated internationally to more than double the number of genetic markers on the cattle linkage map, and established that selection for heifer calving ease while maintaining yearling weights can reduce calving difficulty and increase calf survival. Following a post-doctoral position at the University of Nebraska and a scientist position in New Zealand, he joined ARS in 1985 as a Research Geneticist in the Production Systems Research Unit at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and became Research Leader in 1988. He subsequently became Research Leader for the Molecular Genetics Research Unit in 2004 and then the Genetics and Breeding Research Unit in 2006. He received the Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Animal Breeding Award from the American Society of Animal Science in 2001 and was Animal Genetics Division Editor for the Journal of Animal Science from 2001-2005.
Dr. Freetly received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science and his Ph.D. in Nutrition (1990) from the University of California-Davis. He joined the Nutrition Research Unit at USMARC in 1990 as a Research Animal Scientist, and became Research Leader for the Nutrition Research Unit in 2009 (now the Nutrition and Environmental Management Research Unit). He has conducted a research program defining dynamic responses in energy metabolism associated with changes in nutritional status, aging, pregnancy, and lactation. He has used these findings to develop management strategies that either reduce feed inputs or improve the flexibility to select the time that feed resources are used in the production cycle. He received the “American Feed Industry Association Ruminant Nutrition Research Award” from the American Society of Animal Science in 2009. He has served on the Editorial Board for both the Journal of Animal Science and Animal Science.
Gary L. Bennett
Research Leader of the Genetics and Breeding Research Unit at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska. Dr. Bennett received his Ph.D. in Animal Science from Ohio State University in 1977. His fields of expertise are genetics, linkage analysis, selection, and computer modeling of livestock. He has modeled components of litter size in pigs to better understand how litter size can be increased, collaborated internationally to more than double the number of genetic markers on the cattle linkage map, and established that selection for heifer calving ease while maintaining yearling weights can reduce calving difficulty and increase calf survival. Following a post-doctoral position at the University of Nebraska and a scientist position in New Zealand, he joined ARS in 1985 as a Research Geneticist in the Production Systems Research Unit at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and became Research Leader in 1988. He subsequently became Research Leader for the Molecular Genetics Research Unit in 2004 and then the Genetics and Breeding Research Unit in 2006. He received the Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Animal Breeding Award from the American Society of Animal Science in 2001 and was Animal Genetics Division Editor for the Journal of Animal Science from 2001-2005.
Bucky R Herman
Bucky is the Administrative Officer at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. He joined the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in August of 2002. Prior to becoming the Administrative Officer, Bucky was an Information Technology Specialist (Systems Analysis and Applications Software) at the research center working in the areas of remote data collection and database design. Bucky was raised on a diversified farming operation in central Nebraska and graduated from Hastings College with degrees in Computer Science and Religion. Away from work, Bucky enjoys spending time with his wife and children as well as working outside in the garden.
Jeffrey L Vallet (Jeff)
Dr. Vallet received his Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. He joined the Reproduction Research Unit of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in 1991, and became Research Leader of that Unit in 2005. His work has focused on factors affecting litter size in swine. These include the contribution of uterine secretions and conceptus development during early pregnancy on later placental development and litter size, and the interactions between fetal red blood cell development and litter size. Dr. Vallet is a member of the American Society of Animal Science and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. He has served on the editorial board for Biology of Reproduction.
Tommy Lee Wheeler
Dr. Wheeler received his Ph.D. in Meat Science and Muscle Biology from Texas A&M University in 1989 and then joined the staff at USMARC as a Research Food Technologist in the Meats Research Unit, which was reorganized into the Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit in 2006. His research has emphasized the development of genetic and postmortem strategies to optimize carcass yield and meat quality, improving meat tenderness, instrument grading for beef carcasses, and eliminating pathogen contamination of red meat products. He has authored or co-authored 122 refereed journal publications, 95 abstracts, 65 technical reports, two patents, and two book chapters. Dr. Wheeler was the recipient of the Achievement Award from American Meat Science Association in 1996, the Meats Research Award from the American Society of Animal Science in 2002, and Technology Transfer Awards from USDA-ARS in 2004 and 2007 and from the Federal Laboratory Consortium in 2005.
Research Leader of the Grain, Forage, and Bioenergy Research Unit (GFBRU) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Graybosch has been with the GFBRU since 1987. He also serves as Regional Coordinator for the USDA-ARS-Hard Winter Wheat Regional Nursery program. The nurseries were established in 1931, and integrate wheat breeding and germplasm evaluation efforts of federal, state and private wheat improvement programs. He holds the position of Professor (Adjunct) of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Dr. Graybosch has served as Secretary for the National Wheat Improvement Committee and as an Associate Editor for Crop Science, Cereal Chemistry, and for the Journal of Plant Registrations. He also has served as a Technical Editor for Crop Science, and as both Associate Editor and Editor for The Journal of Cereal Science. He was born and raised on Long Island, New York. After studying Forestry at Paul Smith’s College in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from Weber State College in 1979, a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Northern Arizona University in 1981, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State University in 1984. Before joining USDA-ARS, Dr. Graybosch was a Senior Research Biologist at Monsanto in St. Louis, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Kentucky. He was a visiting research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra, Australia, in 1994, and at the University of Leicester, UK, in 2005.
Brian J. Wienhold
Research Leader of the Agroecosystem Management Research Unit in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Wienhold was raised in western Minnesota. He received a B.A. in Biology from Minnesota State University – Moorhead (formerly Moorhead State University) in 1982, a M.S. in Botany from North Dakota State University in 1985, and a Ph.D. from the School of Renewable Natural Resources at the University of Arizona in 1989. Brian began his career with ARS as a Research Associate with the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory in Beltsville in 1989 working on formulation effects on herbicide fate and transport. In 1994 he moved to the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan, ND, where he worked as a Soil Scientist on management effects on soil properties in irrigated and dryland cropping systems. Brian joined the Agroecosystem Management Research Unit (formerly the Soil and Water Conservation Research Unit) in 1997 as a Soil Scientist where he continues his work on management effects on soil properties in spatially variable landscapes. Brian has authored/coauthored over 60 scientific publications and has made presentations at regional, national, and international venues. He is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Soil and Water Conservation Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Brian was selected as the ARS Early Career Scientist for the Northern Great Plains in 1996 and was the recipient of an OECD fellowship in 2003.
Donna A Martin
Donna is the Administrative Officer for USDA, ARS, NPA, in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has 20 years of service with ARS. She started her career with ARS back in 1979 as a Volunteer Student at the Roman L. Hruska U. S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), Clay Center, NE. She attended college at Kearney State College, Kearney, NE while continuing part-time employment at MARC through appointment on a Research Support Agreement with the University of Nebraska. In 1982 she became a permanent employee at MARC as the Switchboard Operator. In 1983 – 1988, Donna worked as the Procurement Clerk at MARC and then from 1988 – 2002 served as the Secretary to the Administrative Officer in Clay Center, NE. Donna was employed at Lincoln, NE in 2006 as the Program Support Assistant for the Grain, Forage and Bioenergy Research Unit.
William P. Kemp (Bill)
W. P. Kemp currently serves as the Center Director of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, ND. He joined ARS in 1984 and through 1996 was involved with research on the population dynamics and management of grasshoppers and locusts at the Rangeland Insect Laboratory in Bozeman and Sidney, MT. From 1997 to mid 2005, Bill served as Research Leader of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bee Biology & Systematics Laboratory in Logan, UT, where he conducted research on pollination problems and alternative pollinator management in alfalfa seed and orchard production systems.
Research Leader of the Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit at the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, North Dakota. Dr. Smith was raised in southern New Mexico and received a BS Degree in Animal and Range Science with minors in Chemistry and Biology in 1985 from New Mexico State University. He did his graduate studies at Washington State University where he obtained an M.S. in 1987 and a Ph.D. in 1990 in the Department of Animal Sciences. Dr. Smith joined ARS in 1990 as a Research Associate in the AM-ACRU studying the physiology and metabolic fate of beta-agonist growth promoters. In 1993, David joined Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, as a Senior Metabolism Chemist performing residue and fate studies in support of product registrations for Animal Health applications. In late 1995, he rejoined ARS as a Research Physiologist within the AM-ACRU. His research has focused mainly on the metabolism, distribution, and fate of registered, developmental, or illicitly-used chemicals in food animals. Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored 70 journal articles, book chapters, books, patents, and proceedings papers. He has presented invited talks in academic and industrial settings, and has presented research findings to domestic and foreign regulatory organizations. He is an adjunct faculty member at North Dakota State University and has mentored undergraduate and graduate students. David has organized symposia, chaired scientific sessions, and has served on organizational committees for the American Society of Animal Science and the Agrochemical Division of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Smith has served as Section Editor for the Pharmacology & Toxicology section of the Journal of Animal Science and is currently on the Advisory Board for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Michael E Foley
Dr. Michael E. Foley earned his Ph.D. in agronomy/weed science from the University of Illinois in 1982. Mike’s field of expertise is dormancy in weed seeds and vegetative propagules. He has post-doctoral experience in molecular biology from the University of Oklahoma and been a faculty member at Montana State University and Purdue University. In 1998, he joined USDA-ARS as Research Leader for the Weed Biology Research unit in Fargo, ND. He is an adjunct Professor in Plant Science at North Dakota State University, a Fellow in the Weed Science Society of America, and serves as a Director for this professional society. Mike was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm in southern Minnesota.
Michael C. Edwards (Mike)
Dr. Edwards earned his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Cornell University. He has served as Research Leader of the Cereal Crops Research Unit in Fargo since 2001. He has been a Research Plant Pathologist with ARS since 1985, and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University. His current research focuses on the study of the molecular genetics of viruses and host-virus interactions, with emphasis on mechanisms of virus pathogenicity and host resistance. Dr. Edwards also serves as the coordinator for the Mississippi Valley Uniform Regional Barley Nursery, a program essential to the development of new malting barley varieties adapted to the upper midwest. Dr. Edwards has served as both Associate Editor and Senior Editor of Phytopathology, the top-ranked international journal of fundamental plant disease research. He is a member of the American Phytopathological Society and has served as both member and Chair of the APS Virology Committee. He is also a member of the Plant Virus Subcommittee of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses and is Chair of the Marafivirus Study Group.
Jeffrey C. Suttle (Jeff)
Dr. Suttle received his Ph.D. in plant physiology from Michigan State University in 1979. His area of research expertise is the hormonal regulation of plant growth and development. His current research assignment concerns the identification of the internal processes controlling potato tuber dormancy and early sprout growth. He joined ARS in 1979 working on the interactions between agricultural chemicals and endogenous plant growth regulators. In 1991, his research assignment was changed to potato postharvest physiology. He became Research Leader in 1998. He is a member of the American Society of Plant Physiologists, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Potato Association of America.
John E. Johnson
John is the Administrative Officer at the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, ND. Prior to starting his career with the ARS in August of 2009, John served as an administrative and operations officer in the US Army. John’s last tour prior to retirement was in Bismarck, ND where he served as a Liaison Officer and the Inspector General for the North Dakota National Guard. John was raised on a diversified farm in northern Minnesota, received his undergraduate degree from Moorhead State University and his Masters in Management from the University of Mary. John’s hobbies include hunting and fishing and he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three children.
Grand Forks, ND
Gerald F. Combs, Jr.
Dr Combs received his Ph.D.in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1974. He joined ARS in 2000 as Center Director of the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center. Before that, he was a Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York for 30 years. Dr. Combs' has a wide interest and expertise in Nutrition and Health. His research concerns the nutritional biochemistry of minerals and vitamins (especially selenium, vitamin E and factors affecting their metabolic functions), ranging from basic biochemical studies to human metabolic and clinical investigations. He has conducted research in the US, China and South Asia which has sensitized him to the needs to find better ways of utilizing the inherent power of food systems to enhance human health and well-being.
Matthew Picklo, Sr.
Dr. Picklo received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1995. He performed postdoctoral research from 1996 until 2001 studying the role of oxidative damage to lipids in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He became Assistant Professor of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Dakota in 2001 and was promoted and tenured in 2007. His research addressed the roles of lipid peroxidation in health and disease with an emphasis on mitochondrial dysfunction. This work focused upon factors affecting metabolism of bioactive, lipid aldehydes derived from endogenous n-3/n-6 fatty acids, and their roles in cardiovascular and neurologic health. He is extending his work to address the health roles of dietary n-3/n-6 fatty acids from seed oils and fish sources and their relationship to obesity and cardiovascular disease. During his career, Dr. Picklo was awarded an Oxygen Society "Young Investigator Award” in 1998 and the 2008 Herman Esterbauer Award for lipid peroxidation research.
Dr. Roemmich is the Research Leader of the Healthy Body Weight Research Unit at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Dr. Roemmich received his M.S. in Biology/Exercise Physiology from Ball State University in 1988 and Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from Kent State University in 1994. He completed a fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology/Exercise Physiology at the University of Virginia in 1997. Dr. Roemmich is one of this country’s top experts on the role of physical activity and diet in preventing obesity in children. His work as an Associate Professor in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University at Buffalo has addressed the factors influencing children’s motivation to engage in healthy eating and physical activity behaviors to maintain a healthy body weight; the roles of the home environment (parenting, TV) and the neighborhood built environments (residential yards, parks, etc.) on children’s eating, physical activity and body weight; and how psychological stress disrupts children’s ability to maintain healthy weight control behaviors and the influence of stress on the cardiovascular health of youth. He continues to maintain consistent extramural funding to support his work and has produced 87 primary peer-reviewed papers, 18 major reviews/book chapters, and 97 abstracts presented at national and international conferences.
Susan M. Sorum
Susan is the Administrative Officer at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC) in Grand Forks, ND. She started her career with ARS in 1975 at the GFHNRC working as a Clerk Stenographer. In 1979 she transferred to the USDA-ARS Potato Research Laboratory where she worked as an Administrative Technician until 1996. When that laboratory was targeted for closure, she was given an opportunity to return to the GFHNRC where her work focus was on public relations. In 2001, Susan had an opportunity to come back to administrative work at the GFHNRC, where she also manages the operational support units of the Center.
Research Leader of the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, North Dakota. Dr. Sanderson earned his Ph.D. degree in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University in 1987. He worked at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Stephenville, TX for eight years before joining ARS as a Research Agronomist at the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit in University Park, PA in 1996. Dr. Sanderson’s research has focused on providing science-based information for managing diverse forage and grazing lands to support the traditional functions of forage, food, and fiber production and to address emerging ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas mitigation, and bioenergy production. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Tech University and Penn State University. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America.
Jeremy is the Administrative Officer for the USDA-ARS, Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan, ND. He started his career with ARS in 1999 in the maintenance department while attending the University of Mary in Bismarck ND. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2001, Jeremy continued to work as a maintenance tech until February of 2005 when he accepted the Purchasing Agent position. Jeremy accepted the Administrative Officer position in September of 2011. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, along with working on his fourth generation family farm.
Research Leader of the Integrated Cropping Systems Research Unit in Brookings, South Dakota. She earned her Ph.D. in Soil and Water Science from the University of Nebraska in 1995. Dr. Papiernik joined ARS as a Research Soil Scientist in 1997 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She served ARS at the United States Salinity Laboratory in Riverside, California until 2003, when she moved to the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris, MN. Dr. Papiernik is internationally recognized as an authority on the fate and transport of organic compounds in soil and water. Her research provides critical information for the development of pesticide management practices that protect water quality. Dr. Papiernik is currently leading an international research effort to assess the influence of tillage erosion on soil properties affecting productivity and approaches to restore productivity to eroded land. She has authored or co-authored more than 75 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Papiernik was invited to serve as Associate Editor of the Journal of Environmental Quality, appointed to two committees of the American Society of Agronomy, and implemented the Women in Agronomy, Crops, Soils, and Environmental Sciences Committee’s mentoring award. She served as chair of two multistate research projects investigating the fate and transport of organics in the environment, and was invited to prepare a chapter on this topic for Methods of Soil Analysis, one of the most important and widely-circulated text books published by the Soil Science Society of America. She was awarded the Midwest Area Early Career Scientist Award in 2004 for outstanding research on the environmental fate of pesticides.
Jack E. Staub
Dr. Staub received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Botany from Utah State University in 1971 and 1973, respectively. He then received a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA in Horticulture with an emphasis in Plant Breeding in 1980. Between 1973 and 1976 he worked as a research technician for Sandoz Ltd. (Switzerland) and the Medical College of Virginia (Richmond) in cancer research. From 1980-2007 Jack was a Research Horticulturist with ARS at the Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Madison, WI where his research focused on cucumber, melon, and squash (cucurbits). Research areas in cucurbits included the identification, description, and application of unique germplasm, investigations of their genetic, biochemical, and physiological nature, and the modification of cultural practices which exploit their genetic potential. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science (2001), a member of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has served on the academic advisory board of several technical colleges, has advised the completion of work of 25 graduate students (19 Ph.Ds), has been an associate editor of 4 international journals, made 12 germplasm releases, and has published extensively in scientific and technical journals. He became Research Leader of the Forage and Range Research Laboratory in 2007 where he now conducts genetic and physiological experiments related to forage and range grass species.
Dr. Kip Panter is the Research Leader of the Poisonous Plant Research Unit in Logan, Utah. He earned his BS degree in Animal Science at Utah State University in 1975, MS degree in Reproductive Physiology, Utah State University in 1978 and PhD in Toxicology from the Dept. of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois in 1983. Dr. Panter accepted a position at the Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory as a Research Animal Scientist in 1984. Dr. Panters’ research interests include the toxicology of natural toxins on reproduction in livestock, abnormal embryonic and fetal development and general reproductive dysfunction. Dr. Panter has authored or coauthored over 100 refereed journal articles and served a detail with NPS in Beltsville, Maryland, in 1997 and prepared the annual Food Safety Report. Dr. Panter received the Senior Scientist of the Year Award from the Northern Plains Area in 2002 and the James LeGrande Shupe Achievement Award from the Department of Animal Dairy and Veterinary Sciences at Utah State University in 2003.
Dr. Pitts-Singer received her B.A.s in General Biology and Anthropology at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia). Although she has worked with several insects (paper wasps, fungus-growing ants, boll weevils, termites, and bees that pollinate endangered plants), her interests have usually focused on insect behavior and how chemicals mediate those behaviors. She has performed research with the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the USDA Forest Service, and the University of Georgia Department of Entomology. She has taught upper-level classes for the University of Georgia, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. She has been at the USDA-ARS-PIBMSR for almost 12 years, and her current research on alfalfa leafcutting bees and blue orchard bees focuses on specific factors that affect reproduction and pollination efficacy, on chemical cues that are used in nest establishment and individual nest recognition, and on effects of certain pesticides on bee mortality and behavior.
Pauleen Owen is the Administrative Officer for the USDA/ARS Logan, Utah location which consists of the Forage & Range Research Lab, Poisonous Plant Research Lab and the Pollinating Insect Research Unit. She was hired in 2005 as a part-time office automation clerk then promoted to the purchasing agent. She received her degree in accounting at Utah State University.
Dr. Derner received his Ph.D. degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Texas A&M University in 1996. Upon graduating, he joined ARS as a Rangeland Scientist with the Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple, Texas. In 2002, Dr. Derner moved to the Rangeland Resources Research Unit in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Fort Collins, Colorado. Currently, Dr. Derner’s research focuses on management practices addressing the interface of contemporary production-conservation issues on western US rangelands by evaluating the influences of grazing, prescribed burning, prairie dogs and their interactions on ecosystem goods and services, and the impacts of management practices on responses of soil C and N dynamics in grasslands and shrublands to mitigate effects of global change. Dr. Derner received the “Early Career Scientist of the Year Award” for the Northern Plains Area of ARS in 2006, the “Outstanding Young Range Professional Award from the Society for Range Management in 2002, and the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Society for Range Management in 2006. He is an Associate Editor for Rangeland Ecology and Management. Dr. Derner is also a co-PI on the National Science Foundation funded Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research Project, headquartered at Colorado State University, and is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Wyoming.
JoAnne Fernandez Kniptash