Agency Scientists Win Top Research AwardsBy Tara Weaver
December 3, 1997
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 3--Donald W. Reeves, a research agronomist with the Agricultural Research Service, has been named the agency's 1997 "Distinguished Scientist of the Year" for his leadership in soil management research. ARS is the chief research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For the past 10 years, Reeves has studied soil compaction, conservation tillage systems at ARS' National Soil Dynamics Laboratory at Auburn, Ala. "Dr. Reeves' work has established him both nationally and internationally as an authority in those areas," said ARS administrator Floyd P. Horn.
Reeves and other agency scientists each will receive a plaque, a cash award and additional research funding at a Dec. 10 ceremony at Beltsville, Md.
Horn praised Reeves' work to transfer his research findings from the laboratory to the public, including oral presentations to more than 5,000 farmers in two years.
"Dr. Reeves' research and technology transfer has played a major role in developing soil management practices in Alabama and other states," Horn said. "As a result, conservation tillage acreage in Alabama has increased 32 percent, and the state has seen a 16-fold increase in conservation tillage cotton. This has helped reduce soil erosion and improved water quality because of the decrease in sediment runoff."
Reeves has written or co-written more than 230 research and technology transfer publications since 1985. Results from his research identifying the optimum conservation-tillage system for cotton, soybean and corn production on coastal plain soils resulted in several highly requested technical publications. His research also has provided guidelines for soil management to other agencies and their clients.
Reeves has a bachelor's degree in biology from Georgia Southwestern College at Americus, a master's degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia at Athens and a doctoral degree in agronomy and soils from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.
Reeves recently received the "Career Professional Agronomic Research Award" from the American Society of Agronomy-Southern Branch. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.
ARS has named Richard J. Brenner, Robert E. Davis and Eric H. Erickson, Jr. as "Outstanding Senior Research Scientists of 1997." Brenner head's the agency's Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research Unit in Gainesville, Fla. Davis works at the ARS Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., and Erickson is at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Laboratory in Tucson, Ariz.
ARS is honoring Brenner for developing and leading a multi-disciplinary research program to enhance the environment and human health through pesticide reduction, risk assessment and precision targeting. His research has led to the development of safer technologies for suppressing cockroaches. Brenner is being recognized as the top senior research scientist in ARS' South Atlantic Area, which includes Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Davis' award is for his groundbreaking research on disease-causing plant pathogens. He is being recognized as the top senior scientist for the agency's Beltsville Area, which includes 36 laboratories at the Beltsville (Md.) Agricultural Research Center.
Erickson is being honored for innovative research and leadership to solve problems affecting beekeeping, crop pollination and the impact of Africanized Honey Bees on the public. He developed practical ways to rescue victims of Africanized honey bee attacks using conventional emergency equipment and fire-fighting chemicals. Nearly all fire departments nationwide now use these methods in bee emergencies. The award cites Erickson as the agency's top senior scientist in the Pacific West Area, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.
Laura L. McConnell has been named "Outstanding Early Career Scientist of 1997." McConnell works at the ARS Environmental Chemistry Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. She is being honored for research on atmospheric pesticide deposition in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The "early career" award is given to scientists who have been with ARS less than 7 years and completed their highest academic degree within the past 10 years.
ARS has also named four "Area Senior Research Scientists of 1997." They are:
ARS also has named seven "Area Early Career Scientists." They are:
Scientific contact: Floyd P. Horn, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC. Telephone (202) 720-3656.