Magazine feature about Ahuja's research (Dec. 99)
Fort Collins Scientist Wins Regional AwardBy David Elstein
January 22, 2004
FORT COLLINS, Colo., Jan. 22Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Lajpat Ahuja received the agency's "Northern Plains Area Senior Research Scientist of 2003" award during a ceremony today in New Orleans, La. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
Ahuja is a soil physicist and research leader at the ARS Great Plains Systems Research Unit in Fort Collins. The research agency's Northern Plains Area includes the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
At today's ceremony, ARS Acting Administrator Edward Knipling presented a plaque and a check to Ahuja in recognition of his research in modeling of agricultural systems. "ARS is proud to recognize Dr. Ahuja for his leadership in developing computer models that help scientists in their research and farmers in their decision making," Knipling said.
Two of the more important models are the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) and the Great Plains Framework For Agricultural Resource Management (GPFARM). Using his knowledge of soil properties and processes, Ahuja led a team to design these popular models.
RZWQM is used by scientists to evaluate cropping systems for their impact on water quality and crop production. GPFARM is used by farmers and ranchers for the long-term strategic planning of farming systems. With GPFARM, farmers and researchers can enter information about alternative crops and ranching options. The model then shows how each of these options relates to production, economic and environmental concerns.
Ahuja received his doctorate from the University of California, Davis, his master's degree from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, and his bachelor's degree from the University of Delhi. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, both from ARS and from other organizations.