Two scientist measure thermal and moisture flux.
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feature about Havstad's research (Aug. 01)
Senior Scientist Havstad
By Don Comis
January 22, 2004
LAS CRUCES, N.M., Jan. 22--
Kris M. Havstad, an Agricultural Research
Service supervisory range scientist and research leader at the Jornada
Experimental Range, has been named the "2003 Senior Research Scientist for
the ARS Southern Plains Area". The Southern Plains Area includes ARS
research locations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.
Havstad will receive a plaque at an awards ceremony today in New Orleans,
La. He will also receive a cash award and additional research funding.
ARS is celebrating its 50th anniversary as the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's principal
in-house scientific research agency. Its research roots trace back to USDA's
creation in 1862. The department founded the
Jornada Experimental Range in 1912.
Havstad is being honored for his research accomplishments on the ecology of
desert ecosystems such as those in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, where the
193,000-acre Jornada range is located. Jornada is the largest research
location, in terms of physical area, in ARS.
Havstad developed vegetation models that portray changes in the
landscape--for example, local degradation becoming regional desertification, as
is happening worldwide. Visual projections of these changes helped redefine
ecological sites in the Southwest and allowed the Jornada team to build
computer-based models to make better use of the 90 years of data collected at
the range. Together, the visuals and models have helped define the ecological
basis for range management and helped scientists and land managers evaluate
various remediation strategies.
"Dr. Havstad has shown considerable leadership and innovation in
transforming the Jornada rangeland research unit into one of the premier arid
and semiarid rangeland research centers in the world," said Edward B.
Knipling, acting ARS administrator.
Havstad earned a B.S. degree in range science in 1975 from
Oregon State University at Corvallis, an
M.S. in range science in 1977 from New Mexico
State University, and a Ph.D. in range science in 1981 from
Utah State University at Logan. The
Society for Range
Management recognized him as "Rangeman of the Year" in Montana in
1988 and in New Mexico in 1996, and in 1995 gave him a national award for
outstanding achievement. In addition to receiving numerous ARS awards for
outstanding performance, Havstad has been inducted into the Sam Steel Honor
Society by New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture and Home