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Magazine feature about Havstad's research (Aug. 01)
ARS Honors Senior Scientist HavstadBy 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 Economics.