Jerry C. Ritchie
Soil scientist Jerry Ritchie and botanist Carole A.
Ritchie measure leaf area of mesquite at the Jornada Experimental Range in New
Mexico. Hands-on measurements help scientists verify data gathered by remote
sensing. Click the image for more information about it.
ARS Honors Scientist for Soil and Water
Research By Don
Comis February 9, 2005
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9Jerry C.
Ritchie, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist, has been named the "ARS
Beltsville Area Senior Research Scientist for 2004."
Ritchie received a plaque and cash award at
U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters
here today, and will also receive additional research funding. ARS is the
USDA's principal scientific research agency.
"Dr. Ritchie is internationally recognized for his impact on, and
leadership in, soil and water conservation research and applications," said
Edward B. Knipling, ARS administrator.
Based at the
and Remote Sensing Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., Ritchie is being honored
for "continuous research and leadership in soil and water conservation on ways
to manage, conserve and improve the quality and sustainability of soil and
water resources." Over his 36-year career, Ritchie has achieved national and
international recognition for his scientific contributions, including:
- Mapping water quality from space satellites.
- Measuring landscape with laser altimetry technology that can
correlate surface roughness to soil moisture, erosion and crop yields.
- Using grass hedges as "living fence" buffers to improve marginal
soils and block runoff before it reaches sensitive riparian areas.
- Estimating carbon stored on farm fields, small reservoirs and
wetlands, significantly affecting the calculation of carbon storage worldwide.
Ritchie earned a B.A. in biology and education in 1960 from
Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer,
N.C.; an M.S. in botany and soils in 1962 from the
University of Tennessee-Knoxville; and a
Ph.D. in botany and ecology from the University
of Georgia-Athens in 1967.
He has held offices in many scientific societies and was elected as a
Fellow of the American Society of
Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of
America in 2000. Ritchie has also served nationally and internationally as
an expert advisor to numerous organizations.
Ritchie has received a USDA certificate of merit for outstanding
research each year since 1988.