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"Scientist of the Year" and other awards presented

Medfly. Link to photo information
Medfly is among several targets of new technology that benefits Hawaiian farmers and gardeners.
More about the research.

ARS Announces Technology Transfer Winners

By Marcia Wood
February 10, 2005

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10—Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) were honored Wednesday by their agency for moving a variety of technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace, farm fields, orchards and even backyard gardens, including techniques for controlling fruit flies and development of a new sandwich spread made from roasted sunflower seeds. ARS is USDA's chief scientific research agency.

The awards were presented at ARS' annual national awards ceremony at USDA headquarters here.

Eric Jang (right) with Stuart Stein. Link to photo information
Eric Jang (right) with Stuart Stein of APHIS.

Dennis Gonsalves and Roger Vargas. Link to photo information
Dennis Gonsalves (left) and Roger Vargas.

An award for "Outstanding Efforts in Technology Transfer" went to Hawaii-based ARS scientists and their federal and state colleagues for development and dissemination of science-based, environmentally friendly technologies for controlling oriental and Mediterranean fruit fly and other invasive species of tropical fruit flies.

The ARS winners were entomologists Roger I. Vargas and Eric B. Jang and plant pathologist Dennis Gonsalves at the agency's U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center at Hilo, Hawaii, and ARS collaborators Carroll O. Calkins, formerly at Wapato, Wash., and Robert M. Faust, formerly at Beltsville, Md. The other team members were Ronald Mau of the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Stuart H. Stein of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and Lyle Wong of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

"Growers and hobbyist gardeners who are trying out these fruit fly control tactics are harvesting unblemished guavas, loquats and other top-quality produce for local and export markets," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.

Sunflowers. Link to photo information
Isabel Lima and Harmeet Guraya developed a spread that could be a "sunny" alternative to peanut butter.
More about Sunbutter.

Chemist Isabel M. Lima and food technologist Harmeet S. Guraya, both at the ARS Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, La., also won an "Outstanding Efforts in Technology Transfer" award for developing a sunflower-seed spread that offers a flavorful option for children and adults who are allergic to peanuts.

Tim Gottwald
Tim Gottwald

Vincent de Jesus: Link to photo information
Nutritionist Vincent de Jesus was a co-winner of a tech-transfer award along with several colleagues from the Nutrient Data Laboratory.
More about the lab's research.

Ramos (left) and Rojas. Link to photo information
Maria Guadalupe Rojas and Juan A. Morales-Ramos.

Left to right: Wheeler, Shackleford and Koohmaraie. Link to photo information
Left to right: Tommy Wheeler, Steven Shackelford and Mohammad Koohmaraie.
Award | Research

"This sunflower-based product also makes a healthful and delicious addition to yogurt, ice cream, health bars, filled pretzels and other foods," said Knipling.

Lima and Guraya collaborated on development of the spread with Red River Commodities, Inc., of Fargo, N.D., whose SunGold Foods division now offers a line of sunflower-seed-based spreads.

ARS experts honored for "Superior Efforts in Technology Transfer" were: