ARS Honors Scientists and Support StaffBy Ann Perry
February 10, 2009
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 Rangeland scientist Tony Svejcar of Burns, Ore., has been named Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of 2008 by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for his scientific leadership and rangeland research discoveries. ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Svejcar heads the ARS Range and Meadow Forage Management Research Unit in Burns. He and other ARS researchers and support staff were honored today at the agency's awards ceremony here.
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Svejcars leadership has been fundamental to developing rangeland management systems that address both natural resource protection and agricultural production issues, said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling. Under Dr. Svejcars guidance, the ARS scientists working in Burns have excelled in conducting research that supports agricultural producers, stakeholders and partners within the region and across the country.
Svejcars research on rangeland ecology has yielded valuable information about the complex interplay between grazing practices, riparian systems, weed ecology and carbon cycling. Scientists and managers worldwide have drawn on his guidance and expertise. In addition, he is widely respected as an inspiring mentor for new scientists and students.
ARS also honored the following "Area Senior Research Scientists" today:
Kevin Hicks, ARS Crop Conversion Science and Engineering Research Unit, Wyndmoor, Pa., for outstanding research accomplishments and outstanding leadership during the past 20 years.
Benjamin F. Matthews, ARS Soybeans Genomics and Improvement Research Unit, Beltsville, Md., for outstanding research accomplishments, scientific leadership and sustained support of fellow scientists and scientists of the future.
Jean L. Steiner, ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, Okla., for outstanding research in conserving and protecting the nations natural resources and dedicated leadership in ARS national research programs. (More)
ARS also recognized exceptional "early career" scientists who have been with the agency for seven years or less.
The top prize, the Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award, went to Erica Spackman, ARS Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit, Athens, Ga., for her timely development of rapid diagnostic tests for the control of important poultry diseases, including avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus and enteric viruses of turkeys.
The seven "Area Early Career Research Scientist Award" winners for 2008 are:
Scott R. Bean, ARS Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit, Manhattan, Kan., for outstanding independent and collaborative research contributions to solve industry problems resulting in new and more efficient uses of sorghum.
Michael H. Cosh, ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., for developing novel methods of soil moisture remote sensing validation using in situ networks and field experimentation.
April B. Leytem, ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, Kimberly, Idaho, for excellence in planning and conducting collaborative research within the environmentally crucial field of phosphorus cycling.
Martin A. Riche, ARS Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, based at the center's Ft. Pierce, Fla., worksite, for outstanding scientific contributions and leadership to sustainable, low-salinity marine aquaculture.
Alejandro P. Rooney, ARS Microbial Genomics and Bioprocessing Research Unit, Peoria, Ill., for excellence in research on the genetics of agriculturally important organisms and the application of genetic theory to enhance U.S. agriculture and biosecurity.
Doreen Ware, ARS Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, Ithaca, N.Y., for providing a leadership role in computational approaches and leveraging emerging sequence technology to link candidate genes and their function with agricultural traits and germplasm improvement.
Other 2008 ARS award winners include the following:
Kerry Pedley, ARS Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, Fort Detrick, Md., received the ARS T.W. Edminster Award for his proposal to use gene silencing for discovering plant genes that play a role in orchestrating defense responses to Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the organism that causes soybean rust, in resistant soybeans. The T.W. Edminster Award is given annually to the researcher who submits the highest-rated research proposal in the ARS Postdoctoral Research Associate Program.
Melissa Alegria, ARS Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC), New Orleans, La., was presented with the 2008 ARS Office Professional of the Year award for superior service, achievements and contributions that improved the SRRC Property and Acquisition Offices efficiency and effectiveness.
Jason Wong, ARS Southwest Watershed Research Unit, Tucson, Ariz., received the 2008 ARS Excellence in Information Award for providing quality on-line access to data and research results that improved customer service through enhanced information delivery.
Two groups were the winners of the 2008 Administrators Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) Awards. The winners are:
Winners of the agency's 2008 Administrative and Financial Management Support Awards for Excellence also were announced. This years winners are: