As part of the vision of the ARS to lead America towards a better future through agricultural research and information, the Cropping Systems Research Laboratory interacts with the local community through many avenues such as tours of the three facilities, the gin school, the CSRL AgSciences Seminar, as well as our scientists visiting local schools and community groups to discuss our research and the future of agriculture in America.
July 26, 2019
Diversity Celebration at Cropping Systems Research Laboratory (CSRL), Lubbock, TX ~~~~~~
(Reported by Gloria Burow & Lan Liu-Gitz)
A lively gathering and potluck luncheon to highlight and celebrate diversity and inclusiveness was held on July 26, 2019 at CSRL, USDA, ARS, Lubbock, TX. There were plenty of yummy foods shared by attendees to sample and go around. The event was led by Dr. Junping Chen, and featured brief informational presentations by Mr. Alan Cohen (Plains Area-Equal Employment Manager) on Diversity & Management Directive 715; Mr. Harrison Axum (CSRL, Location Administrative Officer) on equal opportunity and diversity in hiring; Dr. Haydee Laza on overall diversity topic. Dr. Alex Rooney, newly appointed Laboratory Director gave the closing remarks and emphasized the continuous need for cultural awareness and diversity in the workplace. To follow-up on this event and harness the positive results from diversified workforce, Dr. Rooney spearheaded the establishment of a cultural awareness and diversity committee for the Laboratory.
Diversity celebration at CSRL, Lubbock::: Clockwise—luncheon; Dr. Haydee Laza giving a presentation on diversity; Dr. Junping Chen, lead organizer; Dr. Alex Rooney, Director, CSRL; diverse attendees during the potluck discussion.
Pollinator health, butterflies and beneficial lady bugs in Lubbock, TX
Staff from the Cropping Systems Research Laboratory (CSRL), USDA, ARS, Lubbock, volunteered and participated in the city/community wide, butterfly and lady bug release at Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center, on June 15, 2019 (https://ci.lubbock.tx.us/departments/garden-arts-center/events/butterfly-release-2019). In cooperation with local conservation groups (eg. theflutterbuzz.com, a pollinator conservation podcast) this outreach activity promoted community education on the importance of pollinator health and awareness for sustainable agricultural ecosystems in the surrounding areas of the High Plains.
On Oct. 6 2018, Drs. Veronica Acosta-Martinez (USDA-ARS) and Lindsey Slaughter (Texas Tech University) were invited to participate in a presentation followed by a panel discussion about soil health at the “The First Friday Art Trail”, which occurs every first Friday of a month in downtown Lubbock. In this Lubbock activity, different artists show their work within different buildings includingLHUCA. Nicolle Lamere showed her collection of soils taken across the country and made into compressed dirt spheres. This exhibit is the first of four covering Earth Wind Water and Sun where not only will local artists participate but they have asked local scientists to come and have general discussions on these topics.