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1890 Partnerships - Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems
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The following is a list of ARS scientists in Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems research who are interested in hosting 1890 faculty members in their labs through the 1890 Faculty Research Sabbatical Program. This page will be updated on a rolling basis – please come back to visit again!

Bill Anderson (Tifton, Georgia); 229-386-3170

Research statement: Research areas include: 1) Warm season grass forage breeding and evaluation; 2) Winter cover crop testing (lupin and rye); and 3) Winter bioenergy feedstock evaluations and production testing.

Ray Anderson (Riverside, California); 951-369-4851

Researcher’s statement: Dr. Anderson is an ecohydrologist and soil scientist who studies crop water use and evapotranspiration, particularly under stress.  He primarily uses eddy covariance, in situ soil sensors, and satellite remote sensing to understand abiotic controls on crop water use and productivity.  Potential faculty members who are interested in working with Dr. Anderson would have access to an extensive archive of eddy covariance and soil sensor data as well as ongoing field projects.

Gary Feyereisen (Saint Paul, Minnesota); 612-625-0968

Researcher’s statement: We are researching practices to reduce nutrient losses from tile-drained corn-soybean croplands in the Upper Midwest.  We have tile drainage flow and nutrient concentration/load data from a 1-mile-square watershed in southern Minnesota; there are at least two possibilities for collaboration using this data.  First, a unique and large multi-bed woodchip bioreactor exists to treat a portion of the drainage water.  We envision modeling the hydraulics and nitrate-nitrogen removal of the system using existing data to calibrate and validate the model, and then optimizing the design of such systems.  Second, there are also a wealth of high temporal resolution hydrologic data available at the outlet that could be used to calibrate a watershed crop model, with an objective of identifying nutrient loss hot spots in the study area.

Alan Franzluebbers (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Researcher’s statement: Research conducted in the Soil Ecology and Management Lab focuses on conservation approaches to achieve agricultural sustainability.  Current field-based projects are on silvopasture management (, long-term farming systems management (, and on-farm trials investigating improved N management of field crops.  Lab protocols emphasize soil health determinations, including total C and N and soil microbial activity.

Javier M. Gonzalez (West Lafayette, Indiana); 765-494-6596

Researcher’s statement: Research interest: (1) Water quality: find solutions to water contamination by using readily-available materials (e.g. carbonaceous material) to remove contaminants from water. (2) Conservation practices to improve soil health, including gypsum and cover crops. (3) Effects of conservation practices and soil amendments on corn and soybean grain quality.

Karen Harris-Shultz (Tifton, Georgia); 229-386-3906

Researcher’s statement: My lab works on warm season grass improvement. We have several projects in the lab. These include identifying genes involved in drought tolerance in bermudagrass, determining the effect of ploidy on agronomic traits and pollinators in centipedegrass, identifying QTLs for root-knot nematode resistance and sugarcane aphid resistance in sorghum, developing sweet sorghum cultivars with root-knot nematode and sugarcane aphid resistance, and genotype monitoring of sugarcane aphid samples collected each year in the United States.

Ryan Hayes (Corvallis, Oregon); 541-738-4125

Researcher’s statement: Forage, turf, and cover crop species are widely grown in the U.S. and are critical components of sustainable landscapes and agroecosystems. Most of the cool season grass seed used to plant these crops is grown in the Pacific Northwest due to the mild winters and dry summers that are ideal for their production. Research in disease resistance, plant pathogen diversity, development of plant disease decision aids, invertebrate pest population dynamics, and agronomy is conducted to support grass seed production. Breeding and genetics research to improve annual ryegrass as a cover crop, including crop termination and root exudate traits, is conducted to expand the crop’s use and support soil conservation across the U.S.

Matt Moore (Oxford, Mississippi); 662-232-2955

Researcher’s statement: Research interests include phytoremediation of nutrients and pesticides using vegetated treatment systems (drainage ditches and wetlands); denitrification capability of management practices (vegetated ditches, filter socks, bioreactors); and water quality comparisons (nutrients, sediments, pesticides).

Pamela Rice (Saint Paul, Minnesota); 612-624-9210

Researcher’s statement: In general my research evaluates the occurrence of pollutants and organic chemicals in the environment, the use of management practices to reduce contaminant transport or availability, and evaluation of the environmental impact and toxicological significance of contaminants.  Specific projects include developing strategies to reduce the transport of pesticides and fertilizers in runoff from agronomic and horticultural systems; and evaluation of urban environments and agricultural inputs to identify contaminants of concern, their sources and their environmental fate in urban agriculture.

Upendra Sainju (Sidney, Montana); 406-433-9408

Researcher’s statement: The Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory is equipped with four research farms in dryland and irrigated cropping systems in eastern Montana and western North Dakota as well as excellent laboratory facilities for soil, plant, and gas analysis. The 1890 FRSP program participant would be engaged in a collaborative Unit Program on determining soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration and net greenhouse gas emissions in response to tillage and crop rotation in dryland and irrigated cropping systems.

Kurt Spokas (Saint Paul, Minnesota); 612-626-2834

Researcher’s statement: My current research areas include the impacts of biochar additions to soils, gaining a more fundamental understanding of microbial and soil processes that affect net greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural management practices that reduce movement of agrochemicals to ground and surface waters, and the development of computer tools that transfer scientific knowledge to end users.  My USDA-ARS research unit is co-located at the University of Minnesota.

Ripley Tisdale (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Researcher’s statement: Research mainly focuses on answering the question of whether elevated ozone impacts crop root exudates and soil ecosystems by altering crop physiology. This leads to sub-projects to: (1) develop root exudate collecting system to investigate exudate changes under elevated ozone; (2) analyze soil microbial allocation under abiotic stresses; and (3) identify root metabolite changes under ozone stress. The visiting scholar may participate in one of the sub-projects based on interest.

Steven Trabue (Ames, Iowa); 515-294-0201

Researcher’s statement: Our research focuses on the impact animal production systems have on both the animal and environment.  Our group has active research into the following areas: 1) Determining the impact indoor air quality has on swine growth and performance; 2) Calculating nutrient inventories for C, N, and S from gas emissions, manure, and animal retention based on animal and feed inputs (i.e., mass balance approach); 3) Monitoring N and S loss during pumping and field application of manure; and 4) Determining the impact swine diet formulation has on manure and gas emissions.

Kristin Trippe (Corvallis, Oregon); 541-738-4181

Researcher’s statement: The mild, marine climate in the Willamette Valley of Oregon supports a broad diversity of seed crop rotations, including grass, clover, meadowfoam, and hemp. Crop management practices within this production system are equally diverse. While some farmers employ conventional practices that involve frequent tillage and bailing of crop residues, other farmers use one or more practices that are thought to improve the health of the soil including returning crop residues to the soil, infrequent tillage, and frequent rotations. Little is known about how these differing practices effect soil health, soil microbiomes, or pest and pathogen populations. The aim of our research program is to deepen this understanding and to determine if conservation farming practices improve yield or decrease costs.

Rod Venterea (Saint Paul, Minnesota); 612-624-7842

Researcher’s statement: My primary interest is soil nitrogen (N) cycling and associated losses of reactive N to the environment, with a focus on (i) quantifying gaseous N emissions from intensively fertilized cropping systems, (ii) developing practices to reduce those losses, and (iii) improving methods for quantifying them. My program uses a combination of field and lab studies as well as model development and testing.