H.E. “Hank” Stelzer, associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and state forestry Extension specialist, received the 2020 Karkhagne Award for outstanding service to professional forestry and to the Missouri Society of American Foresters. The Missouri Society of American Foresters has selected the name and image of the Karkhagne to represent its highest honor in recognizing a forester for his contribution to forestry in Missouri.
The Karkhagne is a mythical beast that was reported to roam the forests of Missouri in the past century. It is covered by fur, feathers, scales and armor plate, has a diet of limestone section corners, and can quickly escape humans or other carnivorous pursuers by completely engulfing itself within the recesses of its own hip pocket. It is the subject of considerable folklore and legends about forestry in Missouri in the early 20th Century. The Karkhagne not only symbolizes the importance of Missouri’s forests to all creatures, but it also represents the unique and sometimes harsh nature of forestry at the turn of the last century.
The Office of Academic Programs recently attended the 2020 Academic Programs Staff Development Workshop from Feb. 5-7, 2020, in Kissimmee, Florida. Five members of the team presented during the workshop. Those individuals and their presentations are listed below.
- Matt Arri, director of career services — Student Development Plan: An Online Guide to Academic Success and Career Readiness
- Shari Freyermuth, assistant dean and director of student services, and Laura Friedrich, senior student service coordinator — Keeping Students On Track to Graduation
- Shanon Dickerson, program director of study abroad — How to Pack Your Bags for Study Abroad: Recruiting, Marketing and Supporting Study Abroad Programming
- Julie Scroggs, director of student recruitment — Recruiting Students and Spreading Goodwill Through Statewide Events, Communication and Student Ambassadors
Kerry Clark, director of CAFNR International Programs, and two collaborators in Ghana have developed an inexpensive multi-grain thresher for poor smallholder farmers in Africa. It is common for women on small farms to “thresh” soybean grains from the mature plants by beating the plants with sticks to remove the beans from the pods. It would take up to two weeks to separate the grain from plants from one hectare (2.2 acres). With the newly developed thresher, the same task can be completed in 4 hours or less, increasing the yield of good seed by 35 percent and allowing the women to devote time to higher-value activities.
The thresher design has already received a second-place award of $10,000 at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Innovation Showcase and the developer, Jeffrey Appiagyei, has been invited as one of 12 innovators to the Impulse Morocco Accelerator Program, an international competition among top agriculture, mining, bio, material science, and nanotech startups from around the world. He will be competing for $250,000 of equity-free prizes and the chance to work directly with OCP, the world leader in the phosphate markets.
This project is a significant outcome from the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab, led by the University of Illinois. MU is a leading collaborator.
Eric Oseland, PhD student in plant sciences, was selected as the first recipient of the Foundation for Soy Innovation’s new scholarship. Oseland will use the $1,000 award toward travel to the March 2020 Weed Science Society of America conference where he’ll present his research on dicamba and the effect it has on soybeans. Oseland works with Kevin Bradley, professor of plant sciences, on research observing the effect low soil pH has on dicamba volatility.
Henry Nguyen, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Plant Genetics, was recently elected one of the 2020 fellows of the India National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Fellows of the Academy are recognized for excellence in agricultural science, research, technology and innovation. Nguyen has made several significant contributions in drought tolerance research, especially in the root architecture in rice, as well as the stay green trait in sorghum. His research laid a foundation for genomic discovery and applications to rice and sorghum breeding for improved drought tolerance in India and worldwide.
Christine Jie Li, assistant professor in the MU School of Natural Resources, was one of the first recipients of the Connecting With Missouri grant from the Connector, a UM system resource. She specializes in environmental education research and teaching; her project is titled, “Climate Youth Engagement: Enhancing Climate Literacy and Community Resilience through Science-Based Deliberative Forums and Actions.”
The North Central Weed Science Society of America honored three MU Plant Sciences graduate students with awards in the Graduate Paper Contest during the recent annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
- Will Tubbs, master’s student, received first place in the Agronomic Crops Section
- Eric Oseland, doctoral student, placed second in the Agronomic Crops Section
- Jerri Lynn Henry, doctoral student, earned second place in the Equipment and Application Methods Section
Plant science graduate students have received a variety of recent awards.
The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America honored MU Plant Sciences graduate students at the society meeting, Nov. 10-13 in San Antonio.
Those receiving awards included:
- Savannah Burnett, master’s student, placed second for her poster presentation and received fifth place for an oral presentation
- Caio Canella, master’s student, was honored with first place in the C1 poster competition
- Stirling Stewart, master’s student, earned second place in the first-ever Share Your Science by Video competition
The Entomological Society of America honored the following Division of Plant Sciences students at a society meeting Nov. 17-20 in St. Louis:
- Jess Kansman, doctoral student, received first place and the President’s Prize for an oral presentation
- Katie LaPlante, doctoral student, placed second and received the President’s Prize for an oral presentation
Bryan Garton, senior associate dean and director of academic programs for CAFNR, was honored during a ceremony at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) for being a Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) Fellow. The Fellows were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the FSLI executive leadership development program and for contributions they have made to their individual organizations and the broader higher education and food systems. Garton’s FSLI project was titled, “Enhancing Community College Student Access to Baccalaureate Degrees in Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment,” with a goal to collaborate with strategically selected community colleges within the state to increase student access to baccalaureate degree programs in food, agriculture, natural resources and the environment. Visit the FSLI site for more.
On November 6, the School of Natural Resources celebrated its third annual SNR Appreciation and Awards Dinner.
Those receiving awards included:
- Amber Edwards, program and project support coordinator, Outstanding SNR Citizen
- Emily Tracy-Smith, senior research specialist, Tiger Award
- Jennifer Wentz, assistant teaching professor, Outstanding Faculty
- Lalith Rankoth, natural resources Ph.D. student, Outstanding Graduate Student
- Mitchell Moon, senior majoring in parks, recreation and sport, Outstanding Undergraduate Student
- Greg Snellen, Black and Gold Alumni Award