ARS Announces Scientist of the Year, Other Staff
By Ann Perry
June 8, 2010
Donald L. Suarez
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L. Suarez of Riverside, Calif., has been named Distinguished Senior
Research Scientist of 2009 by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for his
scientific leadership and discoveries in effective water resource management.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Suarez heads the
Salinity Laboratory in Riverside. He and other ARS researchers and support
staff are being honored today at the agency's awards ceremony here.
Water scarcity will be a defining issue in 21st century
agricultureand in society in general, said Edward B. Knipling, ARS
administrator. Dr. Suarezs outstanding research on helping farmers
efficiently utilize scarce water resources benefits not only the farmers
themselves, but also consumers, communities and businesses. The research under
way at our Riverside lab under Dr. Suarezs leadership will help sustain
agricultural production in arid regions of the West and inform our approach to
water management across the United States and abroad.
Suarezs research on water resources has yielded key information about
how the strawberry, grape and turf industries can reuse water for irrigation
while maintaining favorable soil chemical and physical properties for sustained
production. His work has greatly advanced the understanding of the relationship
between water chemistry and soil hydraulic properties. In addition, he has
assessed how different irrigation regimes can enhance soil productivity and
helped develop computer models that can be used by water districts and
irrigation consultants to make informed decisions about salinity management.
ARS also will recognize the following "Area Senior
Research Scientists" today:
William P. Kustas, ARS
and Remote Sensing Laboratory , Beltsville, Md, for pioneering research in
the theory and application of remote sensing and soil-plant- atmosphere
modeling related to hydrological and agricultural problems.
Anna Meyers McClung, ARS
National Rice Research Unit , Stuttgart, Ark., for outstanding research and
leadership accomplishments in genetic improvement and protection of rice
through innovative development, adaptation, and implementation of molecular
marker-assisted breeding technologies.
Jack A. Morgan, ARS
Resources Research Unit, Fort Collins, Colo., for scientific contributions
to global change research and dedication to the development of a unit research
team where everyone can participate and succeed.
Agnes M. Rimando, ARS
Products Utilization Research Unit, University, Miss., for research on
stilbenes that positively impacted the blueberry industry and provided the
basis for using these compounds to benefit human health.
Randy C. Shoemaker, ARS
Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit, Ames, Iowa, for outstanding
research in soybean genetics and genomics.
Michael Wisniewski, ARS
Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, W. Va., for sustained research
productivity, leadership and impact in the management of biotic and abiotic
stress in fruit crops.
Bruce W. Wood, ARS
W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, Byron, Ga., for excellence in
pecan production and protection research and advancing mineral nutrition
management of crops.
Michael L. Looper
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ARS also is recognizing 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, will be presented to
L. Looper, ARS
Bumpers Small Farms Research Center, Booneville, Ark., for the development
of pioneering research that improves production efficiency, product quality and
food safety for the American cattle industry.
Other "Area Early Career Research Scientist
Award" winners for 2009 are:
A. Ainsworth, ARS
Global Change and
Photosynthesis Research Unit, Urbana, Ill., for significant contributions
to understanding the impact of global change on crop physiology and production.
Dana Blumenthal, ARS
Resources Research Unit (RRRU), Fort Collins, Colo., for outstanding
scientific contributions to invasion ecology and for teamwork with the RRRU and
H. Gent, ARS
Seed and Cereal Research Unit, Corvallis, Ore., for creativity and
outstanding accomplishments in developing integrated pest management approaches
to reduce the impact of diseases on crop productivity.
and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit, Athens, Ga., for
demonstrating the critical role of domestic ducks in the control of avian
influenza viruses and for the characterization and improved diagnostics of
novel enteric viruses of poultry.
Disease-Weed Research Unit, Fort Detrick, Md., for research contributions
in molecular diagnostics and genetic characterization of foreign plant
pathogens, and demonstration of early career success in developing extramurally
funded research programs.
A. Rinehart, ARS
Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, Miss., for research and technology
transfer related to the application of molecular markers and DNA fingerprinting
biotechnology to breeding woody landscape plants.
Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., for developing
innovative methods for detecting internalization of pathogens into leafy
Other 2009 ARS award winners include the following:
- The ARS H1N1 Flu Virus Research Team, which includes Amy Vincent, Kelly
Lager, Kay Faabert and Marcus Kehrli, ARS Virus and Prion Research Unit, Ames,
Iowa; Erica Spackman and David Suarez, ARS Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral
Diseases Research Unit, Athens, Ga.; and Cyril Gay and Steven Kappes, ARS
Office of National Programs, Beltsville, Md., will receive the Special
Administrators Award for outstanding, rapid research support and
technology development to assist USDA, cooperating agencies and the U.S. pork
industry respond to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu threat.
and Bioinformatics Research Unit, Stoneville, Miss., has received the ARS
T.W. Edminster Award for his outstanding research proposal Genetics and
genomics of sweet potato and other specialty crops for improved quality and
resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. 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.
Nina Ahmad, National Agricultural
Library (NAL), Beltsville, Md., will receive the Office Professional of the
Year Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements and creative efforts
of ARS office professionals. Ahmad received the award for outstanding
performance and significant contributions to improve and streamline the
operations at NALs Collection Services Branch.
- The 2009 Excellence in Information Award is being presented to
R. Makuch, NAL, Beltsville, Md.; Stuart Gagnon, University of Maryland,
College Park, Md.; Cassandra Harper, formerly with Library Associates
Companies, Inc., Rockville, Md.; Diane Doyle, Library Associates Companies.,
Inc., Rockville, Md.; and Charles Rewa, Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Beltsville, Md. The team will receive this award for outstanding contributions
in leading NALs efforts in meeting the scientific information needs of
USDAs Conservation Effects Assessment Project.
Several 2009 Administrators Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity
Awards also will be presented to ARS staff. These awards identify and recognize
ARS employees for exemplary achievements in promoting equal employment
opportunity and civil rights and in fostering an awareness of and commitment to
workforce diversity through actions that clearly exceed the responsibilities of
their positions or assignments in ARS.
Regional Research Center (WRRC), Albany, Calif., will receive the
Supervisory/Managerial Category award for consistent and exemplary
contributions realizing the objectives of outreach, diversity, and equal
opportunity for the Pacific West Area at WRRC.
- The Beltsville Area Diversity Taskforce, Beltsville, Md., will receive the
Non-Supervisory/Non-Managerial Category award for the establishment of a Best
Hiring Practices document that will promote the hiring of a diverse workforce
in the Beltsville Area. Taskforce members include Jenny Allen, David Baer,
Edith Blackwell, Julia Cabrera-Woscek, Eton Codling, Erin Connor, Eilyn
Fabregas, Verneta Gaskins, Mary Ann Guaragna, Kathleen Haynes, Theresa
Henderson, Swati Mookherji, Savi Natarajan, Xiangwu Nou, Janet Novotny, Alvin
Nowverl, Eunhee Park, Talo Pastor-Corrales, Ali Sadeghi, Tom Sexton, Manan
Sharma, Martha Tomecek, and Aijun Zhang.
- The agencys Administrative and Financial Management (AFM) Support
Awards for Excellence recognize the outstanding achievements of employees who
have increased efficiency in the AFM support activities of USDAs
Education, and Economics agencies.
- The 2009 AFM Gold Award for Excellence will be presented to Myles H.
Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hilo, Hawaii, for outstanding
achievements as administrative officer at the Hilo location in coordinating the
centers construction, research unit consolidation, and implementation of
overall improvements to the locations administrative office.
- The 2009 AFM Silver Award for Excellence will be presented to
G. Barry, AFM, Beltsville, Md., for outstanding leadership and vision
throughout implementation of the design and construction program supporting the
ARS portion of the American Recovery and Revitalization Act.
- The 2009 AFM Bronze Award for Excellence will be presented to the ARS
Information Technology Wiki Development Team for outstanding support to ARS in
the conception and development of a web-based information repository (Wiki) to
be utilized by the ARS information technology community. Team members include
Paula Snell, Peoria, Ill.; Daniel Stieneke, Kimberly, Idaho; Joy McDaniel,
Beltsville, Md.; Scott Finke, Beltsville, Md.; Andrea Miller, Peoria, Ill.;
Stephanie Jobes, Riverside, Calif.; and C. Gwen Pentecost, Pullman, Wash.
Boyd, AFM, Beltsville, Md., will receive an AFM Support Award for
Excellence for outstanding contributions to the successful implementation of
WebTA and commitment to provide excellent customer service.