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Plenary Lecturers Share Science, Policy Perspectives

October 28, 2009

Trends in agronomy, crop, and soil science to be discussed

Worldwide leaders in agricultural research, science policy, and soil science will address emerging developments in plant and soil sciences as daily plenary lectures during the 2009 Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), Nov. 1-5 in Pittsburgh, PA.The meeting will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The four daily plenary lecturers are:

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009, 6:00 pm, Ballroom BC
ASA Plenary /E.T. & Vam York Distinguished Lecture
Gebisa Ejeta, Purdue University
Dr. Gebisa Ejeta is the recipient of the 2009 World Food Prize for his contributions in the production of sorghum, which have dramatically enhanced the food supply for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. He will present the 2009 E.T. & Vam York Distinguished ASA Plenary Lecture, “Fueling the Resurgence of Our Purpose-Driven Sciences,” on Sunday, Nov. 1, from 6:00-7:00pm. His personal journey would lead him from a childhood in a one-room thatched hut in rural Ethiopia to scientific acclaim as a distinguished professor, plant breeder, and geneticist at Purdue University. Ejeta’s scientific breakthroughs in breeding drought-tolerant and Striga-resistant sorghum have combined with his persistent efforts to foster economic development and the empowerment of subsistence farmers through the creation of agricultural enterprises in rural Africa.

Monday, Nov. 2, 2009, 8:00-9:30 am, Ballroom BC
ASA Plenary Lecture
Roger Beachy, USDA- National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Roger Beachy is the director of the USDA’s newly established National Institute of Food and Agriculture in Washington, DC. Prior to his appointment to the Obama administration, Dr. Beachy served as the founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. He is internationally known for his groundbreaking research on development of virus-resistant plants through biotechnology. The new Institute takes the existing USDA-CSREES (Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service) and transforms it into a cross-agency “federal science enterprise,” according USDA Secretary Vilsack. He will share his outlook for the new institute at the ASA Plenary Lecture on Monday, Nov.2, from 8:00-9:30 am at the Annual Meetings.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, 8:00-9:30 am, Ballroom BC
CSSA Plenary Lecture
Calestous Juma, Harvard University
Dr. Calestous Juma is a professor of the practice of international development and director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. His research focuses on the application of science and innovation to sustainable development. Dr. Juma is a former head of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and has been elected to several academies including the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He is the 2009 Betty Klepper Endowed Lecturer. His presentation, “Science and Innovation for Sustainability””Harnessing Technological Abundance,” will explore the role of technological innovation in fostering the sustainability transition, with specific emphasis on agriculture. He will present the CSSA Plenary Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 8:00-9:30 am at the Annual Meetings.

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, 8:00-9:30 am, Ballroom BC
SSSA Plenary Lecture
Ian Pepper, University of Arizona
Dr. Ian Pepper is a professor in the department of Community, Environment, and Policy and the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Arizona. He is also the director of the Environmental Research Laboratory and NSF Water Quality Center at University of Arizona. Pepper’s lecture, “Soils: A Public Health Threat or Savior,” will highlight the ways that soil’s biodiversity and architecture has contributed to human health, nutrition, and global ecology, making it one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world. He will present the SSSA Plenary Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 8:00-9:30 am at the Annual Meetings.

In addition to the daily plenary lecturers, more than 2,700 international scientists, professionals, educators, and students will present new technologies and discuss emerging trends in agriculture, energy, climate change, science education, and related issues as part of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meetings, Nov. 1-5 in Pittsburgh, PA. Follow our daily Twitter feed of research and events at: www.twitter.com/ASA_CSSA_SSSA , #ACSMtg.  For meeting information, including abstracts of the papers being presented, visit: www.acsmeetings.org or contact Sara Uttech, ASA-CSSA-SSSA, 608-268-4948, suttech@agronomy.org




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