Three candidates will be interviewed for the director's position of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. The candidates are Abdullah Jaradat of USDA's North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab; Thanos Papanicolaou of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa; and Mark Rasmussen of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
Each candidate will visit the ISU campus at Ames for two days and present a seminar that is open to the public. In the seminar, candidates will address their vision for the future of the Leopold Center and how their experiences contribute to the vision. The seminars are scheduled for:
* Monday, Nov. 28, 9:30 a.m., Room 1951, Food Sciences Building — Abdullah Jaradat
* Thursday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m., Room 1951, Food Sciences Building — Thanos Papanicolaou
* Monday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., Room 8, Curtiss Hall — Mark Rasmussen
The seminars can be viewed live online at the following link, https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/lcsa. Viewers can participate in the live forum by clicking on the link, logging in using the guest option and typing their full name. They can submit questions using the Q&A window. It is recommended that viewers run a test ahead of time to make sure their computers and network connections are properly configured. To conduct the test, go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm. After each presentation, a link to an archived version will be available on the Leopold Center website, http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/about/director-search.
About the candidates—qualifications, experience, background information
Abdullah Jaradat is research leader, supervisory research agronomist and location coordinator of the North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab, a facility of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Morris, Minn. He also is an adjunct professor of agronomy and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota and an adjunct professor of science at Southwest Minnesota State University. He conducts and manages research on conventional and organic production agriculture, with emphasis on modeling yield variation of crops under diverse management practices. Jaradat has a B.S. in dryland agriculture from the University of Damascus, an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Jordan and a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from Washington State University.
Thanos Papanicolaou is professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa as well as Donald E. Bently Faculty Fellow of Engineering and research engineer with the Iowa Institute of Hydroscience and Engineering. His research interests include best management practices to lessen the impact of soil erosion and nutrient transport on water quality; soil carbon sequestration; and use of sensor technology in agricultural landscapes. He serves on the advisory board for the Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University. Papanicolaou has an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Aristotle University in Greece and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Virginia Tech.
Mark Rasmussen is supervisory microbiologist and director of the Division of Animal and Food Microbiology in the Office of Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine in Laurel, Md. He provides technical guidance and research support for regulatory decisions on drugs, feed additives and contaminants in animal feeds. For 20 years, he worked as a scientist and research leader at the USDA National Animal Disease Center in Ames, including serving as a collaborating faculty member in Iowa State's animal science and biomedical sciences departments. Rasmussen has both a B.S. (agriculture) and an M.S. (animal science) from the University of Nebraska, a Ph.D. in dairy science from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from Iowa State University.
ISU search committee narrowed down field of candidates to these three
Chairing the search committee is Sharron Quisenberry, ISU vice president for Research and Economic Development. Search committee members are Bill Ehm, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Dan Frieberg, Premier Crop Systems LLC, West Des Moines; Matt Helmers, ISU Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Cathy Kling, ISU Department of Economics; Matt Liebman, ISU Department of Agronomy; Ann McCarthy, ISU State Relations Office; James Russell, ISU Department of Animal Science; Jennifer Steffen, Birmingham, Iowa, farmer and State Soil Conservation Committee; and Keith Summerville, Drake University. Ehm, Frieberg, Steffen and Summerville represent the Leopold Center's advisory board.Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is a research and education center with statewide programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources. The center is named for Aldo Leopold, a Burlington, Iowa, native known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist and educator. The center was established under Iowa's Groundwater Protection Act of 1987 with a three-fold mission: to conduct research to identify and reduce negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts of agricultural practices; to research and assist in developing alternative practices consistent with a sustainable agriculture; and to work with ISU Extension to inform the agricultural community and the public of its findings.