Winter 2021: Building Resilience
Dean and Director
We will emerge stronger and more resilient if we continue to work together and learn valuable lessons from the past. I hope you enjoy this issue, and best wishes for a prosperous 2021.
Building the resilience concept into UMD Extension (UME) programming, educators are creating new tools, guides, and educational opportunities to work with Marylanders, helping them to manage stress and create resiliency in their personal lives, their communities, and for their businesses.
Vultures are the perfect example of the One Health principle—how animal, human, and environmental health are all interlinked, and how a local issue in African vultures can become a problem for human health around the world.
Dr. Puneet Srivastava, associate dean for research and associate director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES), discusses how research initiatives have continued to thrive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the resilience of our essential employees across the state of Maryland.
In Your Community
Maryland renewable energy goals are increasing, and to meet the demands of this environmentally-focused ambition, thousands of acres of agricultural land throughout the state may take priority for conversion to solar power systems.
For Curtis Bennett, ’09 Environmental Science and Policy graduate and AGNR Alumni Board vice president, discovering the “why” for his career path was only part of the journey that led him to his current role at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md. Figuring out his “what” proved to be perhaps the most challenging but essential part.
Olivia Savannah Logan, ’15 graduate from the Department of Environmental Science & Technology has become a champion in the fight against hair discrimination.
Audrey Wilke is fighting to change the designer mindset from accessibility to a truly inclusive user experience that considers the perspectives of all those using outdoor spaces, including those with disabilities.
Food insecurity is both a global and regional issue that has been greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our fearless AGNR students have continued to show that they are more than up for the challenge by providing assistance to those who may be struggling to provide for themselves.
A team of UMD students from the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) Summer Fellows program developed and coded an algorithmic technique to identify unregistered farms.
Faculty & Staff Recognitions
The college celebrates William Bowerman as the 2020 recipient of one of the Boy Scout of America’s (BSA) rarest and most significant honors, the BSA Distinguished Conservationist Award.
Tom Porter and Adel Shirmohammadi were recently honored as Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), a two-year program of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities designed for experienced leaders in academia,
government, and industry.
Shirmohammadi and Porter were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the FSLI executive leadership development program and for their contributions to UMD, broader higher education, and food systems.