Please welcome Ashok Chanda who started his position as assistant professor on August 30. Ashok is located at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston with a tenure home in the Department of Plant Pathology. Ashok earned his BSc and MS from ANGR Agricultural University in Hyberabad, India and his PhD from Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, where he held a post-doctoral position for the last couple of years. Ashok is developing an extension and research program focused on diseases and disease management that affect sugarbeet production.
- Albert Sims, director of operations, Northwest Research and Outreach Center
Please welcome Britt Forsberg as the Minnesota Master Naturalist Explorers coordinator. She starts on September 8. Britt comes to us from the Bell Museum where she spent over six years coordinating and facilitating urban after-school science programming. She has developed and managed novel inquiry-based learning with an emphasis on education technology. In her new role, Britt will be responsible for working with her FWCE team members and MN DNR partners to design and implement statewide the Explorers after-school program. She will be based on the St. Paul campus.
- Nathan Meyer, program leader
We extend a warm welcome to Axel Garcia y Garcia. Axel joined the University of Minnesota on August 25 in sustainable cropping systems located at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics with a research and extension appointment. Axel received his BSc in agronomy from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and his MSc and PhD in agronomy from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After receiving his PhD, Axel spent ten years as a researcher at the Guatemalan Institute of Science and Agricultural Technologies. He then became a visiting scientist and postdoctoral research associate at the University of Georgia before moving to the University of Wyoming as an assistant professor in 2009 in the Department of Plant Sciences. Axel will provide leadership for research and extension education programs in cropping systems including the corn-soybean rotation.
- Nancy Jo Ehlke, head of Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and Pauline Nickel, head of Southwest Research and Outreach Center
Extension welcomes Becky Masterman as the director of the Bee Squad program within the Bee Lab on the St. Paul campus. The Bee Squad is an Extension and business program that helps beekeepers and the community in the Twin Cities area foster healthy bee populations and pollinator landscapes. Becky develops Bee Squad programming for beekeepers and bee supporters and a growing group of people and businesses interested in us managing bee colonies for them or interested in learning more about native bees. She also communicates with these audiences via social media and a newsletter.
- Marla Spivak, Extension entomologist, professor in Department of Entomology