Andrew Sharpley, a University of Arkansas professor in the department of crop, soil and environmental sciences, received the $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation at the third annual Agriscience Awards ceremony on July 10, in Washington, D.C.
Foundation Chair Maria Lombardo said Sharpley received the award for his environmental research, including his work on the effects of agricultural management on water quality. He also teaches in the university's Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
Also presented were the $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award to Matthew Eddy, a Southeast Polk High School teacher in Pleasant Hill, Iowa; and two high school student awards of $1,000 each to Jill Dolowich, Jericho, N.Y.; and Michelle Chin, Melbourne, Fla.
The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to "encourage and support research, study and labor designed to produce new discoveries in all fields of endeavor for the benefit of mankind." The foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation jointly sponsor the annual Agriscience Awards competition.
Sharpley is co-director of the university’s Environmental Task Force. He investigates the fate of phosphorus in soil-plant-water systems in relation to soil productivity and the effects of agricultural management on water quality. He helped develop decision-making tools to identify sensitive areas of the landscape and to target management alternatives and remedial measures that have reduced the risk of nutrient loss from farms.
"I am both humbled and extremely proud to receive the Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. It means a great deal to me to receive it from those who use and benefit from our research," Sharpley said.
Sharpley is internationally recognized for his research on the role of stream and river sediments in modifying phosphorus transport and response of receiving lakes and reservoirs. He was a soil scientist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service from 1985 to 2006 when he joined the Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College. He was inducted into the USDA-ARS Hall of Fame in 2008.
"I believe this award recognizes my colleagues in ARS and now the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas, who help shaped me as a scientist and gave me the freedom to develop," Sharpley said. "It also recognizes the support Arkansas Farm Bureau has given in promoting the science of conservation and environmental stewardship to its member farmers."