Boethel honored

David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, has been awarded the 2010 Excellence in Leadership Award by the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.

The award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding leadership to research initiatives and have served the association and the land-grant university system with distinction.

“Dr. Boethel seeks coordination, cooperation and results from research efforts,” said Bill Richardson, LSU AgCenter chancellor. “His commitment and dedication have served not only Louisiana well, but the South and the nation as a whole. Effective research is the backbone of the LSU AgCenter’s successful educational programs.”

Boethel was most recently honored for the leadership he provides to the integrated pest management movement in this country. This movement aims to reduce the use of pesticides in crop production. Boethel serves as advisor to a group of 10 universities working collaboratively to achieve integrated pest management in soybeans. The group, which includes the LSU AgCenter, was awarded the 2009 National Excellence in Multistate Research Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

“This group of scientists, working under the direction of Dr. Boethel, potentially restored the profitability of soybean production in the United States, saving producers an estimated $1.3 billion,” said David Wright, director of research for the North Central Soybean Research Program, based in Ankeny, Iowa.

In Louisiana, Boethel has led research in better management and control of mosquitoes, fire ants and termites. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Louisiana Biofuels and Bioprocessing Institute at the LSU AgCenter.

Boethel has held his current position with the AgCenter since 2004. Before that he was the associate vice chancellor from 2001-2004, and before that, the assistant director for pest management from 1997-2001. He is a professor of entomology and first joined the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station in 1974 as an assistant professor at the Pecan Research and Extension Station in Shreveport.

Within the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, Boethel has held many offices, including chair in 2007-08. At the national level, he served on the science and technology committee of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy from 2002-2006 and chair of the budget and legislative committee from 2008-2009. This committee prepares the budget requests for the U.S. Congress for agricultural research and education programs for the land-grant universities.

Boethel has authored or co-authored more than 100 books, book chapters and refereed publications. He has mentored 23 graduate students who have obtained the master’s and doctoral degrees and found employment with universities, governmental agencies and private industry.

“Dr. Boethel instills excellence for many reasons, most notably his personal and scientific credentials, his work ethic and his well-known reputation for molding scientists into quality individuals,” said John Russin, LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor for research.

A native of Weimar, Texas, Boethel has a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Texas A&M University, all in entomology.

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