Dean's Message Fall 2012

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

As we usher in winter for another year, many of us at the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR) find ourselves looking both to the future as well as back in history.

The year 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which is the seminal legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln that created our nation's land-grant university system.

CABNR is a founding college of University of Nevada, Reno, one of those land-grant universities. As such, CABNR has a rich history of its own, having established a remarkable record of fulfilling the basic mission of a land-grant university - teaching, research and outreach. Our programs have always benefitted the health and economic resilience of Nevada, and will continue to do so for another 150 years, I predict.

As we have acknowledged this important anniversary this year, we have frequently found ourselves looking ahead. Despite its long history of stability and academic accomplishment, CABNR has a tradition of always moving forward, of always anticipating the needs of our state and its residents, and always adjusting its focus in response to those changing needs. This has allowed us to remain relevant and accountable over all these years.

The foundation of our strength is our students. CABNR attracts some of the best students enrolled at this University, and we are very proud of that fact. For example, CABNR's 1,101 undergraduates comprise 8 percent of UNR's total undergraduate population, yet we have 25 percent of the National Merit students enrolled at UNR. Our students have won the Herz Medal Award about 40 percent of the time since the year 2000, and our students recently received a gold medal at the International Genetic Engineering Competition at the 2012 Americas west division region competition at Stanford University.

This is a bright, motivated group of students, and they help make our programs better and our faculty fully engaged.

The citizens of Nevada benefit from the synergy between our students and faculty. CABNR engages in multidisciplinary research and shares the results of that knowledge with Nevadans through a variety of programs, events, activities and publications. For example, CABNR helps support UNR's Center for Economic Development, which provides economic development research to the state; and Risk Management Education, which provides information for Nevada's livestock and forage producers.

Here at CABNR, we adhere to a mission defined by the five 'E's - to Educate, Explore, Engage, Enable and Enhance. We are always looking to investigate and strengthen our research and creative activity, to reach out to the entire state and to make improvements to our campus and lab environment to better serve our students.