Dean's Message Fall 2013

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

As the fall semester approaches, the CABNR family remains optimistic about our future. We’re being guided by a stakeholder driven strategic plan that positions the college and the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station for future growth and collaborations. Toward that end, we’ve hired eight new faculty and support professionals through national searches, adding an outstanding crop of new impact players to the CABNR team.

Using the links on the left, you can meet three of our hires, Dr. Deborah Bujnowski, Dr. Antonio Faciola, and Ralph Phillips.

Just recently, we have hired Dr. Paul Verburg, a highly regarded soil scientist, and we are negotiating to bring in a second soil scientist. These new soil scientists will provide fundamental science to support our rangeland and agricultural programs.

In the near future, Dr. Ian Wallace, a modern plant geneticist specializing in drought-tolerant plants, will join the faculty. He comes to us from the University of California-Berkeley. We also are in the final stages of negotiating with a second plant geneticist. These two hires will add to our current world-class plant genetics program.

Finally, the search for a new agronomist has just closed and we have a rich pool of candidates. We are in the selection process for this critical position as a strong agronomic program is fundamental for our goal of supporting plant-based agriculture through research, outreach and education. I’m confident that we will hire a highly qualified agronomist.

With the move of Dr. Mark Walker from our Natural Resources and Environmental Science department to serve as the interim dean for Cooperative Extension, we were left with a departmental chair vacancy. I’m happy to announce that Dr. Robert Nowak has assumed this important leadership role, and I welcome him to the CABNR/NAES leadership team. Bob has been a highly successful faculty member who has a strong research background and shares the vision of the CABNR strategic plan.

That plan features and supports world-class research, outreach and education in support of sustainable agriculture production, natural resource management, economic development, and providing healthy foods for a healthy Nevada. Critical to this vision is the sharing of expertise across disciplines with broadly based groups working on critical issues.

These eight new CABNR family members will provide new vigor and expertise for the redirection of our priorities and will help facilitate a culture of collaboration within CABNR, UNR and beyond.