University of Nevada, Reno has hired Most Tahera Naznin and Md Sazan Rahman in two newly created urban agriculture positions based in southern Nevada. Together they aim to help increase sustainability and food security through indoor and outdoor horticulture, controlled-environment agriculture, food-security education, hydroponics systems and more. The positions were added by the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, as part of the College’s Extension and Experiment Station units, which conduct outreach, engagement and research throughout the state.
Most Tahera Naznin
Naznin will serve as the new associate professor of urban indoor agriculture, and has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, master’s degrees in food chemistry and horticulture, and a Ph.D. in environmental horticulture.
Climate-smart urban and controlled-environment agriculture systems, such as greenhouses, indoor vertical farming, shipping container farming and high tunnels, and outdoor farming are the focus of Naznin’s research and interests. She aims to maximize year-round greenhouse, hydroponic and aquaponic crop production by focusing on the impact of environmental factors, irrigation, plant nutrition and other factors.
With this knowledge and research, Naznin hopes to enhance agriculture production and crop quality, especially health-beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants. This would help increase customer satisfaction and producer profitability and sustainability.
“My goal is to provide urban outdoor and indoor producers with research-based knowledge to assist them in making sound management decisions,” Naznin said. “I'd like to collaborate with researchers and Extension educators in this field.”
Md Sazan Rahman
Rahman will serve as assistant professor and urban agriculture Extension specialist, and has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in bioresource engineering.
His research focuses on increasing the yield and quality of indoor agricultural products using minimum resources while reducing environmental degradation with a minimal carbon footprint, by applying renewable and sustainable techniques in a controlled environment.
Rahman plans to expand hydroponic systems and other renewable indoor agricultural techniques and involve Extension and the community through education courses and training. As a part of this expansion, he will also collaborate with high-tech and growing industries to optimize commercial indoor agricultural production systems.
“I want to help motivate the community to make their own horticulture systems and grow their own food,” Rahman said. “We do our research for the community, so they can receive the maximum benefit of growing their own food and receiving proper nutrition.”
Going forward, Naznin and Rahman will be providing horticulture research and education to not only Extension and its Master Gardeners, but also to community members of all ages. With their knowledge, techniques and resources, Extension aims to help improve the urban agriculture system, increasing food security, improving agricultural production and food value, and creating an effective indoor controlled growing environment.
"We are excited to have them both on board and moving into all aspects of controlled-environment agriculture in the urban environment, both in research and application," Eric Killian, Extension’s southern area director, said.