Monday, September 26, 2011

President Obama Honors Agriculture Researchers With Presidential Early Career Awards

Nutritionist, wood engineer and entomologist among 94 researchers given highest federal award...
President Obama today hailed the work of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers as "inspiring" as he bestowed the honor on 94 professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. There were three honorees for agriculture: Dr. Laura Bellows, a nutritionist who is doing research that's crucial for First Lady Obama's Let's Move! campaign; Dr. Jonathan G. Lundgren, an entomologist who explores pest management, biodiversity and genetically modified crops; and Dr. Samuel L. Zelinka, a wood science engineer.

“It is inspiring to see the innovative work being done by these scientists and engineers as they ramp up their careers—careers that I know will be not only personally rewarding but also invaluable to the Nation,” President Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

The award is the highest awarded by the government, according to the White House. Honorees were selected for their "pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology" as well as their commitment to community service.

“That so many of them are also devoting time to mentoring and other forms of community service speaks volumes about their potential for leadership, not only as scientists but as model citizens,” President Obama said.

President Bill Clinton
established the awards in 1996, and they are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President.

The bios of the Agriculture honorees:

Dr. Laura Bellows
Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign expanded in 2011 to include interventions from infancy to pre-school, and Bellows, a research scientist and interim Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University, was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture in 2010 to study whether preschoolers in a nutrition and physical activity program maintain positive behaviors as they get older and attend elementary school.

Bellows started her career with CSU in 2000 as an Extension agent in Boulder County with the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program. In 2001 she began working at CSU with the Food Friends® and Mighty Moves™ programs for preschoolers. Both Food Friends® and Mighty Moves™ have been extensively evaluated and have been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

She received her bachelor's in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from Miami University in Ohio, her Masters of Public Health in Human Nutrition from the University of Michigan and her Doctorate in Nutrition from Colorado State University.

Dr. Jonathan G. Lundgren
Lundgren is a research entomologist based at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, South Dakota. He does research on multi-trophic interactions within agricultural systems, emphasizing how generalist predators are affected by farm management, and how biodiversity improves pest management. His research covers the intersections of pest management, biodiversity and genetically modified crops.

In addition to his Presidential award, Lundgren was also recognized by USDA's Agriculture Research Service in 2010 as an "early career scientist" who had been with the agency for seven years or less. He received the top prize, the Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award.

Dr. Samuel L. Zelinka
Zelinka is a U.S. Forest Service materials research engineer who explores corrosion of metal fasteners in wood, electrical properties of wood, and does fundamental research on wood-moisture relations. He received his B.S. from University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005; M.S. from University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006; and his Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009. A list of publications is here.

The full list of honorees:

Department of Commerce
Dr. Jeffrey A. Fagan, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Dr. James A. Morris, Jr., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. Erin M. Oleson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. David E. Richardson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. Kartik A. Srinivasan, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Dr. Jacob M. Taylor, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Department of Defense
Dr. Michael S. Arnold, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Dr. Jeffrey W. Book, Naval Research Laboratory
Dr. Tad T. Brunye, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
Dr. Dirk R. Englund, Columbia University
Dr. Ali Khademhosseini, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dr. Reuben H. Kraft, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Dr. Tonghun Lee, Michigan State University
Dr. Anne J. McNeil, University of Michigan
Dr. Aydogan Ozcan, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Tomas A. Palacios, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Sumita Pennathur, University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. Kyle M. Shen, Cornell University
Dr. Amit Singer, Princeton University
Dr. Stephen M. Spottswood, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
Dr. Joseph M. Teran, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Lan Yang, Washington University in St. Louis

Department of Education
Dr. Roy Levy, Arizona State University

Department of Energy
Dr. Christian W. Bauer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dr. Greg Bronevetsky, Lawrence Livemore National Laboratory
Dr. Fotini Katopodes Chow, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Carole Dabney-Smith, Miami University
Dr. David Erickson, Cornell University
Dr. Daniel C. Fredrickson, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Dr. Christiane Jablonowski, University of Michigan
Dr. Gang Logan Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Alysia D. Marino, University of Colorado at Boulder
Dr. Victoria J. Orphan, California Institute of Technology
Dr. Wei-Jun Qian, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Dr. Evgenya I. Simakov, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Dr. Feng Wang, University of California, Berkeley

Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Rommie E. Amaro, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Sonja M. Best, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr. David T. Breault, Children's Hospital Boston
Dr. John S. Brownstein, Children's Hospital Boston
Dr. Brian S. Caffo, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Nicola J. Camp, University of Utah
Dr. Pierre R. Comizzoli, Smithsonian Institution
Dr. Chyke A. Doubeni, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Dr. Jose C. Florez, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute
Dr. James L. Gulley, National Cancer Institute
Dr. W. Nicholas Haining, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Thomas L. Kash, University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Dr. John C. March, Cornell University
Dr. Katherine L. O'Brien, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Carla M. Pugh, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Dr. Jamie L. Renbarger, Indiana University
Dr. Sara L. Sawyer, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Hari Shroff, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, Florida International University
Dr. Linda E. Wilbrecht, University of California at San Francisco

Department of the Interior
Dr. Sasha C. Reed, U.S. Geological Survey
Dr. David R. Shelly, U.S. Geological Survey

Department of Transportation
Dr. Kristin C. Lewis, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Department of Veterans Affairs
Dr. Tanya Z. Fischer, Veterans Health Administration
Dr. Christine M. Freeman, Veterans Health Administration
Dr. B. Price Kerfoot, Veterans Health Administration and Harvard Medical School
Dr. Kristina M. Utzschneider, Veterans Health Administration and University of Washington

Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Gayle S.W. Hagler, National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Dr. David M. Reif, National Center for Computational Toxicology

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Jonathan W. Cirtain, Marshall Space Flight Center
Dr. Ian M. Howat, The Ohio State University
Dr. Gregory G. Howes, University of Iowa
Dr. Benjamin A. Mazin, University of California, Santa Barbara

National Science Foundation
Dr. Katherine E. Aidala, Mount Holyoke College
Dr. Hatice Altug, Boston University
Dr. Amir S. Avestimehr, Cornell University
Dr. Joshua C. Bongard, University of Vermont
Dr. David J. Brumley, Carnegie Mellon University
Dr. Elizabeth S. Cochran, U.S. Geological Survey
Dr. Noah J. Cowan, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Xiangfeng Duan, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Michael J. Escuti, North Carolina State University
Dr. Demetra C. Evangelou, Purdue University
Dr. Benjamin A. Garcia, Princeton University
Dr. Tina A. Grotzer, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Dr. Lasse Jensen, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Benjamin Kerr, University of Washington
Dr. Benjamin L. Lev, Stanford University
Dr. Elena G. Litchman, Michigan State University
Dr. Yasamin C. Mostofi, University of New Mexico
Dr. Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Dr. Andre D. Taylor, Yale University
Dr. Claudia R. Valeggia, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Maria G. Westdickenberg, Georgia Institute of Technology

Smithsonian Institution
Dr. Justin C. Kasper, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

*President's photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House; others are file photos

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