RECEIVED JUN 2 8 2005
Vol. 16, No. 5
UF/IFAS International Programs Office of the Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida 32611
From the director
IFAS hosts Borlaug Fellows
By Roger Natzke ';
It %was a pleasure to
receive notice that ,
UF/IFAS was select-
ed as one of the hosts
for this year's class
of Borlaug Felloxw s .-_
sponsored by FAS of U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture.
Nine female scientists from fie
West African countries x ill arrive in
Gainesxille in mid-October to beein a
one-month study program. Their re-
search and/or extension interests
touch a number of departments as
their current employment ranges from
universities, to ministries of Agricul-
ture. to research institutes.
Each will be teamed up %w ith a
mentor wx ho \\ill assist in designing a
program to meet their objectives. The
Borlaug International Agricultural
Science and Technology Fellows Pro-
gram has the object es of
* Providing scientific training,
* Apply ing know ledge to their re-
* Enhancing leadership skills.
* Promoting collaboration \w ith US
Meeting the Borlaug objectives fits
with our international goals. In addi-
tion to \working cooperate\ el\ w% ith re-
search and extension programs. Bor-
laug fellows could 2et involved in the
Gender. En\ ironment, Agricultural
See Borlaug. p. 2
La Flor is potential
EARTH Uni\ersitv in Costa Rica has
a ne%\ resource in research, education
and extension to offer UF/IFAS facul-
ty and students a tropical laboratory
farm called La Flor.
UF/IFAS faculty and administrators
\\ ho recently visited EARTH Unixer-
sit\ are excited about the possibilities
of working in the development of La
Flor and of subsequent exchanges.
EARTH Unixersit\ recently ac-
quired the 3.000-acre property near
the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and is
seeking a partnership x ith UF/IFAS in
the development and use of the prop-
erty and hoxx it can be an educational
resource to both universities.
In April. a Unixersit\ of Florida
team headed b\ Extension District Di-
rector Pete Vergot \ isited EARTH to
meet with faculty and administrators
to assess the joint opportunities under
a longstanding cooperative agreement.
"We'll be working on a report on
active ities that took place and some
recommendations b\ the team on
%w here to go from here." said Vergot.
"We're looking at \what xwe can do to
collaborate ith EARTH to bring in
The team represented elements of
UF/IFAS research. extension. and
centers that could benefit from col-
laboration at La Flor. Other faculty on
the trip \were:
*E\tension Dean Larr\ Arrington.
*Research Dean Richard Jones.
*Okaloosa Count\ Extension Agent
La Flor offers a laboratory in
agriculture and natural resources.
W\\alon Count) Extension Agent
*E\erglades Research and Education
Center Director Chris Waddill,
*Tropical Research and Education
Center Director Van Waddill.
*Food science and human nutrition
Chairman Charlie Sims,
internationall Programs Assistant
Director Lisette Staal.
Common issues of interest related
to La Flor include green harvesting of
sugar cane. biomass to energy.
tropical and semi-tropical crops and
landscaping. livestock and turf
management, tropical fruit processing.
water management, student and
faculty\ e\chance. coastal and
wetlands issues. and distance
See La Flor. p. 2
\. :i ", 'Is i ( ".F"
Telephone: 352 392-1965 FAX: 352 392-7127 Website: http://international.ifas.ufl.edu
ADEC honors Poucher and UF/IFAS team for distance learning
The American Distance Education
Consortium (ADEC) awarded UF/
IFAS Assistance Vice President Don
Poucher a 2005 Irving Award, its high-
est honor, for his role as a leader, cre-
ator and implementer of distance learn-
ing programs and technologies.
ADEC described Poucher as a "big
picture thinker, an outstanding writer,
an individual who works quickly and
gets results." The award was presented
at the annual meeting in New Orleans
April 27, when ADEC also recognized
a team from UF/IFAS and other univer-
sities with an honorable mention. The
recognition of UF/IFAS' leadership in
ADEC underscores the importance of
La Flor, from p. 1
EARTH University has long served
as a campus abroad for UF/IFAS facul-
ty and students. Team members see ad-
ditional opportunities through La Flor
for sabbaticals, internships, distance
learning programs and others educa-
tional exchanges. Training programs
could be conducted on energy exten-
sion, food safety, natural resources,
eco- and agro-tourism.
Tropical Research and Education
Center Director Van Waddill said La
Flor, like IFAS centers, provides stu-
dents and researchers a base with a va-
Borlaug. from p. 1
and Participation (GEAPI program.
In addition to the immediate bene-
fits of the opportunity for faculty and
students to interact with scientists
from a different culture. the interaction
w ill help build bridges between our in-
stitutions. With those bridges in place
we can envision joint research projects
and the potential for having additional
students seeking admission to graduate
In the AERI project. the first por-
lion of the training included four
ueeks of instructional acti cities %w ith
the organization's support and re-
source capabilities for UF/IFAS fac-
ulty in the development of distance
ADEC is a consortium of universi-
ties that fosters distance education.
Poucher has been a leader in
ADEC almost since its founding in
1989, when it was called Ag*SAT.
He is now is a member of the ADEC
Board of Directors.
The Irving Award is named for Irv-
in Omtvedt, former vice chancellor of
the University of Nebraska's Institute
of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
ADEC's founder and first chairman.
At the meeting, Poucher, along
riety of new opportunities.
"By having a satellite center at La
Flor, it would broaden opportunities
for their students and faculty and for
ours as well," said Waddill.
EARTH'S plan for developing in-
come from the property will augment
opportunities, said Waddill. Parts of
the site will be used as a light indus-
trial park, residential, tourism, and
sugar and mango production.
La Flor is 15 miles from the Pacif-
ic coast in an area of high growth.
C Pete Vergot, email@example.com
LIF faculty. SeN enteen Eg ptian fac-
ulty, %working w ith IFAS mentors, de-
\eloped new courses. Training will
be repeated this fall.
In June John Vansickle \ ill return
to Egy pt to work % ith the private sec-
tor as thle\ endea, or to establish new
markets in Europe for some of their
specialty crops. This trip is a follow-
up to several earlier training sessions.
Roger Natzke is senior associate dean
and director of International Programs
with Dave King of Purdue University,
shared the Bill Murphy Barrier Buster
Award for outstanding leadership.
A team of distance education spe-
cialists from UF/IFAS and other uni-
versities developed the program
"Roadmap to Effective Distance Edu-
cation Instructional Design," which
earned one of two honorable mentions.
UF/IFAS faculty and principal in-
vestigator Ricky Telg and Ron Tho-
mas, coordinator of educational media
and the university's principal contact
officer for ADEC, served on the team.
Don Poucher, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADEC is resource
for UF/IFAS faculty
W ith UF/IFAS CALS and Interna-
tional Programs taking the lead
on promoting international distance
education programs, the American
Distance Education Consortium can be
a key partner. ADEC is standing by to
provide expertise to faculty.
UF/IFAS is a member of ADEC.
It's faculty and staff are leaders in
ADEC's development, having made
contributions and received the highest
recognition. UF/IFAS leaders in dis-
tance education want faculty to know
that e\iensi\e resources and expertise
in the development of distance learn-
ing programs for the College of Agri-
cultural and Life Sciences are aail-
able through ADEC. Visit the ADEC
\website at %\ % \% .adec.edu. or contact
Ron Thomas. principal contact officer
ADEC is a nonprofit education con-
sortium composed of about 65 state
uni\ernsiie. and land-grant colleges
and other organizations.
( Ron Thomas, email@example.com j
Grant supports research on climate change in Caribbean
gy and nematology, and Medal, a visit-
ing assistant scientist, forged collabo-
Virology group visits Guatemala
UF/IFAS insect pathologist James
Maruniak and 11 students from the UF
Society for Viral Studies went to Gua-
temala during spring break to learn
about public health issues. They visited
the Center of Disease Control, the Pan
American Health Organization and
CARE International, where they dis-
cussed diseases and public health is-
sues affecting Guatemala and other
Central American countries. Scientists
from the three organizations gave pre-
sentations about chagas, leishmaniasis,
malaria, dengue and HIV. The students
observed insect vectors of some of
these diseases, and learned about re-
search to prevent and treat these dis-
Jim Maruniak, firstname.lastname@example.org )
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Researchers are working with the
Global Environmental Change and
Food Systems programs, or GECAFS,
to seek ways to reduce the vulnerabili-
ty of food production systems.
The team is headed by distin-
guished professor Jim Jones.
Arvin Mosier, email@example.com
"' limate change poses a threat to Under a planning grant from US-
.-food security in the Caribbean. AID, UF/IFAS researchers are gather-
imate change threatens food produc- ing a team of scientists from Guyana,
n on land and sea for domestic con- Haiti and Jamaica to adapt a computer
mption. Revenues from export crops based decision system for food pro-
.d from tourism also are at risk. Mon- duction in the Caribbean.
from tourism is crucial to support- "The earth is changing and we
g the importation of food. Increased need to be able to adapt our systems
orm frequency and a rising sea level to this change," said Arvin Mosier,
sociated with climate change are real researcher who joined the UF/IFAS
reats to Caribbean nations. tearh this year after retiring from the
Peppertree control search goes to Paraguay
F/IFAS researchers have taken the ratite ties with scientists affiliated
arch for new biological control with three Paraguayan institutions.
ents of the Brazilian peppertree to The Brazilian peppertree was intro-
araguay and are continuing their sur- duced from South America in the late
eys in Brazil. 19th century. It escaped cultivation
Paraguay has not been adequately and dominates ecosystems in central
rveyed for natural enemies of the and south Florida.
ant. So UF/IFAS entomologists The trip March 5-16 was funded in
mes Cuda and Julio Medal included pard by a travel grant from Intema-
araguay in their travels in March. tional Programs.
uda. associate professor in entomolo- I Contact
Epps is awarded Ford
'imberly Epps, doctoral candidate
in soil and water science, has
--- ,- been awarded
'4.' a Ford Foun-
"W nation Diver-
/ ship in sup-
S port of her
Kimberly Epps with a program at
landowner in Brazil. the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences.
This fellowship, which is managed
by the National Academies, supports
individuals with evidence of superior
academic achievement and who are
committed to continuing that level of
excellence as scholars and teachers at
the college and university level.
Epps is in northeastern Brazil doing
fieldwork in the Atlantic Forest, a
While many look to plant biodiver-
sity to explain the stability, or lack of,
of ecosystem processes, Epps is deter-
mining the chemical diversity of or-
ganic matter inputs to the soil system
to discover how that controls nutrient
cycling under these unique conditions.
Her work could be a useful input
when designing the species groups to
be included in reforestation efforts.
Nick Comerford, firstname.lastname@example.org )
James Cuda, jcuda @ifas.ufl.edu
Students celebrate African Week
Members of the African Students
Un on at the College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences celebrated African
Week by cooking African dishes for
They also put on the Annual Afri-
can Culture Showcase. The activities,
which began April 4, were designed
to increase awareness of Africa and to
showcase its diverse culture. UF/
IFAS graduate student Gabriel Ka-
sozi, a leader of the organization, said
the!community service dinner was
prepared at the St. Francis House.
A variety of authentic African
dis es were served to the homeless at
the downtown shelter.
Office of International Programs
University of Florida
Office of the Vice President for Agriculture
and Natural Resources
P.O. Box 110282
Gainesville, FL 32611-0282
h l..h I h.111l....lI.I ll...lI... ,li...l ...Illlh.n...ll...1 l
MS DALE B CANELAS
UNI LIBRA & DIR
PO BOX 117001
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7001
EMBRAPA scientist at UF/IFAS studies growth of loblolly pine
In an effort to better understand
southern pine production in Brazil,
Rosana Clara Victoria Higa is spend-
ing a year at UF/IFAS studying loblol-
with EMBRAPA's ;
for Forestry Re-
search near Curiti-
ba City in the
south of Brazil. By .
tion and quality of
plantation forests ,
in the south, Bra-
zil's leaders hope
to reduce the har- .
vesting of native
"In the south we -
need plantation Rosana Clara Vic-
forests because we toria Higa in a for-
can't harvest na- est in Brazil.
tive forests," she said.
Loblolly pine is an important tree in
this scenario as it occupies about I
million hectares of the plantation for-
ests in Brazil. It is not native to Brazil
but to the southern United States,
where research on the tree is being
conducted at UF/IFAS's School of
Forest Resources and Conservation.
As a visiting scientist on a one-year
program, Higa is working with School
of Forest Resources and Conservation
and Co-Director Tim Martin and soil
Cooperative agreement with
With the renewal of cooperation
with EMBRAPA in Brazil, UF
faculty and students have a research
and education institute abroad.
The cooperative agreement fosters
a broad range of cooperative activities
with EMBRAPA, the Brazilian Agri-
cultural Research Corporation, which
has research centers throughout the
science researcher Nick Comerford to
better understand the growth of loblol-
ly pine. She is comparing growth in
Brazil and Florida, and looking at the
ecophysiological aspects of the spe-
cies and impact of soil characteristics
and climate on growth. Higa's work at
UF/IFAS is a component of a long-
standing cooperative agreement with
( Rosana Clara Victoria Higa,
EMBRAPA, Brazil, renewed
country. The organization is dedicated
to finding solutions for the sustainable
development of Brazilian agribusiness.
Horticultural sciences professor
Steve Sargent is program manager.
| Steve Sargent, email@example.com J