RECHV34) jiJR 2 S 2005
Vol. 16, No. 5
UF/IFAS International Programs e Office of the Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida 32611
La Flor is potential
EARTH University in Costa Rica has a new resource in research, education and extension to offer UF/IFAS faculty and students a tropical laboratory farm called La Flor.
UF/IFAS faculty and administrators who recently visited EARTH University are excited about the possibilities of working in the development of La Flor and of subsequent exchanges.
EARTH University recently acquired the 3,000-acre property near the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and is seeking a partnership with UF/IFAS in the development and use of the property and how it can be an educational resource to both universities.
In April, a University of Florida
team headed by Extension District Director Pete Vergot visited 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 activities that took place and some recommendations by the team on where to go from here," said Vergot. "We're looking at what we can do to collaborate with EARTH to bring in additional resources."
The team represented elements of UF/IFAS research, extension, and centers that could benefit from collaboration at La Flor. Other faculty on the trip were:
*Extension Dean Larry Arrington,
*Research Dean Richard Jones, oOkaloosa County Extension Agent
La Flor offers a laboratory in agriculture and natural resources.
*Walton County Extension Agent Bruce Ward,
*Everglades Research and Education Center Director Chris Waddill,
*Tropical Research and Education Center Director Van Waddill,
*Food science and human nutrition Chairman Charlie Sims,
*Intemational 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 exchange, coastal and wetlands issues, and distance See La Flor, p. 2
iLUNVER I\TY OF
Telephone: 352 392-1965 e FAX: 352 392-7127 Website: http://international.ifas.ufl.edu
ADEC honors Poucher and UF/IFAS team for distance learning
T he American Distance Education
Consortium (ADEC) awarded UF/ IFAS Assistance Vice President Don Poucher a 2005 Irving Award, its highest honor, for his role as a leader, creator and implementer of distance learning 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 universities 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 faculty and students. Team members see additional opportunities through La Flor for sabbaticals, internships, distance learning programs and others educational exchanges. Training programs could be conducted on energy extension, food safety, natural resources, eco- and agro-tourism.
Tropical Research and Education Center Director Van Waddill said La Flor, like IFAS centers, provides students and researchers a base with a va-
the organization's support and resource capabilities for UF/IFAS faculty in the development of distance learning programs.
ADEC is a consortium of universities 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 Irvin 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 income from the property will augment opportunities, said Waddill. Parts of the site will be used as a light industrial park, residential, tourism, and sugar and mango production.
La Flor is 15 miles from the Pacific coast in an area of high growth.
C Pete Vergot, firstname.lastname@example.orgJ
with Dave King of Purdue University, shared the Bill Murphy Barrier Buster Award for outstanding leadership.
A team of distance education specialists from UF/IFAS and other universities developed the program "Roadmap to Effective Distance Education Instructional Design," which earned one of two honorable mentions.
UF/IFAS faculty and principal investigator Ricky Telg and Ron Thomas, coordinator of educational media and the university's principal contact officer for ADEC, served on the team.
Don Poucher, email@example.com
ADEC is resource for UF/IFAS faculty
W ith UF/IFAS CALS and International 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 distance education want faculty to know that extensive resources and expertise in the development of distance learning programs for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are available through ADEC. Visit the ADEC website at www.adec.edu, or contact Ron Thomas, principal contact officer at UF/IFAS.
ADEC is a nonprofit education consortium composed of about 65 state universities and land-grant colleges and other organizations.
( Ron Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Grant supports research on climate change in Caribbean
tic su an ey in st( as th
gy and nematology, and Medal, a visiting assistant scientist, forged collaboVirology group visits Guatemala
UF/IFAS insect pathologist James Maruniak and 11 students from the UF Society for Viral Studies went to Guatemala 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 discussed diseases and public health issues affecting Guatemala and other Central American countries. Scientists from the three organizations gave presentations about chagas, leishmaniasis, malaria, dengue and HIV. The students observed insect vectors of some of these diseases, and learned about research to prevent and treat these diseases. Contact
Jim Maruniak, email@example.com )
U se al Pa
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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 vulnerability of food production systems.
The team is headed by distinguished professor Jim Jones.
Arvin Mosier, armosier@ifas. ufi. edu
-1 limate change poses a threat to Under a planning grant from US,food security in the Caribbean. AID, UF/IFAS researchers are gatherimate change threatens food produc- ing a team of scientists from Guyana, an 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- duclion 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 introaraguay 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 par by a travel grant from Intemaaraguay in their travels in March. tonal Programs. uda. associate professor in entomolo- I Contact
Epps is awarded Ford Foundation Fellowship
K imberly Epps, doctoral candidate in soil and water science, has been awarded
nation Diversity Fellowship in sup/i:: 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 biodiversity hotspot.
While many look to plant biodiversity to explain the stability, or lack of, of ecosystem processes, Epps is determining the chemical diversity of organic 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, email@example.comJ
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 Gainesville's homeless.
They also put on the Annual African Culture Showcase. The activities, which began April 4, were designed to increase awareness of Africa and to showcase its diverse culture. UF/ IF S graduate student Gabriel Kasozi, a leader of the organization, said the!community service dinner was prepared at the St. Francis House.
A variety of authentic African
disfies were served to the homeless at theldowntown shelter.
Office of International Programs University of Florida Office of the Vice President for Agriculture
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EMBRAPA scientist at UF/IFAS studies growth of loblolly pine
n an effort to better understand
southern pine production in Brazil, Rosana Clara Victoria Higa is spending a year at UF/IFAS studying loblolly pine.
with EMBRAPA's National Center for Forestry Research near Curitiba City in the south of Brazil. By increasing production and quality of plantation forests in the south, Brazil's leaders hope to reduce the harvesting of native forests.
"In the south we
need plantation Rosana Clara Vicforests because we toria Higa in a forcan'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 forests 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
W ith 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 Agricultural Research Corporation, which has research centers throughout the
science researcher Nick Comerford to better understand the growth of loblolly pine. She is comparing growth in Brazil and Florida, and looking at the ecophysiological aspects of the species and impact of soil characteristics and climate on growth. Higa's work at UF/IFAS is a component of a longstanding cooperative agreement with EMBRAPA.
F 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, firstname.lastname@example.org J