CABNR's Quarterly Newsletter - Fall 2011
Ron Pardini, Dean & Directory CABNR/NAES
a difficult year behind us, I am pleased to announce that the Board of Regents approved
Agricultural Science, Range Ecology & Management and Forest Management &
Ecology as new majors, along with approving our new Department of Agriculture, Nutrition
and Veterinary Science. May I be the first to welcome interested students into our
In keeping with attracting top tier students, 12 students from within the College
were named National Merit Scholars and will receive a $15,000 annual scholarship
from the University. Scholarships awarded through National Merit programs are regarded
as some of the highest academic honors attainable by U.S. high school students.
At the regional level, our USDA supported multi-state project “Rangeland Education
Across Institutional Borders” has been approved by regional directors. This
approval opens a new paradigm in rangeland education, by allowing students to attend
classes taught across traditionally closed university borders.
As the project’s administrative advisor, I will be identifying and coordinating
nine university/colleges, creating a pool of rangeland scientists/educators for
the purpose of developing regional instructional opportunities that increase subject
matter curricula for future students and professionals alike. Initially, our goal
is to determine specific curriculum needs and develop a platform for cross-institution
delivery of rangeland course work.
In the spirit of the Land Grant mission, on September 10th we conducted our first
field day at our Valley Road Field Lab (VRFL) in Reno. It featured all aspects
of our Land Grant heritage including 57 scientific posters representing highly technical
basic research to applied research that directly serves our community.
To introduce guests to the wide array of research project directly connected to
VRFL, a series of tours were conducted by area research leaders. Some of the highlights
included tours of our 29,000 ft2 Greenhouse Complex, where visitors learned about
our research on controlling noxious weeds in Nevada's rangelands, development of
drought resistant crops, evaluating pinyon juniper impacts on Nevada’s resources,
wildlife, nutrition and health, animal health, food safety and environmental toxicology.
Dr. John Cushman gives guided tour of the University's Greenhouse Complex.
Other highlights showcased our research on developing biofuels
from salt tolerant algae and our experimental vineyard and winery, designed to test
a variety of wine grapes best suited for a budding Nevada wine industry.
Some of the most popular activities during field day include a wine tasting workshop
where internationally recognized biochemist/horticulturalist Dr. Grant Cramer not
only introduced guests to Nevada produced wines, but attempted to educate taster’s
palate with a system that helps compare, describe and remember wines. Not to forget
our future students, the children’s learning and fun center included hands-on
experiments to isolate DNA from strawberries, “tick races” designed
to reveal how ticks are attracted, insect life cycle demonstration, smell-a-vision,
and edible cell biology.
It was my privilege to also host various Federal and State partnering agencies.
Guests were shown how agencies and CABNR/NAES faculty formed partnerships that strengthen
both our research and educational programs. In attendance were USDA-ARS, USFS-Rocky
Mountain Research Station, BLM, NRSC, NDOW and the University of Nevada Cooperative
The event also played a role in supporting our student organizations. All the proceeds
from our Wolf Pack Meats BBQ lunch were donated to CABNR’s student organizations.
Special thanks go out to all the volunteers that made the VRFL Field Day special.
Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy reading this issue of
CABNR’s quarterly newsletter.