CASNR researcher earns highest honor from Soil Science Society of America
By: George Watson
David Weindorf, a professor and B.L. Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University, consistently seeks new and innovative ways to not only study pedology but also convey issues with the earth's soil. His work has been recognized worldwide and has even led to a nationally acclaimed documentary made in conjunction with Texas Tech Public Media on climate change in Alaska and its effects on the soil.
In October, Weindorf's work will be recognized when he is named a fellow by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) at a ceremony in Tampa, Florida. It is the highest honor the SSSA bestows.
"Selection for an honor such as this is about more than one individual," Weindorf said. "It reflects the collective efforts of countless students, post-docs, visiting scientists and my research team around the world who give their time and talents daily for the advancement of our discipline. We must continue to move at the speed of science, knowing full well that improvements in the world are only one more scientific discovery away."
The SSSA awards are presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service and research.
Weindorf, who earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech, is an internationally recognized expert on the use of proximal sensors for pedological and environmental quality assessment, working overseas and particularly in Eastern Europe.
He also serves as the associate dean for research in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech and is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. His research focuses on the development and application of new technologies in field soil survey, land use management and planning, remote sensing, environmental quality assessment, compost science and international translational soil taxonomy.
A Fulbright scholar, he has authored 120 peer-reviewed publications and most recently served as the executive director of the documentary, "Between Earth and Sky," which explores global climate change through soil science, using footage of the Alaskan wilderness and coastline to illustrate the growing effects of climate change on the arctic soils and ecosystems of Alaska.
"Dr. Weindorf is widely recognized as a student-focused professor who engages students on their level and makes himself available for student learning in many ways," said Eric Hequet, chairman of Plant and Soil Science. "In the classroom, his course evaluations reveal a consistent theme: passion. Despite the rigor associated with his courses, he is continually heralded as someone who inspires students to produce their best work and study hard. In many instances, his mentorship has, quite literally, altered the course of the lives of his students, placing their feet on the path of success they previously had not imagined."
As a member of the SSSA, Weindorf has served as the 2016 Pedology section chair and as a past editor of Soil Horizons.
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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