Dr. Steven Shafer receives CALS Outstanding Alumnus Award
Dr. Steven R. Shafer was recently named the College of Agriculture and Life Science 2012 Outstanding Alumnus from the Department of Plant Pathology. Shafer is a native of Ohio and received his B. S. and M. S. from the Ohio State University before obtaining his PhD degree in Plant Pathology from North Carolina State University. Early in his career as a research scientist with USDA he established himself as a leader in the responses of crops and trees to interactive effects of soilborne microorganisms with atmospheric chemistry and the impacts of global climate change. The hallmarks of his research were his multidisciplinary environmental-global change approach that related to agriculture, plantation tree farming, and sustainable systems. He was frequently tapped to lead a number of initiatives due to his leadership in defining the impact of global climate change on agricultural systems. He served as chair of the Ninth U.S.-Japan Workshop on the Impact of Global Change on Carbon Cycle Management in Terrestrial Ecosystems, led interagency working groups which reviewed aspects of the IPCC’s reports on climate change, as well as having led or organized several other of USDA’s international initiatives on global climate change. He has served in several leadership positions within USDA-ARS. Shafer has served as MidWest Area Director of ARS, Deputy Director for Environment and Plant Health in the Office of Risk Assessment, and National Program Leader for Global Change. Since 2008, Shafer has served as Deputy Administrator for Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems. In this position he is the national senior executive leader for all research conducted by USDA-ARS on natural resources and sustainable systems. Six National Program Leaders under his direction administer over $200 million in annual appropriations with over 500 PhD level scientists who conduct the USDA’s research on bioenergy and energy alternatives; climate change; air quality; water availability and watershed management; agricultural and industrial byproducts; soil resource management; pasture, forage, and range land systems; and agricultural system competitiveness and sustainability. In recognition of his leadership he has received the Secretary’s Honor Award for managing excellence and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious service as a Senior Executive.