David Breshears, a professor of natural resources in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is one of the world's foremost authorities on understanding the root cause of tree deaths, which are occurring on a massive scale. Breshears has played a central role in identifying, diagnosing and communicating this threat on different ecosystems to a broad audience. In particular, he has detailed the degree to which loss of trees is due to a lack of sufficient water and exacerbated by the rise in temperatures. He has also played a multitude of leadership roles across the nation, including as an acclaimed teacher, mentor and scientist, as well as for the Ecological Society of America, the National Ecological Observatory Network, and the National Phenology Network. His major contributions include to interdisciplinary research include the UA's Critical Zone Observatory project, which focuses on the interface of geology and biology. For his work in academia, Breshears has also been elected a 2018 Regents' Professor by the Arizona Board of Regents.
Steve Archer, professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has been named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Elected for life, fellows are members who have made outstanding contributions to advancing or applying ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations and other areas. Archer was recognized for his novel integration of ecological, remote sensing and the earth science theory to advance the conservation and management of the word’s grassland and savanna ecosystems. The honor was presented in August at the ESA annual meeting in Florida. “This is a most well-deserved honor for Steve. He is clearly one of the world’s top scientists and his critical research into the global phenomena of shrub proliferation into grasslands bridges basic and applied research,” said Stuart Marsh, SNRE director and professor. “He has made a very significant impact on our understanding of these changes, particularly within the context of drought and global climate change.”
Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, Joel Cuello was elected a corresponding member of the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines. He was chosen because of his significant contributions in sustainable biological and agricultural engineering systems. He has also done significant work for NASA on hybrid solar-electric lighting systems. The National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines elected Cuello during its 38th meeting in July. Cuello has served as technical adviser to the Philippine Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering. He was also elected to the Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering in 2012.
William B. Showers, adjunct scientist in the Department of Entomology, received the 2016 Plant-Insect Ecosystems Lifetime Achievement in Entomology Award from the Entomological Society of America. This prestigious national award recognizes the career of an entomologist who has greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of entomology and has been an inspiration to others. Showers – who earned his bachelor's degree in entomology from the UA in 1957 – is renowned for his research on the dispersal, diapause, mating and population genetics of insect pests of corn. He was project leader of Insect Ecology at the USDA-ARS Corn Insects Research Unit in Ames, Iowa, for more than two decades and trained many of today's leaders in the field. The award was presented at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida, last month.
Donald C. Slack, professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, a professor of Watershed Management and Eco-Hydrology and Cecil H. Miller, Jr., & Cecil H. Miller, Sr., Families Dean’s Chair for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences was awarded the Dr. Samuel Trueba Coronel National Award of Professional Merit in Irrigation and Drainage for 2016. The award is presented annually by El Colegio Mexicano de Ingenieros en Irrigación, A.C.—the Mexican College of Engineers in Irrigation—to those who exemplify the profession and demonstrate passion for their work, along with knowledge, commitment and an innovative vision in developing professional activities. Slack received the honor for “professional merit in serving Mexican irrigation and drainage engineers, students, professors and administrators for the past 25+ years.” The award was presented at Chapingo Autonomous University in Texcoco, Mexico, in September and came with a cash prize of 30,000 Mexican pesos (about $1,500 US), which Slack donated to the Chapingo Irrigation Engineering Department to support four student fellowships to be awarded in his name.