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From the Dean Dean OblingerWelcome to Vol. 1, No. 1 of Perspectives, a magazine about the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University. We think the college is an exciting place, and we hope through this magazine to convey some of that excitement. Scientists are working on novel approaches to solving real-world problems. The college, through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, is reaching out toevery corner of the state. And, of course, we're preparing a new generation to pursue careers in a variety of fields -- from agronomy to zoology.

We're calling our new magazine Perspectives to reflect the wide diversity of viewpoint in the college. The breadth and depth of knowledge available is one of its strengths. We are able within the college to take a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving. The synergy that develops when, for example, a geneticist and a zoologist are able to collaborate often makes all the difference in our ability to find workable solutions to real-world problems.

It seems appropriate, considering the name, that in this first issue of Perspectives we visit a facility dedicated to producing state-of-the-art microscopic images. A perspective is, after all, a viewpoint, and a microscope provides a unique viewpoint. The often remarkable images produced in the Cellular and Molecular Imaging Facility are helping college scientists gain a better understanding of the world around us.

And we'll bring readers up to date on the college's animal and poultry waste management research. Animal agriculture is a billion-dollar industry in North Carolina, but the continued prosperity of animal agriculture is threatened by concern that the way the industry deals with waste may cause environmental damage. College researchers are working to develop methods of managing waste that are environmentally benign and economically viable.

We hope in this and coming issues of Perspectives to keep our readers up to date on what's going on in the college. We plan to publish Perspectives quarterly. We'd like to hear from readers, to know what you think of the magazine and what you'd like to see in it. It is, after all, your college.

-- JAMES L. OBLINGER
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences