Perspectives Online

CALS research conference spotlights sustainability

Nearly 450 people attended “Stewards of the Future: Research for Global Sustainability,” a conference in January that focused on the importance of research in addressing society's challenges, particularly within the context of global sustainability.

The conference was hosted by the N.C. Agricultural and Life Sciences Research Foundation, based in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, N.C. State University.

Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore delivered a talk on environmentalism in the 21st century, and Bayer CEO Pascal Housset closed the conference with remarks on sustainable development.

During the conference, Bayer CropScience and College officials announced a $1 million endowment that will fund a chair of sustainable development in the College. Dr. Tom Rufty will hold the chair the endowment makes possible.

Rufty is co-director of the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education and a professor of environmental plant physiology in the Department of Crop Science. His research focuses on environmental plant physiology and topics such as how plants and plant communities obtain nutrients and other resources and how plants respond to environmental stress. Much of Rufty's research involves the development and assessment of management systems for growing and maintaining turfgrasses that have lower inputs and minimal negative impacts on the environment.

“We are honored to have Bayer CropScience as a partner in our research efforts to find solutions to the complex problems that issues like global climate change, population growth, and food and water shortages present,” said CALS Dean Johnny Wynne.

Other highlights of the research conference included panel discussions featuring university and industry leaders and an Innovation Fair showcasing examples of and opportunities for research collaboration.

For more information, including conference downloads, visit: www.ncalsrf-conference.com.

--Suzanne Stanard