ARS Employees Receive 1999 Honor Awards
By Kathryn Barry
June 9, 1999
WASHINGTON, June 9--Thirty-seven
Agricultural Research Service employees
will receive individual or team awards here today from
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary
Dan Glickman at
USDA's 53rd annual Honor Awards ceremony.
Glickman is scheduled to present plaques to the ARS and other awardees at a
1 p.m. ceremony on the West Lawn of the Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 1400
Independence Ave., S.W. ARS is the USDA's chief scientific arm.
Said ARS administrator Floyd P. Horn: "We're proud of and grateful to
the people being honored today. Through their scientific research and other
hard work, they have helped to stop outbreaks of animal and human disease, to
strengthen our farm economy and our farmer's ability to feed people, to tackle
trade barriers, to beautify and protect the environment, and to guard U.S.
agriculture from foreign pests."
Contact ARS News Service (phone 510-559-6069,
fax or electronic mail copies of news releases about specific awards given to
the ARS scientists and others in the award categories below.
· For outstanding accomplishments in response to leptospirosis
outbreaks in Nicaragua, Ecuador and the United States, to Carole A. Bolin,
veterinary medical officer and research leader,
Zoonotic Diseases Research
Unit, National Animal Disease
Center, Ames, Iowa. Bolin helped isolate the causal organism, diagnose the
disease and develop control strategies in three epidemics since 1995.
Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can infect humans.
· For pioneering research on the cultivation of crop plant species on
marginal soils and in the use of plants to remediate soils contaminated with
heavy metals, to Leon V. Kochian, plant physiologist and research leader,
U.S. Plant, Soil and
Nutrition Research Laboratory, Ithaca, N.Y. Kochian has made key
discoveries about the basic plant mechanisms governing toxicity and tolerance
to aluminum in acid soils and uptake of metals and radioisotopes in
Personal and Professional Excellence
- For research and technology transfer contributions leading to major
improvements in efficiency of the U.S. beef cattle industry, to Larry V.
Cundiff, geneticist and research leader, Genetics and Breeding Research Unit,
U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay
Center, Neb. Cundiff has helped characterize economically important traits in
33 cattle breeds, allowing producers to take advantage of crossbreeding for the
best combinations of traits.
- For major impact on world agriculture through pioneering research
contributions in plant biology, to Autar K. Mattoo, plant physiologist and
research leader, Vegetable
Laboratory, Beltsville (Md.)
Agricultural Research Center. Mattoo deciphered relationships between plant
growth regulators and hormones that lead to leaf decay and fruit ripening.
- For exceptional research and leadership resulting in major advances in
controlling livestock diseases, particularly bovine mastitis, that are
important nationwide, to
Max J. Paape,
physiologist, Immunology and Disease
Resistance Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Paape
developed the now-standard procedure for diagnosing mastitis in dairy cattle.
The procedure is also used worldwide as an index of milk quality.
- For successful long-term research leading to development of two
disease-tolerant American elms and thirteen other elm and red maple shade tree
cultivars, to Alden M. Townsend, geneticist,
Arboretum, Washington, D.C. Townsend released the first true American elms
that are highly tolerant to Dutch elm disease and developed fundamental genetic
information essential to further improvements.
- For exceptional performance, creativity and perseverance in successfully
challenging--before the World Trade
Organization--Japan's long-standing varietal testing trade restriction, to
the "Japan Varietal Testing World Trade Organization Group." The
group provided scientific data confirming that ARS-developed procedures to
prevent codling moths from hitchhiking to Japan on American apples, cherries,
nectarines and walnuts are effective regardless of the specific variety tested.
Kenneth W. Vick, ARS National Program Leader for
Entomology, based in Beltsville, led the 19- member group. It included
seven other ARS workers; employees of other USDA agencies, the
U.S. Department of Justice and the
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and
- For outstanding research on and identification of insects, mites, fungi
and nematodes to protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests, to the
"Urgent Response Group for Emergency Needs in Taxonomy." Each year,
the team provides more than 4,000 immediate and thousands of other
identifications of insects and pests discovered by U.S. port-of-entry and other
domestic quarantine officers. The team includes 25 scientists, including two
with USDA's Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service, who work at three ARS laboratories at the Beltsville
Agricultural Research Center: the Systematic Entomology Laboratory,
Laboratory and Systematic Botany and
Also recognized at the ceremony were four research agency employees who
recently received Presidential Rank Awards. These annual awards honor members
of the Senior Executive Service for exceptional achievements over an extended
The 1998 Distinguished Executive rank was awarded to Roger Breeze, director
of ARS South
Atlantic Area, in recognition of his visionary leadership of
the Area and of Plum Island
Animal Disease Center in Greenport, N.Y.. The South Atlantic Area
encompasses research laboratories in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Meritorious Executive ranks were awarded to:
- Antoinette Betschart, director of ARS Pacific West Area, for
creative leadership and outstanding management of the
Western Regional Research Center in
Albany, Calif. The Pacific West Area comprises research laboratories in
Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and Washington.
- Richard Dunkle, for previous leadership of ARS
Midwest Area, which
includes research laboratories in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Dunkle now serves as a Deputy Administrator for
USDAs Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,
Plant Protection and Quarantine,
in Washington, D.C.
- Edward Knipling, ARS Associate Administrator, for exemplary leadership of
ARS National Program Staff and
outstanding management as Acting Administrator for ARS from October 1996 to
November 1997. Knipling is a two-time winner of this rank award, also winning