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UT CASNR Chronicle, from the desk of Caula Beyl, Dean of the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources


Photo of Sally Ross at her desk

Using NASA Geospatial Images for Earth's Environmental Issues

Sally Ross, a MS forestry candidate in the Herbert College of Agriculture, is using her expertise to contribute to a project that applies NASA geospatial imagery to environmental challenges on earth. Sally is on a ten-week assignment as an applied research consultant with the space agency's national DEVELOP program. DEVELOP pairs the agency's technical capabilities with interdisciplinary research to problem solve diverse environmental issues. Sally is analyzing drought-related impacts to urban tree inventory conditions and recovery in Austin and Houston, Texas. "This is a new skill that I'm developing, and I think it's important to use remote sensing and geospatial data for urban forestry management." Sally says having access to the information complements ground truth data for better management of the resource. She adds, "I'm excited to work on a project that will have a regional impact and to collaborate with team members who bring unique skill sets to the project." Following graduation in May, Sally plans to pursue doctoral study in environmental social science.



Hands-on Learning

Photo of Herbert students in South Africa

Missing Class by 8,000+ Miles

Three students in the Herbert College of Agriculture were 8,289 miles away from campus when spring semester began and absent also from the first six days of classes. Their professors were willing to accommodate them, though, because the trio was engaged in a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience in South Africa.

Freshmen animal science majors Tarrah Ivy and Garrett Franklin and agricultural education sophomore Chloe Ford were among seventy-five FFA members chosen to participate in the youth organization's 2019 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers. Participants were selected from across the country. Six hailed from Tennessee, and three of them are students in the College.

An image of a future Central Park

Wins in Forestry, Livestock, and Central Park

For Herbert students in forestry, the challenge was to provide expert knowledge in a quick-paced Jeopardy-style quiz bowl. In livestock judging, students faced time constraints and the pressure of being in a national competition as they evaluated cattle and formulated oral reasons.

For landscape architecture students, the challenge was to envision how radically different Central Park might be in the future and how it could function to serve future generations of New Yorkers and city visitors. In three competitions, our students were challenged to use their learning to formulate real-life solutions, and they captured awards for their success in doing it.

A screen capture from the video, featuring Lannett Edwards

Three Elevator Speeches about Our College

When a board of UT alumni and civic leaders met on campus last fall, it was an excellent opportunity to show them what's special about the Herbert College of Agriculture. Alexis (Ally) Clark, a junior majoring in agricultural education, spoke to board members about the College.

Then, faculty members Curtis Luckett and Lannett Edwards (pictured) led the group in immersive experiences in sensory science and advanced research on animal reproduction. Agricultural communications senior Abby Gass produced a video about what these three felt were the important takeaway messages for visitors to have about Herbert.


Happenings in Herbert

Photo of the Herbert College delegation in Ireland

On the Emerald Isle, Opportunities Thrive

Universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland are abundant in study and research opportunities for our students and faculty. In December, a delegation of eight members visited four universities to plant seeds for further collaborations and research partnerships.

A photo of Christie Banks

Hello, Christie Banks

Even before arriving on campus, Herbert's dynamic new recruiter had in-depth knowledge of our College and recruitment trends. Now that she's here, Christie Banks is getting to know students, faculty, and staff, and investing her vision and energy in strategies that build Herbert's visibility to draw top-tier students to campus. Agricultural communications sophomore Celina Menard profiles Banks in this video interview.

Photo of the Herbert College of Agriculture logo

Five Years, Six Team Members, and Positive Results

Last semester, Herbert underwent a comprehensive five-year review. UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross appointed a six-member team to conduct it. Results of their study came in December, and they identify both strengths and areas the College needs to strengthen.

Click to view the full Herbert College of Agriculture calendar or the UT Knoxville academic calendar.



Our Herbert Alumni

Photo of Oakes family on their farm

Daylilies, Pumpkins & the Sustainability of Farms

In today's language, entrepreneurs are often called "makers." Three of our alumni have led a center that helps makers turn their products into profits. At the Center for Profitable Agriculture, the focus is on enhancing the sustainability of agricultural enterprises.

What forms the culture of the College? Everyone creates our culture. The family feel of the Herbert College of Agriculture is a special atmosphere that we inherited from generations of faculty, staff, and students. Alumni tell us they regard this atmosphere as Herbert's most special trait. The sense of family and the mission of agriculture, which is to nurture and grow, bind us together across backgrounds, heritages, beliefs, and origins. Visitors to campus tell me how welcome they feel, and new students also comment on how people made them feel at home. I hear, too, how members of the College assist students who are figuring out where they fit or how to survive their first semester or overcome homesickness. Some sought out professional advisors. Some felt an immediate connection with one of their faculty, and others sought out our caring staff. One such staff member is "Mama Milligan" in Animal Science, who does not limit her mentoring instincts to her own family, but opens her heart to students and listens when they most need it. This is the culture we value and you have my immense gratitude for being the most important people who sustain it!

Caula A. Beyl


Caula Beyl, Dean
Herbert College of Agriculture

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Herbert College of Agriculture
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2621 Morgan Circle Drive  ·  126 Morgan Hall  ·  Knoxville, TN 37996
865-974-7303
herbert@utk.edu  ·  herbert.tennessee.edu


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