Arkansan receives national Agriscience Scientist Award

U of A System Division of Agriculture Professor Andrew Sharpley one of four honored by Christopher Columbus Foundation and American Farm Bureau Federation

July 9, 2012
Contact Information:

Judi Shellenberger, Christopher Columbus Foundation
315-258-0090, Cell: 315-730-6353,

Andrew Sharpley, Professor, Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Howell Medders, Communicatons, U of A System Division of Agriculture

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andrew sharpley

Andrew Sharpley, Ph.D., Professor of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Andrew Sharpley, a University of Arkansas professor in the department of crop, soil and environmental sciences, received the $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation at the third annual Agriscience Awards ceremony Tuesday, July 10, in Washington, D.C.

Foundation Chair Maria Lombardo said Sharpley received the award for his environmental research, including his work as a University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture scientist on the effects of agricultural management on water quality. He also teaches in the university's Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Also presented were the $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award to Matthew Eddy, a Southeast Polk High School teacher in Pleasant Hill, Iowa; and two high school student awards of $1,000 each to Jill Dolowich, Jericho, N.Y.; and Michelle Chin, Melbourne, Fla.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to “encourage and support research, study and labor designed to produce new discoveries in all fields of endeavor for the benefit of mankind.” The foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation jointly sponsor the annual Agriscience Awards competition.

Sharpley is co-director of the U of A System Division of Agriculture's Environmental Task Force. He investigates the fate of phosphorus in soil-plant-water systems in relation to soil productivity and the effects of agricultural management on water quality. He helped develop decision-making tools to identify sensitive areas of the landscape and to target management alternatives and remedial measures that have reduced the risk of nutrient loss from farms.

“I am both humbled and extremely proud to receive the Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. It means a great deal to me to receive it from those who use and benefit from our research,” Sharpley said.

Sharpley is internationally recognized for his research on the role of stream and river sediments in modifying phosphorus transport and response of receiving lakes and reservoirs. He was a soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College. He was inducted into the USDA-ARS Hall of Fame in 2008.

“I believe this award recognizes my colleagues in ARS and now the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas, who help shaped me as a scientist and gave me the freedom to develop,” Sharpley said. “It also recognizes the support Arkansas Farm Bureau has given in promoting the science of conservation and environmental stewardship to its member farmers.”

“From a global leader in agricultural scientific research, to a high school educator who immerses his students in agricultural studies, to two high school students who are conducting groundbreaking research, this year's Agriscience Awards recipients are truly inspirational,” Lombardo said.

Educator Award winner Matthew Eddy emphasizes STEM concepts (science, technology, engineering and math) in agriculture. He received the Iowa Outstanding High School Agriculture Education program award and was a finalist for the National FFA Agriscience Teacher Award.

High school student Jill Dolowich is a New York Correspondent for the Mother Nature Network website and authored an article, “Flight of the Honeybees,” in the Johns Hopkins University national online publication (

High school student Michelle Chin has won state, national and international awards for her environmental activities, including research on the use of plants to remediate contaminated soils, and she created a blog ( to promote sustainable energy practices.