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CSREES Co-sponsors International Agricultural Air Quality Workshop

Jennifer Martin, CSREES Staff, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2006 – More than 400 scientists, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers, regulators, and economists from around the globe met June 5-8 in Potomac, MD, to discuss agriculture's impact on the environment, specifically air quality, during the “Workshop on Agricultural Air Quality: State of the Science.”

“As a land-grant institution whose researchers are already engaged in agricultural issues, we hope to capture the imagination of the scientific community and bring this issue national and global prominence,” said Viney Aneja, conference co-chair and professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University.

The workshop aimed to complete the following goals:

  • Assess the state of science regarding agricultural air quality.
  • Build on knowledge of research, policy, economic, and societal well-being associated with agricultural air quality.
  • Foster multidisciplinary communication, exchange of ideas, and partnerships.
  • Recommend changes and improvements in measurement and monitoring methodologies, modeling, and best management and production practices to mitigate air pollutant emissions from agricultural sources.

Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, and Dr. William H. Schlesinger, dean of Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University, gave keynote addresses. Dr. Colien Hefferan, CSREES Administrator, also addressed participants. Participants provided more than 300 presentations, both oral and poster, including many from the projects funded through the CSREES National Research Initiative (NRI) Air Quality program. These presentations addressed issues ranging from air quality standards, emissions, ecosystems and economics.

An extensive workshop proceedings has been published.  A collaborative written assessment of the state of the science on agricultural air quality is being prepared for USDA, as well as a summary of the workshop for the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and several special issues of peer-reviewed journals on the workshop themes.

CSREES' NRI Air Quality program sponsored the workshop through a 3-year, $400,000 grant to North Carolina State University. The National Science Foundation, U.S Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations provided additional funding. The workshop was organized by the Ecological Society of America.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.