VEF Agricultural Education Team's Bios

Dr. J. Scott Angle , Dean, University of Georgia , College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

An internationally known soil scientist, Dr. Scott Angle became the Dean and Director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on August 15, 2005. Dr. Angle most recently held an administrative position at the University of Maryland , College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. He was Interim Executive Associate Dean and Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has served as acting Executive Director of the Northeast Research Association, which promotes regional cooperation in agricultural research, and has also been Chair of both the national and Northeast Regional Organizations of Experiment Station Directors. A widely published researcher in the field of soil microbiology and biochemistry, Dr. Angle is an authority on phytoremediation, the use of sewage sludge to spur crop growth, and the risks of genetically engineered organisms in agriculture. He has been a leader or member of research teams that have received several million dollars in grants. He has authored or co-authored some 300 scientific papers, reports, book chapters and other publications.

Dr. Angle has been a Fulbright Scholar and is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. He received the agronomy society's environmental research award in 1998 and the education award in 2003. He also received the University of Maryland Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Award in 2003. He earned his bachelor's degree in agronomy and master's in soil microbiology at the University of Maryland and has spent his entire professional career there except for three years when he worked on his doctorate at the University of Missouri . Dr. Angle joined the agronomy faculty in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1981. In 1994 he became the Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Associate Dean of the college and in 2003 became interim Executive Associate Dean for the experiment station and Maryland Cooperative Extension.  

Dr. Neal Van Alfen , Dean, University of California at Davis , College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences  

Neal Van Alfen was raised in Modesto , California , and received a B.S. in chemistry in 1968 and M.S. in botany in 1969 from Brigham Young University . He received a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of California , Davis in 1972. Van Alfen started his professional career as a plant pathology research scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven studying tree diseases. In 1975 he moved to Utah State University to be a cooperative extension plant pathology specialist and a member of the faculty of the Department of Biology. While at Utah State University he served as a professor of biology and molecular biology and biochemistry. In 1990 he moved to Texas A&M University , College Station to serve as head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology. In 1999, Van Alfen returned to UC Davis to become Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Van Alfen's research interests have focused on controlling plant disease using low input, sustainable methods. His current research interests are to develop biological control strategies for fungal diseases of trees. In particular, he studies how viruses of fungi can be used to control plant diseases. He also has extensive experience as a consultant on effects of air pollution on environmental health. Van Alfen has served on numerous national committees and boards, including a number of National Research Council studies on biological control. He currently serves as Editor of Annual Review of Phytopathology, one of the most highly-cited professional publications in the plant sciences, and he recently served as president of the American Phytopathological Society, a 5,000-member international professional society of plant pathologists. Van Alfen recently chaired the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council and was a founder of the Agricultural Biotechnology Communicators group. He is an elected fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Andrew Hashimoto , Dean, University of Hawaii , College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Dr. Hashimoto was born in Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School in 1962. After graduation from high school, his entire academic and professional careers have been spent in the continental United States . He obtained a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in environmental engineering from Purdue University . He continued his education and obtained a doctorate in agricultural engineering from Cornell University . He held professional positions at Cornell and the University of Nebraska while he worked for the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. He was also a research leader at the USDA's Agricultural Engineering Research Unit in Nebraska . In 1986, he moved to Oregon State University to become professor and head of the Bioresource Engineering Department. He was promoted to Vice Provost for academic affairs at OSU in 1995. Dr. Dean O. Smith, UH senior vice president and Manoa campus executive vice chancellor, made these comments: "Dr. Hashimoto brings an exceptional degree of experience and professionalism, which will be essential qualities in leading CTAHR into the new century. His background in biotechnology and agricultural engineering are extremely valuable in the increasingly technological field of agriculture and related industries." Dr. Hashimoto's expertise includes bioconversion processes, ethanol fuels, and waste management systems.

Dr. Jaw-Kai Wang, Professor of Bioengineering and Aquaculture in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Dr. Wang received a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from National Taiwan University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University . Aquaculture bio-reactor design has been Dr. Wang's primary area of interest, particularly integrated re-circulating oyster/shrimp production systems, where shrimp effluent is used to produce marine algae and then fed to oysters, the water is then returned to the shrimp tank. His research culminated in the first truly land-based system for the production of premium quality oyster and shrimp. The oysters produced by the system are the only ones certified to be free of pathogenic vibrio, which has become increasingly a public health concern, by the FDA. The University of Hawaii has applied for a number of patents related to this development. In addition to Dr. Wang's appointment with the University of Hawaii , he is President of Aquaculture Technology, Incorporated, a technology company devoted to research and development that relate to aquaculture. His company is currently under contract to search, identify, test and produce novel antibiotics from marine microalgae, particularly diatoms. Dr. Wang has been a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering. From 1993 to 1995 he served as Founding President of the Aquacultural Engineering Society. In 1995, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering f or research, development, and design of commercial aquaculture systems used in the United States and China and for leadership in interdisciplinary biology and engineering projects addressing improved production systems. Dr. Wang currently devotes a large portion of his time toward research and development of bio-reactors for the continuous open production system for marine diatoms.

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