Perspectives Online

Progressive projects

Showing his support of the Sandhills Research Station's turfgrass programs, Dean Johnny Wynne participates in a putting contest, part of 2006 Turfgrass Field Day activities and research presentations.
Photo by Daniel Kim

In this fall Perspectives, there is news of many intriguing projects being undertaken by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and students.

A team of Biological and Agricultural Engineering students' quarter-scale tractor project took them to a national competition. The contest challenged engineering and technology students to bring the tractor they had designed and assembled from scratch and enter it in a pulling contest. The CALS team came in 12th place among 29 college team participants. Equally important, they gained real-world experience and the opportunity to practice teamwork, communication, financial planning and time management.

A Golden LEAF-supported project, Camp Challenge, held at North Carolina 4-H's Sertoma Educational Center, trains teens in tobacco-dependent counties for alternative careers. During camp sessions, more than 600 campers learn computer literacy and other success-oriented skills, while gaining information about diverse careers in agriculture, math and science.

A design project to develop the riverfront in Kinston is taking shape, thanks to a partnership between North Carolina Cooperative Extension, N.C. State University and a local civic group. Kinston has plans for change that capitalize on the Neuse as a natural and community resource, and Tammy Kelly, director of Lenoir County's Cooperative Extension center, is a leader in the activities.

Up in the Smoky Mountains, a zoology graduate student, Scott Favrot, is part of a research project to study the sicklefin redhorse, an unusual species of freshwater fish that swims upstream to spawn and one that was just discovered in the last decade. Favrot and his fellow researchers seek to define the fish's migratory patterns and to identify its spawning grounds, while determining why it went undetected for so long.

In the east, a swine mortality composting demonstration project is showing promising results to the Wayne County farmer trying out the method of dead animal disposal, with assistance from Cooperative Extension. The natural degradation of the organic material has produced compost that looks like mulch and that may be applied to fields.

Also in the east, partnership has been the key in the progress of a project to combat a weed that is choking coastal waterways. To eradicate alligatorweed, Extension personnel in Onslow and Pender counties have released thousands of alligatorweed flea beetles that feed on the plant. Results are reported here.

Take a close look at these and many other activities that go on at our College, as our students and research, extension and teaching faculty continue to make significant scientific discoveries, provide hands-on learning experiences and improve the lives of North Carolinians.

Johnny Wynne, Dean
College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences