Perspectives Online

Skaggs, College water management specialist, honored with CAST Communications Award

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has honored Dr. R. Wayne Skaggs of N.C. State University with the 2009 Charles A. Black Communications Award. Skaggs is William Neal Reynolds Professor and Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU. He received the award in March from Dr. Henry L. Shands, CAST president, in Washington, D.C.

The Charles A. Black Communications Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in his or her area of expertise within the agricultural, environmental or food sciences sectors.

Skaggs is an expert in drainage and subsurface water management. In 1980, he developed a computerized water management model, DRAINMOD, which helps predict how particular water management procedures will affect the water table depth, soil water regime and crop yields. The model has been reengineered to expand its capabilities and is used by consulting engineers, researchers and government agencies worldwide.

Author of more than 350 scientific publications, Skaggs was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award in 1986 from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE). He is a member of the Overholt Drainage Hall of Fame and a Fellow of the ASAE and in 1993 was presented the John Deere Gold Medal.

In 1994 N.C. State presented Skaggs its highest faculty recognition, the Alexander Quarles Holladay Award, and in 1997, he received the University of North Carolina's highest award, the O. Max Gardner Award. That same year, he received the Alexander von Humboldt award for contributions to U.S. agriculture.

Skaggs is a member of the Engineering Hall of Distinction at the University of Kentucky (1994) and a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus at Purdue University (1997). He was presented the Gamma Sigma Delta International Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award for 1999. He served as President of the ASAE for 2001/2002.

Charles A. Black Communications Award recipients are recognized by their peers as individuals who communicate the importance of their scientific achievements to policymakers, the news media and the public. Since its inception in 1986, the program has honored 22 outstanding scientists.

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