College of Agriculture and Life Sciences research initiatives from the mountains to the coast have taken center stage as Dean Jim Oblinger and other university officials have participated in tours of key research facilities in the state.
Last October, Oblinger and university Provost Kermit Hall led a group touring the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Fletcher. Among the activities viewed were high density apple orchard research; herb production, ornamentals, float system and nutrient research; sustainable vegetable production systems; tomato breeding and disease research; and aquaculture research at the Cantrell Creek Trout Farm.
In February, Senior Vice Provost Frank Abrams and Associate Vice Provost Thomas Conway accompanied Dean Oblinger, College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Oscar Fletcher and College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Interim Dean Daniel Solomon, as well as Carteret Community College President Joseph Barwick, on a tour of the nearly complete Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST) in Morehead City. Dr. David Green, CMAST director, conducted the tour as part of a Marine Sciences Community Forum, held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center, where these officials joined federal, state and local agency representatives in discussing ideas for potential programming at the new research, education and Extension facility.
The group was able to view the new 51,000-square-foot CMAST building, due for opening in the summer. The facility will house research laboratories, classrooms, test kitchens, seafood handling areas and a fiber optic communication system.
"We want to make CMAST very successful," said Dean Oblinger. "We have lots of partners, and this is a great opportunity to listen to their expectations as we lay a firm foundation for the programs emanating from CMAST."