Dr. Fidelma O’Leary, Associate Professor of Biology, was awarded $275,000 by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. The 4-year grant aims to establish the “Agricultural-STEM Pipeline” project across high school and 2- and 4-year college levels in order to recruit and retain underrepresented students and facilitate their progression to graduate training or careers with the USDA in the NIFA priority area of AFRI Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change.

According to the USDA’s website, “The AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area supports activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration in agricultural and forest production systems, and prepare the nation’s agriculture and forests to adapt to variable climates.” The long-term goal of this is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses as well as the use of nitrogen, water, and energy in food, fuel, fiber, and feed production.

Congratulations, Dr. O’Leary!