UT Institute of Agriculture Presents Top Faculty and Staff Awards for 2021
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and Extension experts at UTIA’s annual awards and promotions luncheon on the UTIA campus in Knoxville July 30, 2021. The event was conducted in person, a welcome return to normalcy after having an online ceremony because of the pandemic last year. The awards honor the extraordinary performance of UTIA employees during a difficult year of online education and changes to procedures because of the pandemic. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.
UTIA Senior Vice President Tim Cross hosted the award winners and praised them for their work. “After a challenging and stressful year, it’s a pleasure to recognize excellence as exemplified by these award-winning members of the UTIA faculty and staff,” Cross says. “Their continuing dedication to our land-grant mission of serving Tennessee ensures that we develop and deliver real life solutions to improve health, grow the economy and enhance our environment.”
Neelam Poudyal is an associate professor of Natural Resource Policy and Human Dimensions, part of the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, and is the winner of the AgResearch Mid-Career Faculty Research Excellence Award. This award recognizes commitment and meritorious achievement in research with an emphasis on the impacts that a faculty member’s research has on AgResearch stakeholders or the science community at large.
“I feel extremely honored to have been granted this important award. I am very grateful for the opportunity and recognition of my effort and feel encouraged to continue working, and I look forward to contributing with new and impactful research in future,” Poudyal says.
Poudyal is also a past winner of one of UTIA’s most notable honors – the T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award. He researches the economics of preserving our natural world through policy and conservation management and analysis of stakeholder beliefs. Poudyal recently led a project to predict decision-making possibilities for landowners, hunters, anglers and the general public regarding their use of natural resources.
A few years back, he was a team member on a project where the Institute teamed with TVA for a detailed study. The findings showed TVA’s reservoir system creates nearly $12 billion in economic impact – about one million dollars per shoreline mile. He also researches climate adaption and invasive species management, and he collaborates with social scientists at the USDA forest service.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.