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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Geographical Society Recognizes Soil Scientist for Work on Climate Change, Food Security

September 21, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio State University soil scientist has been recognized by a geographical organization for his role in land restoration as it relates to climate change and food security.

Rattan Lal, a professor with the School of Environment and Natural Resources, has received the Commission on Land Degradation and Desertification (COMLAND) Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Geographical Union. Lal recently accepted the award at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Magdeburg, Germany.

"This is a very big honor because it tells me that soil science is being recognized among other disciplines as a basis for improving the environment, mitigating climate change and improving food security. Our profession is being recognized as important in addressing these global issues," said Lal, director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. "I'm a soil scientist, not a geographer, but this is a step to working with other disciplines, to building bridges across political and geographical boundaries. That's the message I received with this honor."

The COMLAND Award recognizes those who advance the science, practices and policies of land degradation and restoration in relation to climate change and food security.

Lal is the fourth recipient of the award. Prior recipients include: Michael Stocking from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom; Maria Sala from the University of Barcelona, Spain; and Herman Verstappen from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation.


Candace Pollock
Rattan Lal