Ohio State Soil Scientist Named 2005 Borlaug Recipient

March 11, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rattan Lal, an Ohio State University soil scientist internationally renown for his strides in carbon management and sequestration, has been awarded the 2005 Norman E. Borlaug Award.

The award, instituted by Coromandel Fertilisers Ltd., in India, is presented annually for contributions in global food security. The award is named after Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, an agricultural researcher who pulled the population in many Third World countries from the brink of starvation for his work in wheat development. He is considered the father of the Green Revolution.

Lal is being recognized for his global contribution to sustainable management of soil and natural resources, specifically as it relates to carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration refers to the storing of atmospheric carbon in plants so that the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reduce or slow. Excessive carbon in the atmosphere contributes to ozone layer damage and the greenhouse effect.

"Borlaug was here at Ohio State a few years ago and he asked me if we'd meet again. I told him that I certainly hope so," said Lal, director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio. "I found out that Borlaug will present the award. It's such an honor to be personally receiving the award from him."

Lal, a professor in the School of Natural Resources with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will travel to New Delhi, India, to receive the award, which will be presented March 16 during the centennial celebration of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute of which Lal is an alumnus.

"This is an appropriate recognition of his scientific contributions and I am very pleased for Rattan and for Ohio State University," said Steve Slack, OARDC director. " He is clearly one of the most distinguished soil scientists worldwide and his holistic studies on the sustainable productivity of soils are scientific benchmarks."

Lal has authored, reviewed and edited over 1,000 publications and journal articles throughout his career, and has received over 14 distinguished awards. Other appointments Lal currently holds include director of the OARDC South Asia Initiatives, co-editor-in-chief of the Soil and Tillage Research in Holland, and member of the Environment Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

He is also a fellow for the following organizations: American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Third World Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Soil Water Conservation Society and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences in India.

Author(s): 
Candace Pollock
Source(s): 
Rattan Lal