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K-State Today

February 28, 2013



Agronomy professors host Borlaug Global Research Alliance fellow

By Steve Watson

Loan Le

Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, and Vara Prasad, professor of crop physiology in agronomy, have been selected to mentor Loan Thanh Le, from the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as part of her Borlaug fellowship from the Global Research Alliance. Both Rice and Prasad have extensive experience in international collaborations.

Le will be researching greenhouse gas emissions models for three months at Kansas State University. The opportunity to gain new insights into research methods and computer models attracted Le to this program.

“I’m very interested in the topic of greenhouse gas emissions from rice and biofuel feedstock production, and eager to learn all I can from some of the world’s foremost experts in these topics at K-State,” Le said. “These emissions concerns are becoming very important in Vietnam.”

Le is interested in learning techniques used in emissions measurements, data analyses and the potential impact of bioenergy production systems on climate change.

“As biofuels begin to substitute for fossil fuels, it is important to know how this could affect emissions and climate change,” she said.

To further her insights into these issues, Rice said that his team at K-State will offer training into the latest techniques on greenhouse gas measurements, and advanced work in computer modeling related to emissions and climate change.

“We’ll be using the latest models on carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions so that the fellows in this program can see the impacts of various biofuel crops,” Rice said.

During Le’s stay at K-State, which extends from Jan. 21 to April 29, Rice saif that she will be trained on techniques of sampling soils from long-term cropping fields for carbon and nitrogen analysis; methods of measuring greenhouse gas fluxes from the field, focusing on carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane; and the use of simulation models and life cycle analysis tools.

“We’ll focus somewhat on models related to estimating emissions from bioenergy production, but the techniques and principles involved can apply to rice production and other agricultural systems as well,” Prasad said.

At the end of Le’s studies at K-State, she will summarize the results of her work and prepare a report to submission to U.S. Department of Agriculture and K-State.

Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases to Combat Climate Change Borlaug Fellowships are under the auspices of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The fellowships are funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Fellows are selected from eight developing countries who are members of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

As mentors of Le’s fellowship, Rice and Prasad will later travel to Vietnam, Le’s home country, for up to 10 days to continue collaboration.

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