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New Mexico State University

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O'Neill To Head Farmington Science Center

LAS CRUCES - Michael "Mick" O'Neill began work Aug. 16 as the new superintendent of New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Farmington.

He will supervise experimental work, manage the center's operations, develop and implement research programs and work with faculty, staff and students on cooperative projects.

Before coming to NMSU, O'Neill was a senior scientist with the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry in Embu, Kenya. He has nearly 25 years of experience working with international agricultural research and development, primarily in Africa.

O'Neill said his new position gives him a chance to bring his international experience and insight back home. He looks forward to investigating how forestry may play a part in agriculture in the Four Corners area.

"I'd like work at the science center to go beyond crop variety trials," he said. "We should focus on more on-farm research, working closely with Cooperative Extension Service agents and their clients."

He added that water quality and quantity will be important factors to consider in all of the center's research projects.

O'Neill holds a doctorate in agronomy and plant genetics and a master's degree in soil and water science, both from the University of Arizona. He earned his bachelor's degree in biology/chemistry from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

He is a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation, and the American Society of Agronomy. He is also an adviser for the International Foundation for Science and a reviewer for the East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal.