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David Thompson brings enthusiasm for cooperation to new role

Date: 02/15/2011

David Thompson's enthusiasm is contagious.


David Thompson

The recently appointed College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences' associate dean and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station system wants to enhance the cooperation he has found at New Mexico State University during his own research as an entomologist during his 23 years at NMSU.

"The vast majority of my work here has been in research. There are so many issues out there to work on. There is always someone who wants you to investigate something. And people, both other researchers and our stakeholders, are willing to work with you," he said.

"I now have a unique role to try to foster that cooperation among our research faculty and facilities, not just within the College of ACES, but with other colleges, such as engineering and business, and universities in our region."

The College of ACES grassroots advisory board system helps researchers know what issues are facing the state's agricultural industry. With 12 agricultural science centers located statewide, Thompson says the College of ACES research faculty addresses a wide variety of issues.

"All our agricultural science centers work on issues dealing with plants, animals and people. I want to find ways in which we can better do things to help New Mexico citizens," he said.

Two key issues - water and changing population of traditionally rural areas - are facing New Mexico's citizens.

"Water-related issues are among our major thrust areas, such as talking about how to grow crops more efficiently with less water, either with different types of irrigation or farming practices," Thompson said. "New Mexico is the nation's expert at growing things in a semi-arid condition.

"Another issue that has many facets is the continued growth of the state's urban population and how it is interfacing with agricultural lands. It is opening a whole different kind of agriculture that is associated with the urban community, such as landscaping and hobby gardening. As the population retires and moves into rural areas, there is a new type of agricultural enthusiast. Because of this there will be a different set of issues for us to investigate," he said.

Thompson says his new role on NMSU's research team includes helping find funding sources to continue the work his colleagues pursue.

Written by Jane Moorman.



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