Expanding UTIA Efforts in the DR

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Expanding faculty collaborations beyond the U.S. is an international initiative of UTIA.  How​ever, developing the ‘on the ground’ partnerships to start these projects is often the most challenging part for faculty.

This past sprin​g, the International Programs Office awarded seed grants that gave five faculty teams the opportunity to travel internationally and meet potential partners to develop new teaching, research and extension activities.

Just returning from their one-week trip (Nov. 28- Dec. 3) to the Dominican Republic, Drs. Joanne Logan, Sindhu Jagadamma, Neal Eash, and Dayton Lambert, and Ext​ension Agent Nicole Marrero (Overton County) have a variety of new possibilities in their scope. Their main intent for the trip was to explore research and extension needs related to soil protection through biochar on coffee and banana plantations, but the trip encompassed many other topics. Logan commented, “We really met people we could work with,” noting the excitement and capacity of individuals and institutions for both applied and basic research.

While visiting institutions in the provinces of Santiago and La Vega, specifically Jarabacoa, the team met with individuals at the Universidad ISA, UAFAM, and the Escuela Nacional de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales about topics of biofuels, soil conservation, ecosystem services, and climate change.

As the team is collecting their thoughts and planning ‘next steps,’ Dr. Joanne Logan will continue the momentum when she takes a faculty-led student class to the DR in May 2017.

Students: Contact Dr. Logan​ (loganj@utk.edu) if you are interested in joining the class.