CALS Professor to Develop European Model to Link Science With Stakeholders

A Portuguese farmer explains the impact of his conservation measures to other farmers as well as ecologists and soil scientists. Photo by Barron Orr
A Portuguese farmer explains the impact of his conservation measures to other farmers as well as ecologists and soil scientists. Photo by Barron Orr

A University of Arizona professor is headed to Spain this fall to focus on developing a model for collaboration between researchers, stakeholders and citizens – an undeveloped concept in areas of Europe. At the UA, and in the U.S., the idea has been institutionalized through Cooperative Extension. 

Barron Orr, professor and geospatial extension specialist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has won a  Marie Curie Actions International Incoming Fellowship, a prestigious fellowship that allows scholars from outside Europe to contribute unique and novel ideas to European nations, encouraging multidisciplinary collaborations.

“2014 is the hundred-year-anniversary of the act of Congress that created Cooperative Extension,” said Orr. “We’ve institutionalized the connection between science and stakeholders over the past one hundred years.”

With bachelor’s degrees in French and political science, a master’s degree in international affairs, a doctorate in arid lands resource sciences, and a background in international business with time spent in the Peace Corps, Orr is about as multidisciplinary as they come.

“When you’re in that interdisciplinary space you need to be able to speak the languages of the disciplines to be able to bring them together,” Orr said. “I have one foot in research and one foot in the issue-oriented public. I’m a bridge.”

Read the rest of this April 28, 2014 UANews article at the link below.

Date released: 
May 5 2014
Contact: 
Barron Orr