UF Professor Named AAAS Fellow
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which is the world’s largest federation of scientists, has named University of Florida distinguished professor P. K. Nair one of its 2002 fellows.
AAAS members bestow the award for efforts to advance science or its applications. Nair, an agroforestry professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been a member of the AAAS and a UF professor for 15 years. He is the only UF faculty member to receive the honor for 2002.
“Of course I was very happy to hear about this,” Nair said. “Out of the 281 people receiving the award this year, there are only a few in the field of agriculture and natural resources.”
AAAS members vote to decide which of its members receive the honor, which was instituted in 1874. Ramesh Reddy, the chair of UF’s soil and water science department and a 2001 AAAS fellow, nominated Nair for the award.
“In general, Nair has made unparalleled contributions to international agriculture through his pioneering involvement in the development of agroforestry, and he continues to be at the forefront in research and education in this field,” Reddy said. “His work has had significant impact in enhancing productivity and sustainability for small tropical farm systems, and he is focused on applying agroforestry to environmental and social issues related to single-crop farming systems in the southeastern United States.”
Reddy said Nair had a leading role in establishing both the Kenya-based International Centre for Research in Agroforestry and UF’s interdisciplinary agroforestry program.
“The program, which he still leads, attracts high-caliber students from the United States and abroad,” Reddy said. “He has also hosted exchange visits of overseas scholars as well as organized training for more than 100 agroforestry professionals. Several of his former students and trainees have distinguished themselves professionally and won international recognition.”
Nair’s book “An Introduction to Agroforestry” is the standard college-level text for the subject, and has been translated into Japanese, Spanish and Thai, said Reddy.