Two Mississippi State University administrators are helping shape natural resources education and policy in a recently released national report.
Rubin Shmulsky, head of Sustainable Bioproducts, and Bruce Leopold, executive director of the Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts were part of a team of 35 scientists who authored "Science, Education, and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored report details six major challenges facing the country in the areas of sustainability, water, climate change, agriculture, energy and education.
The roadmap charts a path for natural resources research, education and outreach direction for public universities over the next 5 to 10 years and provides a framework to help guide policy decisions.
The document was recently released by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and is based on feedback from researchers across the country. Both Shmulsky and Leopold are in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center.
Leopold and six other scientists developed the education section. It provides goals to effectively educate students about natural resources issues by incorporating science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum at the K-12 and university levels. It also addresses communicating scientific information to the general public.
Shmulsky, a senior author on the energy section, said that with energy consumption expected to increase by 50 percent by 2025, the need to find alternative energy sources is paramount.
"Finding alternative sources of renewable energy with minimal impacts on the environment will improve economic stability for the U.S. while improving national security," he said.
The report is available online at http://bit.ly/1ksH2ud.