NIFA-Nominated Scientist wins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2010 - University of Kentucky researcher David McNear received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) today for his research in soil science, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

McNear was honored for his outstanding research in improving our understanding of how pasture management impacts soil quality, productivity and sustainability of tall fescue pastures and livestock grazing operations in the Eastern United States and for teaching and outreach to both the scientific and lay communities.

“By helping us understand how soil microbial communities impact larger ecosystems, greenhouse gas fluxes, and movement of nutrients and toxic substances through the soil, David’s work is generating knowledge about soil science and production agriculture critical to improving the productivity and sustainability of American agriculture,” said Roger Beachy, NIFA director. “The microbial community is one of the least-understood components of the agroecosystem, and David’s research opens a wide window on this important set of players.”

PECASE nominees are selected for their innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology. Nominees show exceptional potential to shape the future through intellectual and inspired leadership. Educational activities reflect a spirit of community service to help understand the nature and implications of scientific research.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit

© 2013 Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment