The International Plant Nutrition Institute has named Andrew N. Sharpley, University of Arkansas, Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, as the winner of the 2010 IPNI Science Award.

He receives a special plaque plus a monetary award of USD 5,000.00 (five thousand dollars).

“We are honored to announce Andrew Sharpley as the recipient of the IPNI Science Award. His distinguished career has been dedicated to improved nutrient management with the goal of sustaining ecologically intensive cropping while protecting water quality.

“Dr. Sharpley led development and refinement of a Phosphorus (P) Index to identify agricultural fields at greatest risk for nutrient loss and needing remediation. The impact of his work has been positive and far-reaching,” said Terry L. Roberts, president of IPNI. “Dr. Sharpley provides international leadership in determining the fate and transport of P in agricultural systems and its environmental impact.”

Roberts also acknowledged the other outstanding nominees for the award, and encouraged future nominations of qualified scientists. Private or public sector agronomists, soil scientists, and crop scientists from all countries are eligible for nomination.

This is the fourth year the IPNI Science Award has been presented since it was established in 2007.

Born in Manchester, England, Sharpley received his B.Sc. degree from the University of North Wales in 1973. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Soil Science at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, in 1977.

Since 2006, Sharpley has been a professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Co-Director of Agriculture’s Watershed Research and Education Center, and Co-Chair of the Environmental Task Force, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

From 1995 to 2006, he was a soil scientist with U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), at University Park, Pa., and an adjunct professor at Pennsylvania State University. From 1985 to 1995, he was a soil scientist with USDA-ARS at Durant, Okla.

Sharpley was elected Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) in 1990 and Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in 1991. He also received the Environmental Quality Research Award from ASA in 1994 and the Soil Science Applied Research Award from SSSA in 1998.

Among other awards and honors, Sharpley is a 2008 inductee of the ARS Hall of Fame “for pioneering nutrient research leading to the development of agricultural management practices and strategies that are used nationally and internationally to protect water quality.”

In his research career spanning more than 30 years, Sharpley has authored or co-authored more than 540 publications (including 290 in peer-reviewed journals), 38 book chapters, 60 popular press articles, and he has edited six books. His published research is widely known and has been cited thousands of times.

The scientific underpinnings of the P Index are based on Sharpley’s findings that most of the P exported (more than 80 percent) from agricultural watersheds comes from only a small area of the land (less than 20 percent). The P Index is an educational tool that facilitates interactions between farm planners and farmers, elucidates the water quality implications of management decisions, and helps identify alternative management options for farmers.

Sharpley’s research greatly increased the basic understanding of the behavior and fate of P and nitrogen in agricultural systems, and their impact on water resources. He demonstrated that effective strategies of fertilizer, manure, and tillage use can achieve production goals and protect water quality.

The IPNI Science Award recognizes outstanding achievements in research, extension, or education, with focus on efficient and effective management of plant nutrients and their positive interaction in fully integrated crop production that enhances yield potential. Such systems improve net returns, lower unit costs of production, and maintain or improve environmental quality. The recipient is selected by a committee of noted international authorities.