College of Ag wins four 2019 Spirit of Sustainability Awards

Mark Dougherty, Auburn Biosystems Engineering professor, at the Spirit of Sustainability Awards 2019

By Jamie Creamer / May 7, 2019 3:54:19 PM

The College of Agriculture was represented well in the Auburn University Office of Sustainability’s recent 2019 Spirit of Sustainability Awards ceremony, with wins in the group, faculty, staff and student categories.

  • The Auburn University Aquaponics Project was presented the Spirit of Sustainability Group Award. The multidisciplinary aquaponics team conducts research in the emerging field; trains students, producers and other in aquaponics; produces safe, high-quality foods including fruits, vegetables and tilapia, for the campus community; and works to increase Auburn’s regional, national and international reputation as a leader in aquaponics research, teaching and extension. The team includes faculty and staff from the college’s departments of Biosystems Engineering, Horticulture and Poultry Science and School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, as well as from Tiger Dining and the Auburn University Food Systems Institute.
  • Mark Dougherty, professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering, was one of two Spirit of Sustainability Faculty Award recipients. Through his teaching and research programs and projects, Dougherty focuses on making engineering responsive to sustainable design in order to improve quality of life. He is a founding member of the AU Green Infrastructure Team, a working group that tests the effectiveness of landscape materials and substrates to achieve sustainable stormwater management on campus.
  • Sergio Ruiz-Cordova won this year’s Spirit of Sustainability Staff Award. He is a research associate with Alabama Water Watch and Global Water Watch within the Auburn University Water Resources Center. He has been an integral part of the statewide citizen-volunteer water quality monitoring program since its establishment 26 years ago and currently serves as associate director and data coordinator.
  • Winner of the 2019 William Olson Student Achievement Award was Kenzley Defler, a 2018 environmental science alumna who was nominated for the honor while still a student. As a student, Defler conducted environmental research under the direction of rural sociologist Loka Ashwood, served as an intern in the sustainability office and was a leader in the Campus Kitchen Project at Auburn. She is now a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania.

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