Agriculture News

May 23, 2016

Prokopy selected for Purdue’s Spirit of Land-Grant Mission Award

Prokoby Spirit Linda Prokopy, a Purdue University professor of forestry and natural resources, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the university’s Sprit of the Land-Grant Mission award for her work in soil and water resources management. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University forestry and natural resources professor Linda Prokopy will receive the 2016 Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award for her work in soil and water resources management.

The award is presented yearly to a Purdue faculty member in the colleges of Agriculture, Health and Human Sciences or Veterinary Medicine whose work exemplifies the university's land-grant mission of discovery, engagement and learning. Alexander’s name was added to the award in honor of the agricultural economics professor who died in January.

“Dr. Prokopy has contributed greatly to the research, Extension and education missions of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, the College of Agriculture and Purdue University,” said Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and associate dean in the College of Agriculture. “She has done this in truly successful, integrative ways that help people care more for the environment and our precious natural resources.”

Prokopy’s programs have focused on the role of decision-making in natural resource management. Her research and Extension work generally fits into three overlapping areas: conservation behaviors of farmers, agricultural adaptation to climate change and social dimensions of watershed management.

Prokopy has published 77 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, seven Extension publications and four opinion articles for the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation and the Journal of Extension, and her work has been cited by many other scholars. She received the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Conservation Research Award in 2015.

The first interdisciplinary team Prokopy led focused on developing social indicators for watershed projects in the Great Lakes region and, to date, has generated 18 peer-reviewed articles, numerous invited talks and a comprehensive Extension program including an online survey development tool, a handbook and numerous in-person and on-line trainings.

Prokopy was awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture to lead the national, multi-institution Useful to Usable initiative that offers a suite of online tools to help farmers and agricultural advisers manage increasingly variable weather and climate conditions across the Corn Belt. The tools provide historical climate data that help inform purchasing, marketing and activity planning throughout the growing cycle.

U2U last year received a Partnership Award for Mission Integration of Research, Education and Extension from NIFA. That year it also received the College of Agriculture’s TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Award, given annually to a Purdue team of professionals for their interdisciplinary achievements.

“Prokopy represents the true integration of research and Extension,” said Karen Plaut, senior associate dean for research and faculty affairs in the College of Agriculture. “The decision support tools she has developed for Useful to Usable are based on the latest research but are developed in cooperation with farmers so that they can actually use the tools on the farm for real-time decision-making.”

Prokopy is regarded as an exceptional educator and mentor, receiving the College of Agriculture’s 2016 Outstanding Graduate Mentor/Teacher Award. Her students have helped develop watershed management plans, write surveys for state agencies, design and facilitate public meetings for local watershed groups, write a grant to develop a website for mapping local storm water practices, and develop outreach campaign materials to protect endangered mussels in the Tippecanoe River.

Prokopy will receive $10,000 to support her research, a $1,500 honorarium and a commemorative plaque. A program recognizing her achievements will be held in the fall.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, 

Sources: Jason Henderson, 765-494-8489,

Karen Plaut, 765-494-8362,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-2722; 

Keith Robinson,
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