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Ryan Schroeder

Ryan Schroeder

2016 Udall Scholar


Greenfield, IN


Natural Resources and Environmental Science


College of Agriculture


Ryan aims to develop innovative land conservation and restoration practices and to put these into practice, especially in the American West. Ryan writes, “I aspire to bring multiple types of land users together in an effort to solve resource conservation issues and restore damaged ecosystems.”


Ryan has interned with Dow AgroScience and has held an NSF REU at North Carolina State University. At Purdue, he serves as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and works as an undergraduate researcher in the Agronomy Department. Ryan has been named the Outstanding Student in his program for three consecutive years, in addition to other scholarships, and has already published and presented his research at national conferences.


Dr. Marcos Fernandez, a Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture, writes that Ryan has consistently demonstrated “a proven intellectual capacity and intelligence that is equally matched by his passion for learning and zest for discovery.” In addition to teaching students about soil science, forestry, and how to use GIS, Ryan has worked as an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Schulze, Professor of Agronomy, on a project using Integrating Spatial Educational Experiences (ISEE). Dr. John Graveel, Professor of Environmental Science at Purdue, who recommended Dr. Schulze hire Ryan as a freshman, notes that his creative research, work ethic, and sharp analysis of mapping soil data have contributed to the project’s success.


As president of the Purdue Environmental Club, Ryan forged a partnership between members and the Northern Indiana Citizens Helping Ecosystems Survive (NICHES) Land Trust, a local nonprofit conservation organization, for whom he also volunteers. Ryan has also represented the Environmental Science Club at the Indiana Statehouse to express students’ concerns to Senators about bills that attach to Indiana’s environment.


Robert Austin, who supervised Ryan during his NSF REU at NCU, notes that Ryan has all the makings of “a world-class environmentalist.” In the future, Ryan hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in ecosystem science and restoration, and to work with both federal resource management agencies and research universities in order to build consensus among those with different philosophies of land use, “from conservation to maximized production.”