About the Project

Statement of Task

The National Academies will conduct a study, including a major two-day summit of educators, employers, and others, to explore opportunities for institutions of higher education to improve the learning experience of undergraduate students pursuing careers at the intersection of agriculture, environmental and life sciences, and their related disciplines. The summit will examine innovations in teaching, learning, and the curriculum that are adaptive to differences in student backgrounds, attitudes, and expectations, and that better equip graduates with knowledge and skills appropriate for multiple career paths and demands. Following the summit, a committee of the National Academies will prepare a report that identifies opportunities to effect change in undergraduate programs that will enable those programs to produce a flexible, well-prepared workforce that is appropriately skilled, socially responsive, and technically proficient.


This project was sponsored by a collection of public and private agencies:

Study Committee

The study committee is comprised of individuals selected for their expertise in a wide range of scientific fields and for their diverse professional experiences relevant to the study task. The committee members and their affiliations as of the report release are:

James L. Oblinger (Chair)
North Carolina State University

John M. Bonner
Executive Vice President
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

Peter J. Bruns
Vice President for Grants and Special Programs
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Vernon B. Cardwell
Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
University of Minnesota

Karen Gayton Comeau
Past President
Haskell Indian Nations University (retired)

(Kyle) Jane Coulter
Past Deputy Administrator
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Services (CSREES)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (retired)

Susan J. Crockett
Vice President and Senior Technology Officer, Health and Nutrition
General Mills, Inc.

Theodore M. Crosbie
Vice President of Global Plant Breeding
Monsanto Company

Levon T. Esters
Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education and Studies
Iowa State University

A. Charles Fischer
Past President and Chief Executive Officer
Dow AgroSciences LLC (retired)

Janet A. Guyden
Associate Vice President of Research and Dean of Graduate Studies
Grambling State University

Michael W. Hamm
C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture
Michigan State University

Michael V. Martin
Louisiana State University

Susan Singer
Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of the Natural Sciences
Carleton College

Larry Vanderhoef
University of California, Davis

Patricia Verduin
Vice President, Global Research and Development
Colgate-Palmolive Company

National Research Council Staff:

Adam P. Fagen, Study Director
Robin Schoen, Board Director, BANR
Karen Imhof, Administrative Assistant
Peggy Tsai, Program Officer