ESPP Interdisciplinary Team Receives Excellence Award

March 28, 2022

Congratulations to the Sustainable Climate, Agriculture, Landscapes, and Energy (SCALE) team on recently earning an Excellence Award in Interdisciplinary Scholarship (EAIS) from the MSU Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. The SCALE team has been actively growing and evolving for over ten years. SCALE is MSU-based but includes strong and growing collaborations with team members at four peer universities. Currently, 11 senior members make up the SCALE team, though dozens of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, research technicians, and affiliated faculty have collaborated with the team over the course of four previous grants. Most recently, the team submitted a $3.6 million proposal to the NSF’s Growing Convergence Research (GCR) program in early February, aiming to bring a stronger ecological focus to our team.

Throughout the last decade, the SCALE team has received over $9 million of federal grants for their transformational research centered around the sustainable management of food, energy and water resources in the U.S. With each subsequent round of funding, the collaboration has expanded to include broader academic expertise while also refining the process through which collaborative science is done. This process strives to create science that extends beyond interdisciplinary research to conduct transdisciplinary science. A recent example of this transdisciplinary approach is the article published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Policy, which utilized remote sensing and hydrogeological methodologies to evaluate a Kansas irrigation policy through an environmental sociological lens. The results of this work were shared with the Kansas state House Committee on Agriculture and leaders of groundwater management districts across the state.

SCALE team members include:

  • Rob Anex - Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biological Systems Engineering, and Energy Analysis & Policy program
  • Annick Anctil - Associate Professor, Michigan State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science & Policy program
  • Bruno Basso - MSU Foundation Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University
  • Jim Butler - Senior Scientist, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas
  • Charles  Gould - Extension Bioenergy Educator, Michigan State University Extension, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • David Hyndman - Dean, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Chair, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Anthony Kendall - Assistant Research Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University
  • Bryan Pijanowski - Professor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Director, Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscapes, Purdue University
  • Jonathan Winter - Associate Professor, Dartmouth College Department of Geography
  • Sam Zipper - Assistant Scientist, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas
  • Adam Zwickle - Associate Professor, Michigan State University Department of Community Sustainability, Environmental Science & Policy program

Excellence in interdisciplinary research and instruction or the application of such knowledge and skills to problems and opportunities in society are both more difficult to perform and less frequently recognized and rewarded than is excellence in the more traditional disciplines. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, through its nearly 100-year-long commitment to excellence in scholarly pursuits across all fields of study, is an ideal home for an “Excellence Award in Interdisciplinary Scholarship” award. The Award recognizes the excellence of a team effort, not the performance of one individual, in teaching, research, service, or a combination of these activities. Nominations are sought annually from the Provost, the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, members of the Council of Deans, and chapter members.