UGA Associate Professor Alexa Lamm honored with 2020 Borlaug CAST Communication Award

By for CAES News

University of Georgia Associate Professor Alexa Lamm has earned the 2020 Borlaug CAST Communication Award from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). The award is presented annually for outstanding achievement by a scientist, engineer, technologist or other professional working in the agricultural, environmental or food sectors for contributing to the advancement of science in the public policy arena.

An associate professor of science communication and graduate coordinator for the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at UGA, Lamm has a long list of accomplishments as a scientist, educator and writer and is recognized nationally and internationally as an acclaimed research scholar.

Colleagues and associates praise her intelligence and hard work, and they note that Lamm is a “skilled translator” with a way of making tech and science accessible for all, from policymakers to the general public.

“We are so very proud of Dr. Alexa Lamm being named the recipient of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award,” said Sam Pardue, CAES dean and director. “This award commemorates the work of Dr. Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, whose goal of ending global hunger is still embraced by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Lamm’s long record of prolific publication of research in agricultural communication at the intersection of public policy and public opinion is remarkable. Congratulations to Dr. Lamm for this outstanding achievement.”

As a leader in the field of social science research, Lamm examines the impacts of communication and educational practices, especially as they relate to technology that advances agricultural production while maintaining a sustainable environment. Much of her work explores how people make decisions about water conservation, water protection and water policy. Lamm was an integral part of the team that created a new doctoral program in the UGA Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication that will launch its first cohort in fall 2020.

“Throughout my career, starting first as a county agricultural Cooperative Extension agent and now working with policymakers internationally, I have experienced the importance and impact of effectively communicating agricultural and environmental science at all levels of society,” Lamm said. “I am honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award.”

Lamm has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, garnered millions of dollars in extramural funding, and presented her findings hundreds of times using traditional and nontraditional media methods.

Currently serving as the executive editor of the Journal for International Agricultural and Extension Education, Lamm has conducted educational programs in more than 32 countries. Along with her leadership roles and publications, she has made numerous appearances on radio and television, been actively involved with social media, and communicated in various ways with consumers, farmers, local leaders and students in the classroom.

Along with her many other duties, Lamm teaches several graduate-level science communication courses. Lamm won the 2019 National Researcher Award from the American Association of Agricultural Education and has received recognition and awards in many areas including extension, agricultural leadership, education and communication. 

Lamm joins 10 other respected and talented science communicators in receiving the award, which honors the legacy of Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning American agronomist who led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution.

As one of her colleagues said, “Dr. Lamm is an outstanding researcher who exemplifies the skills, dedication, and success this award is designed to recognize.”

Lamm will be recognized at an award presentation during World Food Prize Symposium week in October 2020. In addition to honoring Norman Borlaug, the Borlaug CAST Communication Award recognizes the legacy of Charles A. Black, the first president of CAST.

To learn more about the award, visit cast-science.org. For information about the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, go to alec.caes.uga.edu.

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