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Purdue agriculture dean appoints Bowling as new head of agronomy

Bernie Engel, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University, has announced the appointment of Laura Bowling as the department head for the department of agronomy. She will officially assume the position on August 19, succeeding Jeff Volenec, who served as interim department head during the last year.

Engel credits Bowling’s many diverse accomplishments for making her an ideal candidate for this position. “Dr. Bowling is an outstanding member of the agronomy department and the greater university and research communities. She has received numerous awards recognizing her contributions including as University Faculty Scholar and the Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. She assumes this responsibility with exciting ideas for the department’s future.”

Bowling joined the college’s faculty in 2004. In 2017, she became co-director of the college’s Natural Resources and Environmental Science program and assumed responsibility as director in 2021. The program has seen a 220% growth in enrollment since 2017.

In accepting the position, Bowling shared her perspective on the department’s history and future. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve as the head because I truly value the legacy and the people of the department of agronomy. They took a chance on me as an assistant professor 20 years ago, and have helped me to grow my teaching, research and extension skills. This department has a strong 100+ year history of innovation. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to continue to innovate and share our strengths in digital agronomy, climate change adaptation and mitigation and sustainable agroecosystems that improve soil and water quality.”

After earning her undergraduate degree in civil engineering at Princeton University, Bowling completed her doctorate at the University of Washington. Her applied research and teaching focus in hydrology and water resources addresses how the water cycle is altered through human intervention across ecosystems and then on communicating those findings to key stakeholders. 

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