PULLMAN, Wash – Fran Pierce, director of Washington State University’s Center for Precision Agricultural Systems and a professor in the crop and soil sciences and biological systems engineering departments, received the first Pierre C. Robert Precision Agriculture Senior Scientist Award at the ninth International Conference on Precision Agriculture in Denver this week.
The award honors senior and junior scientists who have made significant contributions to precision agriculture. Pierce received a $1,000 cash award.
As director of the Center for Precision Agriculture at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Pierce leads efforts to advance the science and practice of precision agriculture through the development of technologies for monitoring and control of important agricultural management practices, in automating agricultural practices and in the management of the spatial and temporal components of agricultural systems.
He was recently elected president of the American Society of Agronomy, serving as president-elect in 2009, president in 2010 and past-president in 2011. He has edited and co-authored numerous publications on precision agriculture including the American Society of Agronomy book “The State of Site-Specific Management for Agriculture” and an invited review of aspects of precision agriculture in “Advances in Agronomy.” He is currently the series editor for the CRC Press book series “GIS Applications for Agriculture.” The first volume was published in 2007.
Among other things, Pierce guided and developed AgWeatherNet, a statewide weather network in Washington. Last year, he received a three-year $395,000 grant from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how biofuel crop production affects soil conditions.
Before coming to WSU in 2000, he was a professor of soil science at Michigan State University.