Award for Distinction in Outreach & Engagement - Fall 2007
Dr. Jeff Schoenau's contributions to applied research in soil fertility and management are recognized locally, nationally and internationally and he has furthered the University's outreach and engagement mission with great distinction.
Dr. Schoenau received his B.S.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and is currently a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Soil Science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources holding the Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food Research Chair in Nutrient Management. His outstanding research accomplishments have led to a number of awards including the Agriculture Institute of Canada's Outstanding Young Agrologist Award in 1998, the Robert E. Wagner Young Scientist Award from the Potash and Phosphate Institute in 2000, the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists' Outstanding Young Agrologist Award in 2002 and the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in 2004. He has been recognized as Professor of the Year three times by the Agriculture Students Association, and was the recipient of the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Award of Excellence in 2001. Dr. Schoenau has built important partnerships with a variety of organizations in Western Canada including the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), Canola Council of Canada, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association among others. In addition, Jeff serves on a number of boards and committees related to soil stewardship and other farm environmental issues.
Jeff's nominators commented on his passion for disseminating knowledge and his reputation for captivating presentations making him a highly sought after speaker. His colleagues state "whether Jeff is in China, Australia or Kindersley, . . . he is always a welcome expert and ambassador for the University of Saskatchewan." One nominator said it best when he stated "at the University level, a great deal of very important research is conducted but without someone to find practical uses for it, it stays within the realm of often forgotten research. Dr. Schoenau is not only able to relay to people in the farm (and consulting) community the practicality of the research, but he is able to do it in a wonderfully interesting and personable manner . . . When Dr. Schoenau speaks, we listen - when we speak, he listens."
Dr. Schoenau began developing a cost-effective soil testing tool and forecasting software to measure crop nutrition requirements of benefit to growers. This substantive work led to the creation of the Plant Root Simulator (PRS)TM-probe in 1992. The significance of this technology has been profound. It has provided a basis for fertilizer use on over 3 million acres of farmland in Western Canada and has improved yields for a variety of grain, pulse and forage crops with an estimated economic impact of more than $200 million. This technology has been patented in 5 jurisdictions and is utilized by researchers throughout the world.
For these reasons and many others, Dr. Schoenau's outreach and engagement activities have had substantial impact and long-term significance and he is truly deserving of the University of Saskatchewan's Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement.