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USU Associate Awarded W.R. Chapline Research Award

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

plant physiologist Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson, plant physiologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at USU, was awarded the W.R. Chapline Research Award, the highest research honor given by the Society for Range Management.

Doug Johnson, plant physiologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at Utah State University, was awarded the W.R. Chapline Research Award. The award was presented Feb. 6, at the annual meetings of the Society for Range Management in Oklahoma City.

The W.R. Chapline Research Award is the highest research honor given by the Society for Range Management.

“Quantity and quality of research is considered, thus the award provides well-deserved recognition of his contributions to the scientific field,” said Tom Monaco, Johnson’s colleague and ecologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service.

The Society for Range Management is a professional society dedicated to the conservation and sustainable management of rangelands for the benefit of current societies and for future generations.

Johnson has been a member of the SRM since 1974.

“I am very honored and humbled to receive this award. This award is particularly meaningful to me because I am being honored by my peers who are working for the betterment of rangelands throughout the world,” said Johnson.

Johnson has worked in the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Forage and Range Research Lab on the USU campus for 37 years.

He has led and participated in 19 overseas plant collection trips to Russia, China, Pakistan, Mongolia, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan. These trips have added more than 4,000 accessions to the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System.

“These collections serve an important role in plant breeding efforts for improving crop production, drought resistance, disease resistance and insect resistance,” said Johnson.

Research with legume plants in the Intermountain West is currently the focus of Johnson’s research. When finished, these studies will add plant materials that can be used to revegetate degraded western rangelands.

“Johnson's recognition is long overdue for a career-long dedication of research in factors affecting plant drought tolerance, plant response to climate change and the development of new cultivars of native and introduced plants,” said John Malechek, emeritus professor of rangeland science at USU.

Johnson’s work has led to the publishing of 134 refereed journal articles, two books and 35 other scientific publications.

Johnson received his master’s and doctorate in range ecology from Utah State University.

While at USU, Johnson has contributed to the institution as an adjunct faculty member in the USU Quinney College of Natural Resources, Department of Wildland Resources and Department of Plants, Soils and Climate. He has also been a major professor for multiple masters and doctorate students, as well as serving on the committees of additional graduate students.

Contact: Doug Johnson, Doug.Johnson@ARS.USDA.GOV

Writer: Jaron Dunford, 920-246-2863,

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