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USU Faculty Member Continues his Work as a Jefferson Science Fellow

Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013

USU faculty member Roger Kjelgren

Roger Kjelgren, a professor in the Plants, Soils and Climate Department, has served as a Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) in Washington, D.C., since August 2012.

As the school year nears its end, a professor from Utah State University’s College of Agriculture continues his service as a Jefferson Science Fellow in Washington, D.C.

Roger Kjelgren, a professor in the Plants, Soils and Climate Department, has served as a Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) in Washington, D.C., since August 2012, working as a science advisor in the U. S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research Office of Economic Affairs.

The Jefferson Science Fellowship was founded in 2003 to establish a new model of engagement between the American academic science, technology, engineering and medical communities and American policy makers. Fellows spend a one-year assignment as science advisors on foreign policy issues and, after, continue to serve as a resource to the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for an additional five years.

Fellows are selected by a 21-member committee made up of leadership from the National Academy of Sciences, State Department and former fellows and go through an extensive U.S. government security clearance process prior to serving as a JSF.

“What I bring to [the] State and the intelligence community is a unique scientific perspective on agricultural and higher education issues in developing countries,” Kjelgren said.

Using that perspective, Kjelgren regularly engages in free trade discussions and writes about the economic impact climate volatility will have on agriculture and forestry in developing countries.

Additionally, Kjelgren plans to explore higher education gender ratios in developing countries and the use of remote sensing technologies to quantify water supplies in major river basins around the world.

Living in Washington, D.C., has been a highlight for Kjelgren.

“D.C. is a fascinating city of people and pedestrians interested in many things,” Kjelgren said. “There are talks [at] any given hour [on] any given policy topic somewhere in the city.”

Kjelgren has also served as a Fulbright fellow in Thailand that led to developing academic relationships with partner Thai and Chinese universities. 

Related links:

USU Plants, Soils and Climate Department

USU College of Agriculture

Contact: Roger Kjelgren, 435-797-2972,

Writer: Tiffany Adams,, 435-797-7406

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