TSU Professor Helps Provide Solutions to Future Challenges of Natural Resources

Researcher Coauthors Roadmap to Guide Nation’s Research, Education and Policy Decisions


Dr. Dalia Abbas
Dr. Dalia Abbas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A professor from the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at Tennessee State University has coauthored a report that helps outline solutions to the challenges facing natural resources in the U.S. with a “roadmap” to help guide policymakers over the next 10 years.

Dr. Dalia Abbas, assistant professor of Forestry, coauthored the report, Science, Education and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources released by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on May 1. The report outlines six “grand challenges” facing the U.S. in the areas of sustainability, water, climate change, agriculture, energy and education, and recommends a series of research, education and outreach activities to help meet those challenges.

“This is a unique project in that it deals with natural resources as an integrated network,” Abbas said. “Many of the existing strategic plans focus on specific disciplines, neglecting their interrelation and function as a whole.”

Part of a 35-scientist team who authored the roadmap after receiving feedback from more than 130 scientists at public and land-grant institutions across the country, Abbas worked specifically on the sustainability portion of the roadmap due to her forestry expertise.

“There’s an extraordinary opportunity to improve the sustainability of our forest ecosystem,” she said. “For instance, a more balanced approach to forest ecosystems could help compensate for decades of high-grading practices and respond to an emerging market for lower quality wood.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored the report through a grant to Oregon State University, which then partnered with APLU.

“Scientists at our public and land-grant universities have developed this report to more clearly identify the challenges we face and prioritize our research, education and outreach efforts,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “It provides a needed framework and should help guide policy decisions in the coming years.”

Founded in 1887, the APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 235 research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organization, with member institutions in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico.




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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.