See more from this Session: General Global Agronomy: III
Wednesday, October 19, 2011: 1:50 PM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 210A, Concourse Level
Presently, over 150 countries worldwide participate in the Fulbright Program, an international exchange of scholars in a range of academic disciplines. Since the program's inception over 60 years ago, more than 300,000 scholars have participated in the program, among them 40 Nobel Laureates. Agriculture is one of 45 academic fields in which US Scholars may apply. However, of the 700+ Fulbright scholarships awarded for 2010-2011, only seven were in agriculture. This presentation will discuss the process of writing the Fulbright proposal from the Agriculturalist's perspective, provide information on what challenges might be encountered, and give an overview of this recipient's teaching and research experiences from Romania at Universitatea de Ştiinţe Agricole şi Medicină Veterinară (USAMV). Generally, teaching and research facilities were found to be adequate, and comparable to facilities in the US; though in some instances access to advanced laboratory instrumentation by students was limited. Students were unfamiliar with common geographic information system (GIS) / global positioning system (GPS) technologies used for research, with no courses dedicated to such. The Fulbright recipient's teaching (in the area of GIS/GPS/land management) was accomplished via bilingual (English/Romanian) PowerPoint notes; translation prepared with the assistance of bilingual Romanian doctoral students who also helped to clarify questions during lecture. Romanian faculty/student interaction was found to differ substantially from typical American interaction, the former being more formalized and tradition laden in the classroom setting. Fieldwork was accomplished in a manner similar to that in the US, though there was no access to a hydraulic soil sampling probe. Newer instrumentation such as visible near infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (VisNIR DRS) and field portable x-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectroscopy used for rapid soils analysis in the US were not available at USAMV.