by Fran tenBensel Benne | Agronomy and Horticulture
Andrea Basche, an assistant professor in cropping systems in agronomy and horticulture, was presented with the Dinsdale Family Faculty Award at the Distinguished Fellowships and Awards Luncheon Dec. 7 on East Campus. The University of Nebraska’s IANR, ARD and CASNR hosted the luncheon.
The Dinsdale Family Faculty Award honors faculty members for outstanding teaching, research and outreach in IANR. It is especially focused on non-tenured faculty who firmly commit to academic excellence. The award is named for Roy Dinsdale, a 1948 University of Nebraska College of Business Administration graduate who works in a family farming and cattle operation.
Basche has a 60% teaching and 40% research appointment in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.
“Andrea is becoming a recognized leader in the college for her work on diversity, equity and inclusion,” Meghan Sindelar, associate professor of practice, said. “In this capacity, she co-led the Difficult Conversations CASNR Community of Practice and supported the development of two seminar/discussion series around inclusive classrooms in the college.”
She instructs Plant and Landscape Systems 204 Resource Efficient Crop Management, 405 Crop Management Strategies and 425 Cover Crops in Agroecosystems.
She and her graduate students were recently awarded grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and Nebraska Academy of Sciences, as well as Nebraska EPSCoR, to support working with an after-school program at Lincoln Northeast High School. This is in partnership with the Food-Energy-Water and Societal Systems Early College and Career Program within CASNR.
“We are looking forward to sharing crop and soil research efforts in a series of activities and field trips with the students who we hope to inspire as the next generation of professionals in our field,” Basche said.
She and her team of researchers study several aspects of diversified cropping systems, including carbon and nitrogen cycling, water and weed dynamics, as well as policy and human decision-making. They are currently part of a large collaborative effort to study the management and supply chain efforts for a perennial grain crop called Kernza®.
“It’s an exciting, low-input crop that can be harvested several years, grazed or hayed,” Basche said. “In 2022, we harvested our first year of experiments and had excellent yields, which is particularly exciting considering the drought conditions.”
“Dr. Basche has established a personal connection to the members of the Resilient Cropping Systems Lab she leads through conversations, lab meetings and having an open-door policy,” Fernanda Krupek, a doctoral candidate in Basche’s lab, said. “She has stressed the importance of transferring both the technical and ethical aspects of good research and teaching standards and practices.”
“Andrea has gone above and beyond in serving the Nebraska public,” Sindelar, said. “She has used her research program to address significant gaps in cover crop and soil health outreach despite not having an extension appointment.”
In November, Basche was recognized by the American Society of Agronomy with the 2022 Early Career Award.
In 2014, Dave Lamb was the last department faculty member to be honored with the Dinsdale Family Faculty Award. Basche is among good company as only five other department faculty have received the award, including current Department Head and John E. Weaver Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture Martha Mamo, Professor and Heuermann Chair of Agronomy Harkamal Walia, Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology Tom Clemente, and Adjunct Associate Professor Deana Namuth-Covert.