2015 Classes Without Quizzes Speakers

Jim Anderson   Jim Anderson is a Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota. He has been working in the areas of wheat breeding and genetics since 1989, and has developed 13 varieties and is the co‐developer of 8 others in four different market classes of wheat. He has authored/co-authored more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Jim also directs breeding programs on improvement of intermediate wheatgrass (initiated in 2011) and field pennycress (initiated in 2013). He teaches a graduate level plant breeding course and a first-year undergraduate course, and is currently serving as Director of Graduate Studies for the Applied Plant Sciences Graduate Program.

Todd Arnold   Todd Arnold is a Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Prior to joining the faculty at CFANS, he was a senior scientist at Ducks Unlimited Canada in Winnipeg. He teaches courses in population ecology and in the interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies program. His research focuses on the ecology and conservation of waterfowl and other grassland and wetland dependent wildlife.

Rob Gardner   Rob Gardner is an Assistant Professor of Renewable Energy Systems and Sustainability in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and the West Central Research and Outreach Center at the University of Minnesota.  Prior to coming to Minnesota, he received his B.S. degree in Biological (Biochemical) Engineering in 2006, and an M.S. degree in Biological (Biochemical) Engineering in 2008 from Utah State University. In 2012 he finished his doctoral studies at Montana State University in the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. During this time, Rob was also a fellow in the NSF IGERT Program in Geobiological Systems at Montana State University and a US-EC joint project on environmental biotechnology. Rob worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University after his doctoral studies until August 2014.

Jason Hill  Jason Hill is a McKnight Land-Grant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. He also serves as a Resident Fellow of the University’s Institute on the Environment. His research focuses on the consequences of energy, agriculture, and natural resource use from a life-cycle perspective. His work on the impacts of transportation biofuels has been published in the journals Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He recently served on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels Production. Jason received his A.B. in Biology from Harvard College and his Ph.D. in Plant Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota.

Brian Horgan   Brian Horgan is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Sciences. He has led field based horticulture extension educators, served as interim department head, coordinated and directed the construction and fundraising for the on-campus Turfgrass Research, Outreach and Education Center and chaired numerous college and university committees. Brian has served as associate editor for the journals Crop Science, International Turfgrass Research and the European Turfgrass Society. His research interests focuses on soil fertility and plant nutrition, fate and transport of pesticides and nutrients, water conservation strategies and low-input turfgrass systems. He has provided invited seminars across the U.S.A, Europe, South America and Asia.


Ian MacRae   Ian MacRae is a Professor with the Department of Entomology. Stationed at the Research & Outreach Center in Crookston, MN, he conducts research and extension programming on the management of insect pests of field crops. Ian was awarded his Ph.D from Oregon State University in 1994, researched small grain and rangeland insects at Colorado State University from 1994 - 1997 when he started with U of M. Since that time, much of his research involves the distribution of insect pests. In the past several years, he has assessed using remote sensing mounted on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS or drones) to determine the distribution of insects and plant disease in various agricultural cropping systems.

Tonya Schoenfuss  Tonya Schoenfuss is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition. Her research focuses on cheese and dairy product health attributes and innovations, and she teaches Food Quality, Food Product Development and Dairy Product Chemistry and Technology courses.  Her interest in this field stems from raising dairy goats in 4-H. After receiving her Ph.D. in Dairy Science from Louisiana State University, she was a food product developer for General Mills for 11 years and worked on Yoplait yogurt, international dough and pasta products, and fruit snacks.  She is an active cheese, ice cream and butter judge for regional and national organizations, She recently revived the collegiate dairy product judging team at the University of Minnesota, and they compete in regional and national dairy product judging competitions.

David Schmidt   David Schmidt loves teaching! He is a research engineer and instructor who is passionate about meeting students where they are and providing them with practical learning opportunities. Since 2011 half of his focus has been teaching a large online class entitled “Renewable Energy and the Environment.” The course draws 400-600 students per semester. Students love the online course format and are surprised by how much they learn through the semester.  David owns one solar panel in a community solar array, drives an electric car (Nissan Leaf), and is a little crazy when it comes to home energy saving (as we all should be : )

Ingrid SchneiderIngrid Schneider is a Professor in the Department of Forest Resources.  She also holds the position of Director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center.  She received her Ph.D. from Clemson University, and received her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Minnesota. She has worked with a variety of state, federal and international organizations.  Her work focuses on park and protected area management with an emphasis on consumer behavior.  Currently, she is the editor of the Journal of Leisure Research and working on a book related to diversity and parks, recreation and tourism organizations.

Cindy Tong   Cindy Tong is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences, specializing in postharvest physiology. She helps fresh market fruit and vegetable growers with their harvest, handling, and storage problems. Her lab utilizes biochemical and molecular methods to understand how fruit of some apple genotypes maintain their crispness throughout months of cold storage and limitations of color development of red potatoes.

Edward Usset   Edward Usset serves as a Grain Marketing Economist for the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota, the developers of FINPACK software and a variety of educational programs. Working with his colleagues at CFFM and in Extension, Ed developed the award winning “Winning the Game” series of workshops. In addition, he manages Commodity Challenge, an online marketing education game that uses real-time cash and futures data. He teaches "Commodity Markets" at the University. His first book, “Grain Marketing is Simple (it’s just not easy)” was released in 2007.