Meet Our Team
Dr. James Ippolito
Since 2016, I have been serving as Associate Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Prior to transitioning to full-time academics I split my time as a USDA-Agricultural Research Service Research Soil Scientist and SOCR non-tenure track faculty member.
- 2001 PhD degree in Environmental Soil Chemistry/Quality from Colorado State University
- 1992 MS degree in Soil Fertility/Chemistry from Colorado State University
- 1989 BS degree in Plant Sciences – Agronomy with a minor in Microbiology from the University of Delaware
My professional interests focus on soil fertility, chemistry, environmental quality, and soil health in a number of ecosystems. Our group’s research spans soils in production agriculture, rangelands, forests, burned areas, and mined lands.
Professional Memberships and Affiliations
- American Society of Agronomy
- Soil Science Society of America
- USDA: Western Nutrient Management and Water Quality Workgroup
- USDA: Beneficial Reuse of Residuals and Reclaimed Water Workgroup
- USDA: Implementing and Correlating Soil Health Management and Assessment in Western States Workgroup
- International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements Committee
- International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment Committees
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Dr. Liping Li
Laboratory Partner, Henan International Joint Laboratory of Environmental Pollution, Remediation, and Grain Quality Security
Henan University of Technology, Henan, China
Dr. Liping Li is a professor of soil chemistry at Henan University of Technology. He received his: BS degree in soil science and plant nutrition from Gansu Agricultural University, Gansu Province, China in 2004; his MS degree in soil science from Northwest A&F University, Shaanixi, China in 2001; and, his Ph. D in soil science at the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. Dr. Li’s current research focuses on pollution of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) from non-ferrous metal smelting facilities. PTEs in the environment affect the health of humans, plants, animals, and microorganisms. Members of his research group are elucidating the mechanisms and process of such effects, and based on this, theory and methods to reduce such risks are being developed. Overall, Dr. Li’s research interests include i) remediation of PTEs polluted soils, ii) health risk of PTEs in soil, dusts, vegetables and crops, iii) measures to reduce the health risk of PTEs in the environment. He has mentored 11 MS students, and is currently mentoring seven graduate students and three Ph D students.
Dr. Li worked as a visiting scholar at CSU from February 2019 to February 2020, collaborating with Dr. Jim Ippolito on several research projects, including: i) the remediation of heavy metal contaminated alluvial mine tailings from historic mining operations; ii) the effect of cattle drinking Mo-laden waters and subsequent effects on soils; and iii) comparisons in tillage practice in conjunction with residue management in furrow irrigated agroecosystems and the effects on soil health. In conjunction with Dr. Ippolito, we have created the Henan International Joint Laboratory of Environmental Pollution, Remediation, and Grain Quality Security at Henan University of Technology. This joint facility focuses attention on potentially toxic elements and soil pollution, and the health of the elements throughout the soil-air-plant-human nexus.
Dr. Emad Aboukila
I am an associate professor of soil and water sciences, department of natural resources and agricultural engineering, college of agricultural, Damanhour university, Egypt.
My research interests are soil reclamation, remediation of contaminated soil, and wastes recycle in agriculture. Currently I am a visiting scholar at Colorado State University working with Dr. Jim Ippolito in projects related to soil health evaluation using the soil management assessment framework.
Research Associate and Lab Coordinator
I am originally from Idaho and have traveled around living in a few other states, but ultimately my husband and I have decided to settle down in Colorado. I have 10 years of professional experience working with the USDA-Agriculture Research Services Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, University of Idaho, and Colorado State University on research focused primarily on soil science, soil chemistry, and soil health. I received my BS in Sustainable Crop and Landscape Systems with an emphasis in Soil and Land Resources from University of Idaho. I will soon complete my Soil and Crop Sciences MS degree with an emphasis on soil health from Colorado State University. Currently, I am working as a Research Associate on a long-term biosolids land application projected, funded since 1982 through the South Platte Renew. This project focuses attention on biological, chemical, physical, and nutrient soil health characteristics in long-term agronomic biosolids versus inorganic fertilizer applications to dryland winter wheat-fallow and dryland winter wheat-corn-fallow cropping rotations. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, crocheting, and going on adventures with my dog Dodger.
Soil & Crop Sciences Undergraduate/MS Candidate
I am an undergraduate student at Colorado State University studying Soil and Crop Sciences with a concentration in Soil Restoration and Conservation. My interest in agriculture started when I traveled internationally through the WWOOF program in 2009. I continued working with farmers in California, Oregon, and my home state of New York where I helped manage both large fruit-producers and smaller, family-run, organic herb and vegetable farms for several years. I volunteered through the Americorp program with the Nevada Conservation Corp as a Restoration Crew Member and continued my work in Natural Resource Management with the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department for four years. I’ve since worked with the USDA-ARS and several Plant Sciences labs within the University. My interest lies in Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture. I hope to obtain an MD in Soil Health from Colorado State after completing my Bachelor’s of Science.
I received my BS in Environmental Science from the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and my MS in Water Resources Management with a focus in Hydrologic Modeling from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I am currently a PhD student in Soil and Crop Sciences at CSU. I work as a Physical Science Technician for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in conjunction with Syngenta and Waterborne Environmental studying pesticide fate and transport through the coupling of surface water monitoring with modeling. My focuses include comparing the correlation-based SEAWAVE-QEX model and the process-based AgES watershed model, exploring the application of machine learning for sparse datasets, and quantifying the efficacy of BMPs in preventing off-site transport. In my free time, I enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and nature photography.
I am originally from Colorado and my background is primarily in soil and water quality as they relate to agriculture. I have been involved in soils and water research for almost 4 years now, all at Colorado State University. I have primarily worked in agricultural settings, focusing on water quality improvements from Best Management Practices in irrigated agriculture.
I have a BS in Soil and Crop Sciences from Colorado State University, where I am currently working on my PhD in the same field. I am studying the connection between soil health and water quality in farms implementing Best Management Practices and applying ecosystem service market models to understand the value of these changes on an ecosystem and economic level.
I have a passion for science education and bringing my love of all things science and agriculture to students. My most comfortable place is in the classroom as an educator.
In my spare time, I like to hike and backpack! If I’m not in the lab or the classroom, you can usually find me getting lost in the woods or exploring a canyon.
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Software/GIS Systems Engineer
I am a CSU alumni, where I earned my undergrad and master’s degree in Computer Science.For the past two years, I have been supporting the PDI team with my expertise designing databases, aligning data, developing software, and building up infrastructure for PDI solutions.I love Software and GIS Engineering because of the impact it has on the world.I can see my efforts are advancing agricultural science…the science that feeds the world. I know the work USDA does has a meaningful impact on so many in the world.
My primary passion is reducing barriers to entry for data collection and storage. I want to understand how researchers create solutions for enhancing agricultural business processes so I can develop solutions, making their research easier to collect, distribute and, optimize our impacts for society.
In my spare time I enjoy gaming, hanging out in nature with my handful of rescue dogs, and remodeling my home.
I am originally from Colorado and have a diverse background in Geographic Information Science and wildlife management. I have 15 years’ experience working for federal and state agencies, and universities including the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and CSU. My work experience includes avian and human dimensions research, habitat restoration and monitoring, and data management and geospatial technology.
I have MS degrees in Wildlife Ecology and GIS and am currently a GIS Analyst with the USDA-ARS PDI Team.
I have a passion for data management and research, particularly using technology to make research more efficient for scientists and more accessible for the scientific community and public.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors with my dog Porter, and traveling to new places while taking photographs along the way!
I am a Colorado native and have made Fort Collins home for over 20 years. In my free time I enjoy being outside, spending time with family, practicing yoga and expanding my knowledge and skillset. Professionally, I have a passion for science and environmental research, which fuels creative solutions to challenging environmental issues.
I received my BS in Environmental Engineering from Colorado State University and my MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from CSU. I currently am working for the Partnerships for Data Innovations technology team, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service project funded through CSU, as a GIS Analyst. My main focus has been developing data management solutions for research on citrus greening in Florida. We are expanding this research to California and Texas soon.
Born and raised in the Midwest, I have lived in Fort Collins for over two years to work in the crossover between GIS analytics and agriculture. OF particular interest to me is the way agricultural productivity can be enhanced by the application of robust mapping and data collection techniques which reveal otherwise unseen factors in the work our growers do. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, biking, reading, and cooking for my family.
I received my BS from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, after which I served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, as a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent for two years, living and working in a remote village with my host family and community. I then went on to earn my MS in Geography from Oregon State University. I currently work on the Partnerships for Data Innovation technology team as a part of USDA-ARS, where I help on projects concerned with master gardeners, cotton research, cattle fever tick eradication, and farm operations management.
Steven Russell comes to PDI’s Project Coordination team from his alma mater, Arizona State University, where he most recently managed the Project Cities program at ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network. In this capacity, Russell facilitated 58 student- and faculty-led research projects, designed to advance local government agencies’ sustainability programs and policies. He also regularly conducted strategic planning workshops and events with municipal staff and leadership participating in the program, and produced public-facing reports, designs, and multimedia. Russell earned his BIS in Psychology and Communication, his BA in Sociology, and then later his Master’s in Public Administration, all from ASU as well. Russell has served in multiple other program development and administration roles at ASU, including piloting a new carbon offsets through forestry program, launching a student leadership and equity program, and advising on the university’s 2018 Sustainability Goals. Russell has also served just under three years as a Commissioner on the City of Tempe’s Sustainability Commission, assisting in the development, public comment, and advocacy phases for Tempe’s 2019 Climate Action Plan and subsequent updates. Russell brings several years’ experience to the team in coordinating events, workshops, festivals, and conferences, as well as facilitating public meetings, and exercising group decision-making tools. In his off-hours, you can find Russell outdoors enjoying Phoenix’s (3-4 weeks of) amazing weather, tending to his patio garden and “indoor jungle” of houseplants, or enjoying bad sci-fi and a home-cooked meal.
I received my B.S. in Applied Plant Science and my M.S. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. I previously worked for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, where I focused on policy and regulations regarding groundwater and nitrogen fertilizer and more recently, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, where I worked in ambient air quality. I currently am a Project Coordinator for the Partnerships for Data Innovations, a USDA Agricultural Research Service project funded through CSU. In my spare time, I enjoy doing pretty much anything outdoors, including gardening and biking.
Austin Hopkins is a first year PhD student. Austin is working on ‘Big Data in Agriculture’ using multiple USDA databases such as MANAGE and AgCROS. He is a part of the ‘Partnerships for Data Innovation (PDI)’ team. He earned his B.S and M.S degree from Brigham Young University in Environmental Science. His interests include remote sensing, precision agriculture, internet of things (IoT), and data science. He and his family also enjoy collecting unique soil samples from each place they travel to.
I received my B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University and my Masters in Geographic Information Systems from Penn State. From 2016 to 2020, I worked as a Landscape Ecologist for Rocky Mountain Wild, studying landscape connectivity for wildlife. I currently work for Partnerships for Data Innovations, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service project funded through CSU as a Research Associate/GIS Analyst, applying geospatial technology to sustainable agriculture research in areas such as citrus crops and crop wild relatives.
I am a Fort Collins native and decided to pursue a BS in Computer Science at Colorado State University, where I expect to graduate in 2022. I’ve worked as a IT Specialist/GIS Analyst intern at the Partnerships for Data Innovations, a USDA Agricultural Research Service project, since December 2020, focusing on the development of data visualization tools, APIs, and automation. In my free time I like to be in the great outdoors, listen to music, and work on side projects.
After a 20 year career in the cycling industry I returned to school to learn a new skill and change careers. I will finish my BS in Computer Science from Colorado State University in the fall of 2021. Currently, I am working for the Partnerships for Data Innovations, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service project funded through CSU as an assistant GIS analyst and IT Tech, focusing attention on web app development, database creation and GIS mapping.