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Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Leading by example. Leveraging experience.

The leadership of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are also recognized leaders in their own fields, bringing invaluable insight and experience in fostering the continued success of CALS.

Benjamin Z. Houlton, The Ronald P. Lynch Dean

Benjamin Z. Houlton is the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a Cornell University professor in the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Global Development. An accomplished international scientist, his research interests include global ecosystem processes, climate change solutions, and agricultural sustainability. As founding co-chair of the California Collaborative for Climate Change solutions, Ben works with researchers from key research institutions to accelerate the translation of research findings into practical climate solutions. He also directs farmland carbon sequestration projects to improve crop yields and create new financial markets for farmers and ranchers. Ben has published more than 130 works including peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and published abstracts as tracked by Google Scholar. As part of his mission to connect scientific discovery with the public, he is also a frequent guest on regional and national news programs. 

Max J. Pfeffer, Executive Dean

Max J. Pfeffer, international professor of development sociology, focuses on special initiatives for the college, building on recommendations in the CALS Strategic Plan and the CALS Structure Task Force (link to come). He also leads the exploration of new joint programming with international partners.

Beth A. Ahner, Senior Associate Dean

A professor of biological and environmental engineering, Beth Ahner's responsibilities include faculty affairs, department and program reviews, sponsored research oversight, management of core research funds, and academic aspects of facilities and human resources.

Amy McCune, Senior Associate Dean

A professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Amy McCune's responsibilities include faculty affairs, department and program reviews, sponsored research oversight, management of core research funds, and the academic aspects of facilities and human resources.

Assistant and Associate Deans

Tony Caudill, Assistant Dean
Sharon Detzer, Associate Dean
Jan Nyrop, Associate Dean
Peter Paradise, Associate Dean
Samara Sit, Associate Dean
Margaret Smith, Associate Dean
Chelsea Specht, Associate Dean
Julie Suarez, Associate Dean
Don Viands, Associate Dean
Chris Watkins, Associate Dean