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On Oct. 30, Dean Kathryn J. Boor '80 presented Kyle Wickings with the Early Achievement Award in a ceremony celebrating research, extension and staff excellence. An assistant professor in the Department of Entomology, Wickings was recognized for his work researching the effects of soil arthropods and microbes on plant health and chemistry. 

Healthy soil is vital to the production of important agricultural crops around the world, and Wickings' work spans both ecological and applied areas that connect above- and below-ground interactions between plants and the soil community. 

In his lab at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geenva, Wickings addresses the ecology and management of soil arthropods, seeking to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of pest management and develop practices for improving soil biological health.

A specific focus of Wickings’ research and outreach is turf grass, which covers more than 2.4 million acres in New York state. Turf grass maintenance contributes more than $5 billion per year to the state’s economy, and 43,000 jobs are associated with the state's turf industry.

Kyle Wickings holding a tuft of grass and dirt

Kyle Wickings

In support of this important New York crop, Wickings' extension work includes developing and conducting workshops through the Cornell University Turf Team. In these sessions, Wickings teaches turf grass managers, master gardeners and school grounds managers how to identify and control soil pests. His work has helped reduce the use of pesticides and their effects on surrounding ecosystems and encourages sustainable and safe practices on golf courses, lawns and school grounds. 

The Early Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership or scholarship in applied or basic research, extension, outreach, integration of science-based knowledge into public policy or service to the college and University during their initial years at Cornell.

"Kyle, your achievements in both research and outreach in just five short years at Cornell are remarkable. I’m excited to see you advance and grow in what promises to be a long and successful career," Boor said at the event.

► Meet all of our 2017 Research, Extension and Staff Award winners

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