2001 Roscoe Ellis, Jr. Lecture
About the Lecturer
Dr. McSweeney earned his B.S. degree from the University of Sheffield in 1976 and Certificate of Education from Oxford University in 1978. The M.S. (1980) and Ph.D. (1984) degrees were received from the University of Illinois-Urbana under the direction of the late Dr. Ivan Jansen. In 1983, he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He spent a sabbatical leave at La Escuela de Agricultura de la Region Tropical Humeda (EARTH), Costa Rica in 1993. In 1995, he was elected Chair of the Land Resources Graduate Program in the Institute for Environmental Studies and in 1997, appointed Director of the School of Natural Resources in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. In 1999, he was appointed Associate Director of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station.
Dr. McSweeney's research in pedology has included investigation of Quaternary and Pre-Quaternary paleosols, notably those that span the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and preserve a record of mass faunal extinction. He conducted research on the origin and distribution of soil in forested landscapes of northern Wisconsin in support of ecological inventory and management. He collaborated with colleagues on a variety of water quality research projects in intensively managed agricultural landscapes of the Midwest through development of soil landscape models using GIS and allied technologies. Since the early 1990s, he has been involved in several interdisciplinary research projects in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management the tropics. He was involved in research in Central and South America, East Africa, and the Philippines.
His responsibilities as Director, School of Natural Resources concentrate on building alliances among agricultural, forestry and environmental interests to promote sustainable land management in Wisconsin. Activities include development of the Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative, a farmer-led initiative that promotes improved economic and environmental performance on Wisconsin farms and development of an agroecology curriculum in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Dr. McSweeney taught a lecture/laboratory course in pedology for undergraduates and beginning graduate students. He has developed a new freshman course in environmental studies, which was launched in Spring 1999. In 1992, he was awarded the Jung Excellence in Teaching Award by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Dr. McSweeney served as Chair of Division S-5 (Pedology) of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), SSSA representative to American Association for the Advancement of Science Geology/Geography Division and as Board Representative, Div, A-5, American Society of Agronomy. He has served as an associate editor of Soil Science Society of America Journal and currently serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief for Geoderma. He was elected SSSA Fellow in 1998.