CMU Vice President provides training for Haitian agronomists

David Weindorf, Ph.D., provided instruction for Haitian agronomists on state-of-the-art technology new to the country

| Author: Hadlee Rinn | Media Contact: Kara Owens

David Weindorf, Ph.D., the Vice President for Research and Innovation at CMU, took a leading role in training Haitian agronomists to utilize new scientific equipment. The Association Zanmi Agrikol (AZA) secured a grant to purchase a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer which allows analysts to determine the elemental composition of soil, vegetation, or water in approximately one minute. Additionally, AZA purchased a NixPro color sensor which is used to quantify organic matter in soils. The data from the instruments can then be used to map the variability of soil across a farm field which informs precise land management for maximum productivity.   

 Weindorf has worked with the AZA team in Haiti for about a decade providing agronomic support and consultation. After receiving the new equipment, AZA Executive Director Reginald Cean reached out to Weindorf to provide on-site training for his staff and students. Weindorf then spent a few days in Haiti providing instruction on how to use the instruments and interpret data. The team developed a research paper with the data collected which is currently under peer review.  

 The instruments received are the first of their type in Haiti and represent a monumental technological advancement for the country. Weindorf says, “They are using state-of-the-art technology to improve agronomic production in service to their people. It also puts them more firmly on the scientific stage, whereby they can provide top quality data for publishing in research journals.”  

 At the conclusion of the training, Weindorf says, “The agronomists each thanked me personally, not only on behalf of themselves but on behalf of their country. It was truly heartwarming to help people who are so committed to learning and advancing.” 

This story is brought to you by the  Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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