Columbus, OHIO–Asmita Murumkar has been hired as field specialist, ecosystem services for Ohio State University Extension in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
Murumkar, who previously served as a research scientist in the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE), began her new position July 1, said Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, associate dean and director, OSU Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES.
“In this important position, Asmita will provide vital leadership for a comprehensive applied ecosystems services program with an emphasis on carbon research and Extension outreach for agriculture and natural resources in Ohio,” Wilkins said.
Murumkar will work with OSU Extension educators and other CFAES colleagues to provide education and training for Ohio landowners, students, and the general public about carbon markets, soil carbon, soil health improvements, water quality, and nutrient trading. She also will lead efforts to encourage and increase the use of sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices across all types of production systems and models of Ohio agriculture and natural resources.
“We are very pleased to have Asmita on board to contribute and collaborate with other university and industry researchers, faculty, and Extension educators,” said Sam Custer, interim assistant director, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension. “Her on-farm research, outreach education efforts, and scholarly work will help us help others to improve soil health, urban soil remediation, sustainable agriculture, and community food systems across the state.”
Murumkar said she looks forward to being a resource for Ohio farmers and producers, forest managers, landowners, industry leaders and professionals, Extension colleagues, and others on soil carbon and the whole area of ecosystems services and management.
“My primary focus will be on helping Ohio farmers to improve soil health, water quality, and agricultural productivity by assisting on payment-for-ecosystems-services schemes and providing guidance on conservation practices resiliency to handle extreme weather events,” she said. “These ecosystems services significantly impact the lives of Ohioans from farm to table.”
Prior to accepting this role, Murumkar’s work as a research scientist in FABE focused on leading several stakeholder-driven projects that included working with watershed models, analyzing agricultural best management practices (BMPs) and farm decision tools, and evaluating hydrologic models to determine BMPs impact on water quality.
Prior to that, she served as a postdoctoral scholar within FABE, a postdoctoral researcher at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State, and as a research fellow in the Department of Hydrology at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India.
Murumkar joins other OSU Extension field specialists, who each have a particular subject matter focus and provide overall leadership for a comprehensive teaching and applied research program to address statewide issues. Field specialists work to expand existing partnerships, develop new relationships, and foster collaborations across the state, including with university researchers, to complement local Extension educators’ efforts.
Other topics addressed by Extension field specialists include beef cattle; community economics; agronomic systems; farm management; food, nutrition, and wellness; energy development; manure nutrient management systems; agricultural and resource law; food safety; youth nutrition and wellness; family wellness; organizational and community leadership development; and dairy management and precision livestock.
“Please join OSU Extension in welcoming Asmita Murumkar to this new field specialist role, which is important to the continuing success of Ohio’s agricultural production industry and natural resources throughout the state,” Wilkins said. “Her support of all Extension professionals also will be a valuable tool in our work for all Ohioans.”