Rattan Lal is to receive the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation's 2017 Sustained Achievement Award. The award, to be presented Nov. 15 at the annual meeting of the RNRF Board of Directors in Potomac, Maryland, recognizes a long-term contribution and commitment to the protection and conservation of natural resources by an individual.
During his 50-year career Lal studied sustainable intensification and climate-resilience of agroecosystems, working to advance global food and nutritional security through soil health management, carbon sequestration, and erosion control. Lal has advanced soil resources science through his extensive accomplishments as a researcher and mentor. He has written 818 journal articles, 485 book chapters, 16 books, and has given 425 keynote presentations on the sustainable management of world soils.
In addition to teaching two classes at Ohio State, he has mentored 106 graduate students, 55 post-doctoral researchers, and 156 visiting scholars from around the world.
He has worked with the U.S. Senate to approve Soil Resolution 208 (2008) and has witnessed six congressional hearings regarding soil resources and carbon sequestration. Furthermore, Lal has worked with several heads of state, including the President of Bangladesh (2007-2008), the President of Iceland (2006-2010), Vice President Al Gore (2010-2015), the former Secretary of the Environment of Germany (2010-2015) and the French Minister of Agriculture (2015) to help translate soil science to actionable policies.
Lal is currently a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science at Ohio State and serves as the president of the International Union of Soil Sciences, representing 60,000 scientists.