Board Member Biographies

Michael A. Grusak

Chair
Crop Science Society of America
USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Dr. Mike Grusak is a USDA, Agricultural Research Service scientist and the Center Director of the Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, North Dakota. He leads a program consisting of five research units where scientists encompass expertise ranging from crop plants to insects to food safety. The Center's broad mission is to solve problems that will help farmers produce a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply. Prior to his appointment as Center Director in 2017, Dr. Grusak served as a Research Plant Physiologist at the USDA-ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston, TX and a Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He joined the CNRC in 1990 to develop an interdisciplinary program to link plant science and production agriculture with human nutrition concerns. His research involves understanding ways to enhance the nutritional quality of plant foods for human or animal consumption. His group also has contributed to clinical investigations by providing stable isotope-labeled plant material to study nutrient bioavailability and metabolism in humans. Dr. Grusak received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of California-Davis. His research has been funded by USDA, NSF, NIH, the US Agency for International Development, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2016, he served as President of the Crop Science Society of America.

 

Donna J. Nelson

Chair-Elect
American Chemical Society
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Nelson has held several leadership positions in academia (such as Faculty Fellow in the OU Provost's Office) and in professional societies (such as 2016 American Chemical Society President, focusing on and guided by communities in chemistry). Nelson served as science advisor to the AMC television show Breaking Bad.

Nelson has written over 200 research-related publications and has given hundreds of invited presentations to national meetings of professional societies and organizations, universities, and radio and TV programs. She has won many awards and honors, including the Guggenheim Award, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, ACS Fellow, NSF Special Creativity Extension, National Organization for Women "Woman of Courage" Award, Ford Foundation Fellow, Fulbright Scholarship, and NSF ADVANCE Leadership Award. She was named one of the "70 Most Inspirational Women Leaders Impacting the World" by Business.org in 2018 and among "These 12 Texas Women Made History" by UT Austin in 2021.

Lisa Keefe

Lisa Keefe

Past Chair
American Crystallographic Association
Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute

Dr. Keefe is a biophysicist whose work focuses on accelerating drug discovery through synchrotron-based structural biology. She is Vice President for Advancing Therapeutics at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) in Buffalo, NY, and Director of the Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association – Collaborative Access Team (IMCA-CAT) located at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. At IMCA-CAT, her work is aimed at implementing state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches at the macromolecular crystallography beamline in order to leverage the power of synchrotron radiation for structure-based drug design. Through her leadership, IMCA-CAT has developed into a world-class research facility for the pharmaceutical industry.

A graduate of Vassar College, Dr. Keefe earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry with certification from the American Chemical Society. She holds a doctoral degree in Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Upon completing her doctorate, she was awarded a Department of Energy Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, working jointly with Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Dr. Keefe is an active member of the American Crystallographic Association, serving on Council as Past President (2019), President (2018), Vice President (2017), and Secretary (2003-2008). She currently serves as consultant to the International Union of Crystallography, Commission on Synchrotron and XFEL Radiation

 

Patricia Simmons

Secretary
American Association for the Advancement of Science
National Science Teaching Association

Patricia Simmons currently serves as the Director of STEM Special Initiatives at the NSTA. Prior to this position, she completed a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016-2018), working in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. Academic positions have included Professor and Head of the Department of STEM Education at North Carolina State University, the Orthwein Professorship of Life-long Learning in the Sciences at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Professor at the University of Georgia, and High School Science Teacher in Missouri. Much of her scholarship has focused on the role of technology as viable and valuable learning and research tools in science education, and more recently on policy in science and in STEM education. Her professional contributions include more than 200 publications and presentations at international and national meetings in science and STEM education (i.e., World Conference on Computers in Education, International Federation for Information Processing, Australian Science Education Association, AAAS, NARST, AERA, NCTM, among many others). Simmons was awarded over $50 million in externally funded federal and private grants for research, teacher education, and education projects. Simmons served as Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, President of the National Science Teachers Association, and President of the Association for Science Teacher Education. She received awards for excellence in teaching and in science education at UGA (Lily Teaching Fellowship), UMSL (Outstanding Faculty), ASTE (Outstanding Science Teacher Educator), and NSTA (two Gustav Ohaus Awards for Outstanding College Science Teaching), and the NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education.

Joseph Ferrara

Treasurer
American Crystallographic Association
Rigaku Americas Corp

Dr. Ferrara has spent the last 30 years developing hardware and software tools for X-ray crystallography and X-ray imaging for the research community. He is currently Chief Science Officer, Rigaku Americas Corp and Vice President, X-ray Research Laboratory, Rigaku Corporation. Dr. Ferrara is a member and past chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the BioTech Institute of the Lone Star Community College System. Dr. Ferrara is the President of the America Crystallographic Association and the Books Editor for ACA RefleXions. Dr. Ferrara is also a Texas State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association certified firefighter and National Registry Emergency Medical Responder. He has been a member of Timber Lakes Volunteer Fire Department for over 25 years and Treasurer for 15 years.

Dr. Ferrara received both his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He conducted undergraduate research in ion cyclotron resonance under Prof. R. C. Dunbar while his graduate research focused on physical organometallic chemistry under Prof. Wiley C. Youngs. Upon completing his doctorate in 1988, he joined Molecular Structure Corporation, which became a subsidiary of Rigaku Corporation in 1996.

John Downing

Member-at-Large
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
Minnesota Sea Grant

John Downing is Director of Minnesota Sea Grant College Program, and a past-president of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO). As a past Chair of the CSSP Executive Board he participated in visits to Congress on behalf of CSSP and as a member of the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies. He was a Regent's Excellence Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, and the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. He is Chair of the Environmental Science Graduate Program. He is also an adjunct professor at Itasca Community College where he is helping create a water quality technology program to provide employment opportunities to students in an economically depressed region. His research interests include limnology, aquatic ecology, terrestrial ecology, microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, population conservation, and whole ecosystem restoration and management. He has advised many policy-makers and citizens groups concerning water resources, global change, and global carbon cycling as well as science policy, and science education, and is a frequent consultant to firms and boards regionally, nationally, and internationally. He was formerly a professor at McGill University and the University of Montreal where he was Director of the Laurentian Biological Station and Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council panel on Environment, Evolution & Ecology

G. Warfield "Skip" Hobbs

Member-at-Large
Ammonite Resources
American Association of Petroleum Geologists

G. Warfield "Skip" Hobbs is a professional geologist with 50 years of global petroleum, geothermal and mineral exploration and development experience. He is the managing partner of Ammonite Resources, a geotechnical and natural resource business advisory firm based in New Canaan, Connecticut. Prior to founding Ammonite in 1982, Hobbs worked internationally as an exploration geologist for Texaco and Amerada Hess. Hobbs holds a B.Sc. degree in Geology from Yale College, and a M.Sc. degree in Petroleum Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London. From 1982-1989 he was on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Madre Foundation for Geological Research, an organization formerly sponsored by Yale, Harvard and Cornell Universities. Skip served as the American representative on the board of the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation in Field, British Columbia between 2002 and 2008. He was the elected Secretary (1993-1995) of the then 33,000 member American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and was President of the AAPG Division of Professional Affairs in 2000-2001. Hobbs served from 2004-2012 on the Executive Committee of the American Geological Institute (AGI), a federation of 51 geoscience professional societies representing over 250,000 members in every earth science discipline. He was AGI President in 2010-2011. He is a registered professional geologist in the states of Texas and Pennsylvania. Skip is an external adviser to the Geosciences Department of the University of Connecticut. Hobbs is an Honorary Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. In his spare time, he manages a family farm in Massachusetts where he raises organically grown vegetables, bees and grass-fed heritage beef cattle. He is the past-president of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Associates, and a past-president of the New Canaan Nature Center. Skip writes and lectures frequently on energy, energy economics, sustainability, and climate policy. 

Lucinda Johnson

Member-at-Large
Society for Freshwater Science
University of Minnesota-Duluth

Dr. Lucinda B. Johnson is an aquatic and landscape ecologist whose research focuses on the impacts of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems with emphasis on human activities (e.g., land use) and climate change. Another area of particular interest is in science communication especially to the public. To that end, Johnson and colleagues have recently developed a digital atlas for the state of Minnesota to provide non-technical users access to spatial data and information that can be used for natural resource planning and management. Johnson is the Director of Research, Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota Duluth where she also leads the Water Research Group. Johnson currently serves on the International Joint Commission's Science Advisory Board and is vice chair of the Executive Committee for EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors. Johnson grew up in Puerto Rico, and lives in Duluth MN; she received a BA degree from Duke University, an MS in Entomology from SUNY School of environmental Science and Forestry, and a PhD in Zoology from Michigan State University. She served as the President of the Association for Ecosystem Research Centers from 2011-2013, and the Society for Freshwater Science, a CSSP member, from 2010-2011.

Jennifer Tank

Member-at-Large
Society for Freshwater Science
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Jennifer Tank is the Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, and Director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI). Dr. Tank is a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist who studies how nutrients and particles move through streams and rivers, with a focus on restoration and conservation efforts that improve the structure and function of flowing waters. Her research informs management and policy of freshwaters especially around water quality in agricultural landscapes. Her federally-funded research program includes grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency. She currently serves as an associate editor for two journals: Biogeochemistry and Limnology & Oceanography Letters. Dr. Tank is also committed to science leadership and translation, which grew out of her participation as a 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow. Most recently, she was the 2018-19 President of the Society for Freshwater Science, is a AAAS Elected Council Delegate for Agriculture, Food & Renewable Resources Section, and recently served on a panel for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) on "Future Water Resource Needs for the Nation". Her goal is to improve the health of streams and rivers draining croplands of the Midwest through effective watershed-scale conservation.

April Ulery

Member-at-Large
Soil Science Society of America
New Mexico State University

Dr. April Ulery became President of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in 2021. She is a Professor of Soil and Environmental Science in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department at New Mexico State University where she teaches and conducts research on phytoremediation and environmental soil chemistry and helps develop teaching animations that explain soil science concepts. Her research has been funded through the USDA, NASA, state agencies, and private companies. She earned her B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Redlands and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Soil Science from the University of California, Riverside. April is a Fellow of the SSSA and recipient of several teaching and mentoring awards, She has served on over 60 graduate student committees while at NMSU and mentored hundreds of undergraduates in Soil and Environmental Sciences.

Sharon Mosher

Alumni Member
American Geosciences Institute
The University of Texas at Austin

Sharon Mosher is the William Stamps Farish Chair and Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. She was Dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences (2009-2020), department chair (2007-2009) and on the faculty since 1978. Dr. Mosher's expertise is in structural geology, structural petrology, and tectonics. Since 2014 she has spearheaded two National Science Foundation sponsored initiatives, one on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education and since 2017 on graduate preparation for the workforce. Mosher was President of the American Geoscience Institute (AGI) in 2012-13, President of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in 2000-2001, and 2004 Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. She is a founder and past Chair of the Board for GeoScienceWorld, an international journal aggregation for geoscientists. She is the 2020 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medalist awarded by the American Geoscience Institute. In 2016 she was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. She is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 2003, an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London, and recipient of the Association of Women Geologists Outstanding Educator Award (1990). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1978 and M.Sc. from Brown University in 1975.

Hon. Haskell M. Pitluck, (Ret.)

Ethics/Legal Advisor

Hon. Haskell M. Pitluck, (Ret.) is a skilled mediator and arbitrator who garnered his extensive experience from serving as Circuit Judge, State of Illinois, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, McHenry County for 22 years.

 

 

 

 

Martin Apple

President & CEO Emeritus, R&D Director
American Institute of Chemists

Dr. Apple has pioneered areas of biochemistry, pharmaceutics, artificial intelligence, sustainable agriculture, systems of systems science, behavioral economics, green chemistry, teacher education and medicine. He initiated a world pioneering research institute in molecular genetics to improve yield and nutrient quality of food plants, led a program to one of the first patented computer-assisted receptor-based drug designs, discovered new molecular tools to modify gene regulation, designed pioneering injectable systems for specific delivery of any drug to a designated specific tissue, designed, engineered and led a team that built the pioneering model of a pocket-size artificial kidney dialysis machine, initiated and led a special team into pioneering new cyber-security strategies, and managed – led several national scale long term NSF-funded studies of science teacher education. He was instrumental in the startup of five high tech companies.

On the Congress-chartered National Agricultural Research, Econ., Education and Extension Board he chaired or coauthored reports and policy guidance for Congress and USDA Secretary on water, germplasm, genetics and rural economic development. He chaired a unique multi-campus multi-disciplinary frontier new drug research alliance of top Principal Investigators across the University of California system, coauthored several books on medical pharmacology, oncology, and biotechnology. He has worked in the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Australia, China, Mexico, Peru, Columbia, France, Germany and Greece. He initiated the first International Network of Asian Women Entrepreneurs.

He has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Univ. California — elected to University California-Berkeley Sigma Xi [Life Member] and elected president of the California Association of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a Fellow of Phi Beta Kappa, of American Institute Chemists, and of American College Clinical Pharmacology, is a US Member of the Bretton Woods Committee. He was named to California's 100 "Leaders of Tomorrow," by the 20,000 member Commonwealth Club of California, received the CSSP Support of Science Award, was Vice-Chair of Congressionally chartered East-West Center Assoc. and won its Citation for Leadership. He served two terms as Board of Visitors Chair of the Univ. Maryland Biotech. Institute and was Board Chair of the American Institute of Chemists. He coauthored the Business Advantage, an A-I strategic planning software program that won Software Publishers Association Award as Best Program in Higher Education.

Cindy Reed Paska

Executive Director
Council of Scientific Societies

As the Executive Director of the Council of Scientific Societies (CSSP), Paska views the broad spectrum of a diverse membership of scientists to work closely with the Board of Directors to successfully ensure the growth of future leaders in science.

With a background across industries, working closely with both nonprofit and for profit leaders, Paska has a proven record of bridging thinkers from multiple disciplines toward common goals. Through her intuitive perspective and ability to elicit new ways to view existing ideas and approaches, Ms. Paska's non-scientifically conforming thought process has opened pathways about projects that might not have been considered within standard scientific disciplinary development.

Paska holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University, Worcester, MA.