University of the Philippines Los Baños

 

TedMendoza2015

              Dr. Teodoro C. Mendoza, Professor 12 and UP Scientist 1 at the Crop Science Cluster, College of Agriculture (CA-CSC), has bagged the Association of Agricultural Technology in Southeast Asia (AATSEA) Award for Agricultural Excellent Leader 2015.

               The Thailand-based organization of Southeast Asian scientists confirmed this through a letter to Dr. Mendoza dated Oct. 20, 2015. The awarding rites will take place during the 4th International Conference on Integration of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 27-28.

In his nomination letter, Dr. Leon O. Namuco, professor at the CA-CSC, emphasized Dr. Mendoza’s advocacy on organic and sustainable agriculture and highlighted his 30 years of experience in working with civil society to promote sustainable agriculture and rural development in both the upland and lowland areas. This includes his co-founding of the farmer-scientist partnership Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) in 1986. As of 2013, MASIPAG already has 30,000 farmer members and has collected and maintained more than 1,300 traditional rice varieties.

               “Dr. Mendoza is one of the leading advocates and practitioners of small-scale diversified organic agriculture in the Philippines. Having been born to a small farming household motivated him to do actual farming. He does not simply preach, but walks the talk,” explained Dr. Namuco.

As a faculty member, Dr. Mendoza has successfully instituted courses on farming systems, ecological agriculture, and the special topic on energetics of crop agriculture. He has published 71 papers, including 27 ISI journal articles. During his stint as its chair of the board of editors, the Philippine Journal of Crop Science received its ISI accreditation in 2009.

He represents the academic community to the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute. He has also been awarded with the SEARCA Professorial Chair for AY 2015-2016. In 2010, the Climate Change Commission bestowed upon him the Fr. Neri Satur Award for Environmental Heroism.

Dr. Mendoza earned his BS Agriculture and MS Agronomy from UPLB in 1976 and 1979, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D. in Agronomy from UPLB and the University of Florida, USA in 1985. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)

 

 

ClimateChange2015

“Let us take full advantage of this occasion in providing a platform that further enhances our regional collaboration so that we could better respond to the risks of climate change,” UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. urged the participants of the Workshop on Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia.  

Chancellor Sanchez made this call to action in his opening message to delegates from Southeast Asian countries and India during the final planning workshop of the project entitled “Enhancing Local Level Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia (Phase 1).”

The workshop, held on Oct. 14-15 at Hotel Jen Manila, aimed to provide the basis for developing the project’s Phase 2.

The project is a collaborative undertaking of the ASEAN-India Green Fund and the Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Institute of University Kebangsaan Malaysia with 10 ASEAN member states namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to Dr. Ampai Harakunarak, assistant director-head of the environment section of the Socio-cultural Community Department of the ASEAN Secretariat, “the project aims to conduct a needs assessment and scoping study to identify the needs of ASEAN member states in terms of climate change and develop a regional ASEAN-India work programme and network on climate change adaptation.”

Dr. Juan M. Pulhin, faculty member at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of UPLB, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will implement the scoping study for the Philippines.

During the workshop, Albert Magalang of the DENR presented the results of the climate change needs and priorities in the Philippines while Dr. Pulhin presented the academic perspectives for climate change adaptation. Dr. Pulhin also co-moderated a session on plans in ASEAN climate change adaptation and networking.

Present in the workshop were Filipino delegates Atty. Jonas R. Leones, undersecretary for environment and international environment affairs of the DENR; Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, country coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre; and Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, executive director of Project NOAH and a geology professor at UP Diliman.

Dr. Joy Jacqueline Pereira, ASEAN project coordinator, and Prof. N.H. Ravindranath of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies of the Indian Institute of Science, served as workshop conveners.

The workshop was co-organized by UPLB through the Interdisciplinary Study Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (IdSC-INREM), UP Diliman through the National Institute of Geological Sciences, DENR through the Environmental Management Bureau, and the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)

MNavasero2015

Mario Navasero, Scientist 1 at the Crop Protection Cluster of the College of Agriculture, was declared semi-finalist/regional winner in the 2015 Hero ang Public Servant Dangal ng Bayan Award of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Region IV. Navasero was presented the award in ceremonies on Oct. 20 at the CSC Region IV office in Quezon City.

This is the second award Navasero received this year, the first being the UPLB Outstanding Researcher Award given during the Foundation Day celebration of UPLB on March 4.

Navasero, along with his colleagues, Marcela M. Navasero and Dr. Bonifacio F. Cayabyab, discovered an encrytid parasitoid, a safe alternative to the use of chemicals to control coconut scale insect (CSI). The encyrtid  parasitiod, which is CSI’s main biological control agent, functions by parasitizing the adult CSI, leading to its not non-reproduction and death.

He has also contributed information on other insect pests such as Brontispa, black army worm, and Spodoptera exempta. Navasero is also involved in the study of non-target organisms for Bt-eggplant. He evaluates and analyzes the risks and attests to the safety of a technology. The information he provides is one of the regulatory requirements in the registration and commercialization of the crop.

He is currently working with one of the biggest exporters of coconut products, helping maintain the organic status of the products by providing biological control solutions to manage pests of coconut in their production sites.

Navasero is a prolific writer and has been conducting original researches that have produced significant findings. He has produced 29 journal articles, three semi-technical papers, two manuals, nine leaflets, 25 papers, 47 posters presented at scientific conventions. He has received eight UP International Publication Awards for his papers that were published in ISI and Scopus-Indexed journals. He was conferred Scientist I rank under the Civil Service Commission in 2013. The Philippine Association of Entomologists awarded him the 2014 L.B. Uichanco Memorial Award as outstanding entomologist.

With Navasero during the awarding rites was Dr. Susan Calumpang, assistant vice chancellor for research and extension, who nominated him for the award.  (Maribeth C. Jadina)

 

 

 

 

UPLB served as a venue of the technical tour component of the 6th Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PSSTI 6) on August 12.

Dignitaries from APEC member economies visited UPLB and learned about its research programs on addressing food security in the country, as well as that of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.

PSSTI 6 runs from August 10-12 and is one of the series of APEC activities being hosted by the country this year. In a message by Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo during the PSSTI opening at the Philippine International Convention Center, he said that PSSTI “serves as a venue for formulating S&T-based policy recommendations and concrete actions to enhance the capacity for and promote an environment conducive to innovation” among APEC member economies. (JPA Aquino, with reports from apec2015.ph releases)

 

 

UPLB has just concluded its first Academic Leadership Conference (ALC) at the Subic Holiday Villas, which Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. said is part of UPLB’s effort to set the bar of academic excellence higher, to move the benchmark beyond Philippine shores and to remain progressive, relevant and globally competitive as a research and graduate university.

 

In his keynote speech at the ALC themed “Pathways to a globally competitive research and graduate University,” UP President Alfredo E. Pascual said that only an internationally oriented research and graduate university can provide the specialized knowledge, innovation, and postgraduate mentoring that our nation needs to compete in the global economy.

 

The ALC was power- and information-packed with thought leaders sharing their knowledge and experiences on global competitiveness for research and graduate universities. In essence, these thought leaders from the National University of Singapore and the UP System, as well as a national scientist and academicians of the National Academy of Science and Technology, said that leadership and governance are the keys toward making a University globally competitive in the higher and graduate education and in the research arena.

 

In her talk on “The UP Faculty: a national treasure and wealth,” UP Vice President Giselle Concepcion highlighted the potentials of harnessing UP’s high-caliber manpower through leading, living and giving, or through research and creative work, teaching and mentoring, and public service  functions respectively.

 

Two speakers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) talked about academic leadership. Dr. N. Varaprasad, also a partner and principal consultant of the Singapore Education Consulting Group, discussed how leaders treat change and the need for leaders to implement reforms. He said that we must embrace change and reforms and that this requires a leader who is a visionary of future needs. On the other hand, Dr. N. Lakshminaryanan Samavedham, director of the NUS Centre for Development of Learning and Teaching, said that the University must provide an enabling  culture for excellence through active learning. Dr. Grace Alfonso, UPOU chancellor, demonstrated how academic leaders can use technology to transform pedagogy and connectivity – and democratize as well as internationalize learning.

 

A panel discussion on “Academic Leadership and University Governance: Looking Back, Moving Forward” capped the first day of the conference. Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias, vice chancellor for community affairs, facilitated the discussion with top caliber science educators and administrators on internationalization, research and development policies and linkages, and faculty profile improvement. The panelists were Dr. Dolores Ramirez, national scientist; Dr. William Padolina, academician; Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina, former UP Open University chancellor and current president of the Centro Escolar University; and Dr, Carmencita David-Padillia, academician and UP Manila chancellor.

 

The second day of the UPLB ALC provided as many gems of information as the first day did with resource persons sharing their experiences as mentors, researchers, research administrators, and recipients of outstanding teacher awards. The talks fueled up the two discussion sessions that ensued among the participants and with University leaders.

 

The first session, “Promoting the Culture of Excellence Through Teaching” by Dr. John Florencio Lapeña, Jr., University Scientist III at UP Manila, focused on effective mentoring; understanding the mentoring process; actions of effective mentors; and the differences between mentoring vs. coaching. 

 

Dr. Lapeña’s talk set the tone for the panel discussion on teaching excellence that was facilitated by Prof. Jerry Yapo, a faculty member at the Department of Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences. The discussants, namely: Dr. Virginia C. Cuevas, Dr. Merlyn S. Mendioro, Prof. Rolando G. Panopio, Prof. Jeanette B. Madamba, and Dr. Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo had all received the Outstanding Teacher Award from UPLB. They shared their experiences and best practices for effective mentoring. The panel also engaged the participants and administrators in a discussion of concerns and issues related to providing an enabling atmosphere for effective mentoring.

 

The second speaker, Dr. Mark Gregory Robson, professor in plant biology and pathology at the Rutgers University, presented their innovative graduate degree program, the Professional Science Master’s (PSM). The PSM, which is interdisciplinary in character, emphasizes effective communication and problem solving, and provides an understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and technical innovation.

 

Dr. Philip Ian P. Padilla, who talked about the role of a faculty regent in ensuring the welfare of faculty members, also discussed initiatives and plans to increase the honorarium for undergraduate theses advising; the possibility of having  hazard pay and a harmonized promotion instrument; and collaborations in academic, research, and public service across campuses.

 

Academician and UPLB Professor Emeritus Salcedo Eduardo gave recommendations on how UPLB could strengthen the culture of research and publication in UPLB.  According to him, a research culture ensures continuity of the research process among the students and the research community. 

 

A panel discussion on strengthening the culture of research and publication followed with Dr. Aaron Joseph Vilaraza, deputy director of the UP Office of International Linkages; Dr. Juan Pulhin, UP Scientist; and former USec for Science and Technology Fortunato dela Peña as panelists. The discussion that was facilitated by Dr. Jaine Reyes focused on research productivity in UP and how the UP can nurture an environment that fosters R&D productivity.

 

On the third day of the ALC, Dr. J. Prospero De Vera III, UP vice president for public affairs, gave a talk on how the University could push the frontiers of its public service engagement. According to him, the Unversity should learn to integrate its public service efforts for better impact as well as document and move for public service at UP to be known and recognized.

 

The ALC, organized by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, led by Dr. Portia Lapitan with Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr., Graduate School dean and program coordinator, is the first of a series for UPLB. UPLB officials had already participated in ALCs held by the UP System and the National University of Singapore.  

 

(Photo courtesy of Lucas Cabalse)