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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Three new faculty join SENR

Aug. 14, 2023
Photo of Jim, Natasha, and Manbir

The School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) is excited to welcome three new faculty to the faculty ranks with expertise in environmental soil health, environmental social science and soil fertility and nutrient management. These faculty will lead and contribute to SENR's exemplary teaching, research and Ohio State University Extension programs and build partnerships to extend reach, engagement and impact.

Meet our new faculty

Photos of Jim, Natasha, and Manbir

Jim Ippolito joins SENR as Professor of Soil Health.  I am a professor of environmental soil health. My 30-plus year career has focused on improving environmental soil fertility/chemistry/microbiology/soil health within agricultural, shortgrass steppe, grazed, burned, and metal-contaminated mined-land ecosystems. My research program connects the intimate linkages between soil macro- and micro-nutrients, trace and heavy metals, microbiological activity, and soil physical attributes, and how these factors combine to influence ecosystem sustainability, resiliency, food, climate and environmental security.

Natasha Myhal joins SENR as Assistant Professor of Indigenous Environmental Studies.  Boozhoo! I am an environmental social scientist with an emphasis on Native American and Indigenous studies. I am an enrolled citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. I was previously at Yale University as the Henry Roe Cloud Dissertation Fellow. I hold a PhD in Critical Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder and a MA in Indigenous Studies from the University of Kansas.I utilize Indigenous research methodologies to conceptualize my research on Odawa-nmé (lake sturgeon) relationships and how Anishinaabe ways of knowing, such as bimaadiziwin (living well), can unify and restore balance to their non-human relatives. My research calls attention to Indigenous restoration programs—in all their complex social, political, and scientific realms—as key sources for formulating responses to climate change.

Manbir Rakkar joins SENR as Assistant Professor of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management.  I was born and raised in Punjab, India. I completed my PhD in agronomy with a specialization in soil and water sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have diverse research experience and have worked on topics such as evaluating potassium fertilizer recommendations, soil ecosystem services in integrated crop-livestock system, soil health under annual and perennial cropping systems and soil acidification in semi-arid environments. My research aims to unveil the complex soil dynamics, understand interactions of soil processes, and resolve soil issues using inter-disciplinary approaches. Due to my research background in soil physics, chemistry, and biology, I evaluate all phases of soil to develop holist best management practices for a range of crop-soil systems. In addition to research, I engage in extension activities to disseminate research findings, learn about regional agricultural concerns, and execute farmer-oriented research projects to develop sustainable and vibrant agriculture systems.