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The 2022 Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist award goes to Sheri Spiegal, a research rangeland management specialist at the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Range Management Research Unit in Las Cruces. Spiegal is being recognized for her collaborative, systems-level research on nutrient management and holistic agricultural indicator systems.
Spiegal’s research develops and evaluates strategies to increase sustainability of beef and dairy production systems across entire supply chains. Her work applies the concept of “telecoupling,” or relationships between systems over long distances, to solving supply chain problems in beef and dairy systems.
Spiegal co-leads the “manureshed” initiative within the USDA's Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network, bringing together multi-disciplinary collaborators in the United States and Canada. The manureshed uses her concepts of telecoupling to recycle excess nutrients associated with livestock production, minimizing manure transport distance from barn to cropland while maximizing environmental and socioeconomic outcomes.