A UF/IFAS forest biologist is among the authors of a new Association of Public and Land-grant Universities report that outlines six “grand challenges” facing the U.S. in the areas of sustainability, water, climate change, agriculture, energy and education.

The report, called “Science, Education and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources,” recommends a series of research, education and outreach activities to meet the challenges over the next decade.

Tim Martin, a professor in tree physiology with the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, was part of a 35-member team of scientists who authored the roadmap with feedback from researchers at public land-grant institutions across the country.

“Because of their three-part focus on Extension, education and research, public land-grant universities are uniquely suited to addressing complex societal problems like the sustainable management of our natural resources in a changing world,” Martin said in a news release announcing the roadmap’s release.

The six “grand challenges” the report addresses include:

Sustainability – The need to conserve and manage natural landscapes and maintain environmental quality while optimizing renewable resource productivity to meet increasing human demands for natural resources, particularly water, food and energy.

Water – The need to restore, protect and conserve watersheds for biodiversity, water resources, pollution reduction and water security.

Climate change – The need to understand the impacts of climate change on our environment, including disease transmission, air quality, water supply, ecosystems, fire, species survival and pest risk.

Agriculture – The need to develop a sustainable, profitable and environmentally responsible agriculture industry.

Energy – The need to identify new and alternative renewable energy sources and improve the efficiency of existing renewable resource-based energy to meet increasing energy demands while reducing the ecological footprint of energy production and consumption.

Education – The need to maintain and strengthen natural resources education at our schools at all levels to have the informed citizenry, civic leaders and practicing professions needed to sustain the country’s natural resources.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored the report through a grant to Oregon State University.

Founded in 1887, APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization that represents 235 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations.