Dr. Walter T. Bowen

Walter T. Bowen is currently Director of IFAS Global (formerly known as IFAS International Programs) in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida. This office provides administrative leadership and support for international activities in the teaching, research, and outreach mission areas of IFAS.

Walter is a soil scientist with a truly global portfolio of research and administrative experience.  Walter earned his Ph.D. and M.S. at Cornell University, in Agronomy and Soil Science, with minors in agricultural economics and plant genetics. Walter’s dissertation research was conducted in Brazil. His B.S. in plant sciences came from Clemson University.

Before joining the IIFAS Global, Walter served as the resident representative and senior scientist for IFDC:  An International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development, Asia Division, located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  In Bangladesh, he coordinated agricultural research and development throughout IFDC’s Asia region. Examples of the work he did there include leadership of a multi-disciplinary team in a regional project designed to reduce poverty and environmental degradation. 

This multi-disciplinary project was accomplished through distribution of information about more efficient and environmentally friendly nutrient management innovation in rice-based cropping systems.  The project included extensive on-farm activities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and all work was closely coordinated with national research and extension services, universities, farmer groups, and NGO partners.

Prior to his Bangladesh assignment, Walter served as Program Leader and Senior Scientist for soil fertility and systems analysis in IFDC’s Soil and Nutrient Dynamics Program, conducting resource development in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  He served in that capacity from July 2002 to April 2004.  He also served at the Muscle Shoals facility from 1992-1996 as a scientist with soil fertility and systems analysis research and development responsibilities. 

From 1990 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2002, Walter held a joint appointment between IFDC and the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima, Peru and Quito, Ecuador, respectively.  This is not Walter’s first experience as a “Gator,” as he did postdoctoral associate work and held a visiting assistant professorship in UF/IFAS between 1990 and 1992 and in 1989, respectively.  He also held a position as senior research associate and on-site coordinator for EMBRAPA and the Cornell University TropSoils Project, based in Brasilia and Manaus, Brazil between 1986 and 1989.  Walter has also worked as an interviewer and caseworker in the Indochinese Resettlement Program, Refugee Affairs Office, at the American Embassy in Malaysia for refugees from Vietnam.

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