2012 Kenneth A. Spencer Award

Sponsored by the ACS Kansas City Section

Co-Sponsored by AGRO & AGFD

Dr. James N. Seiber, a native of Missouri, received his degrees in chemistry from Bellarmine College (Louisville, KY), Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) and Utah State University (Logan, Utah). He has held positions as a research scientist at Dow Chemical Company (Midland MI and Walnut Creek, CA). He was a faculty member at the University of California Davis, Department of Environmental Toxicology, from 1969 to 1992, where he served as Professor and Department Chair, and as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He was founding director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1992, where he initiated a multidisciplinary program of research and graduate education in Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Health and Environmental Engineering.

He joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in 1998 as Director of the Western Regional Research Center (WRRC) in Albany, CA. He oversaw scientists working in eight research units: Exotic and Invasive Weeds, Produce Safety and Health, Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering, Processed Foods, Crop Improvement and Utilization, Plant Mycotoxins, Genomics and Gene Discovery, and Foodborne Contaminants. He was responsible for the development and implementation of food safety and biobased product initiatives at the WRRC. He also served as Acting Director of the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center and Southern Regional Research Center, and earlier in his career worked at the International Rice Research Center in the Philippines.

Dr. Seiber returned to academic life as interim Chair (2009 – 2011) for the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis. He continues his affiliation at UC Davis as an emeritus Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In the latter capacity he oversees manuscript flow and decisions regarding acceptance of manuscripts by the 11 person corps of Associate Editors located in North American, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Dr. Seiber’s research recognized in the Spencer Award is in the area of environmental transport and fate of pesticides and other contaminants, where the bulk of his work and that of 40-plus graduate students and research associates he has coordinated resides. A particular area of interest of his has been the role of the atmosphere in contaminant cycling in the environment. Seiber received the AGRO Fellow Award in 1988 and the ACS International Award for Research in Agrochemicals in 1999. In 2010, Dr. Seiber was named an ACS Fellow.