Center of Excellence


NREE Center logo

The College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University (TSU) will collaborate with Alabama A&M University, Southern University, Florida A&M University, and Langston University to host The 1 890 Center of Excellence for Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, and the Environment (COE-NREE): A Climate Smart Approach . The COE-NREE will be housed in the Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (IAGER) at Tennessee State University.

The COE-NREE’s primary goals and thrust areas are, 1) Natural Resource Management and Conservation, 2) Sustainable Energy and Agricultural Production, 3) Environmental Protection and Equity, and 4) Workforce Training and Development (Figure 1). These four multi-disciplinary t hrust a reas will coordinate and unify diverse participants via scholarly research, teaching , and Extension activities, and provide collaborative opportunities among 1890 institutions to tackle contemporary environmental issues that impact terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We will take a One Health approach to evaluate the collective impacts of climate change, land-use patterns , and water resource availability on ecosystem  integrity .



Our Goals:

1. Natural Resources Management and Conservation

2. Renewable Energy and Climate Smart Agriculture

3. Environmental Protection and Equity

4. Workforce Training and Development


What We Are Working On


Natural Resources Management and Conservation:

Coordinators – Drs. William Sutton and Yong Wang

Predictive Mapping of Plant Species as an Indicator of Forest Ecosystem Health: Dr. Bharat Pokharel

Forest and Wildlife Responses to Forest Management: Drs. William Sutton, Yong Wang, and Xiongwen Chen

Forest Structure and Vegetation Dynamics: Drs. Xiongwen Chen, Yong Wang, and William Sutton

Forest management impacts on carbon and nutrient turnover rates in hurricane-affected ecosystems under changing climatic conditions: Drs. Lucy Ngatia and Alfredo Lorenzo

Estimation and modeling of forest carbon storage dynamics disturbed with prescribed and forest thinning: Drs. Yong Wang and Xiongwen Chen



man working in field

Renewable Energy and Climate Smart Agriculture:

Coordinator: Dr. Chandra Reddy

Canola: Lead Scientist - Dr. Jason de Koff

Sweet Sorghum: Lead Scientist - Dr. Ahmad Aziz

Switch Grass: Lead Scientists - Dr. Dafeng Hui

Precision Agriculture: Lead Scientist - Dr. Clement Akumu

Crop Adaptation: Lead Scientist - Dr. Mathew Blair

Livestock Adaptation: Lead Scientist - Dr. Richard Browning

Aquaculture Adaptation: Lead Scientists - Dr. Malcolm McCallum and Dr. Kamal Gosh


Enviromental Protection and Equity:

Coordinators: Drs. De’Etra Young and Zhu Ning

Importance of Soil Organic Matter for Carbon Sequestration - lead scientist - Dr. Jianwei Li

Impact of Urban Forests for Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Reduction – Lead Scientist – Dr. Zhu Ning.

Prediction, early reporting, and impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms - lead scientist - Dr. Tom Byl

Climate Change Impacts to Water Quality and Quantity - Lead Scientist - Yaw Twumasi

Geospatial Analysis and Bioremediation: lead scientist - Dr. Reginald Archer

Soil Contamination: Lead Scientist - Dr. Sudipta Rakshit