Dr. Frank J. Coale’s career-long contributions in research, Extension education, teaching and service have been keenly focused and have had a lasting impact on better management of our agricultural ecosystems. His work has resulted in positive changes in agricultural best management practices, environmental preservation, policy development and citizen understanding. He has provided significant and lasting leadership in his roles as an academic department chair and through service in numerous professional organizations. Dr. Coale has exhibited a steadfast commitment to understanding the relationships between agricultural production and the wellbeing of the surrounding ecosystem. He has excelled in transferring that understanding into implementable on-farm management practices and development of science-based public policies.
Professor and Agricultural Nutrient Management Specialist (July 2002 – present), Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Director, Gemstone Program (July 2012 – present), Honors College, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Department Chair (July 2006 – May 2011), Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Department Chair (May 2005 – June 2006), Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Associate Professor and Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management Specialist (July 1993 – June 2002), University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Assistant Professor (September 1986-June 1991) and Associate Professor of Agronomy (July 1991 – July 1993), Extension Agronomist, University of Florida, Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, FL.
Service to Professional Societies
Reviewing activities for funding agencies
Service to stateand federal agencies
Early in his career, Dr. Coale established a keen investigative focus on soil phosphorus dynamics and the inter-relationships among agronomic production practices and phosphorus over-enrichment of surface water resources. While on the faculty of the University of Florida, Dr. Coale published an important series of papers on studies that investigated phosphorus in drainage water from sugarcane production on Histosols surrounding the fragile Everglades ecosystem.
After moving to the University of Maryland, Dr. Coale continued his investigative focus on soil phosphorus dynamics and applied his science to the study of on-farm nutrient management for efficient agronomic production and water quality protection in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Dr. Coale’s career-long dedication to new discovery and rigorous quantification of the impact of agronomic production practices on phosphorus transport to threatened water resources has resulted in the adoption of on-farm best management practices, has influenced and guided public policy development, and has provided the scientific underpinnings essential for crafting reasonable mandated regulations. Dr. Coale has supported his research with a steady stream of funding from a wide variety of sources. He has been the Principal Investigator for grants totaling $3.5 million and, overall, has been an active participant in over 50 grants funded for a total of $13.1 million. Of this total, $6.6 million was awarded for 14 grants from national competitive grant programs.
Living with TMDLs (.ppt presentation)
Dr. Coale also has contributed substantially in the area of formal classroom teaching and student education. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Coale has taught four different courses, multiple times, over the past 19 years. He has served as the faculty mentor to an undergraduate research team in the University’s Gemstone Program and was awarded the Outstanding Gemstone Mentor Award in 2006, while his senior advisees won the Outstanding Team Thesis Award. Dr. Coale has been actively engaged in graduate student advising and has served on 17 MS advisory committees, 6 as major professor/research director, and 12 PhD advisory committees, 1 as major professor/research director.
Dr. Coale has served as Department Chair for two different academic departments at the University of Maryland. After an international search, Dr. Coale was appointed Chair of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture in 2005. In this role, he had administrative responsibility for management of teaching, research, and Extension programs in a discipline-diverse academic department of 45 faculty members. After one year, as the result of college reorganization, the new Department of Environmental Science and Technology was established. Dr. Coale was appointed as the inaugural Chair of a newly formed Department of Environmental Science and Technology and served in this capacity from 2006 to 2011. Dr. Coale was responsible for constructing new departmental structure; development and approval of new undergraduate and graduate academic programs; curriculum development; recruitment of faculty; administration of budget, personnel and facilities; management of teaching, research and Extension programs.
Dr. Coale also has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations. He has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (1988-1990), served on the Executive Committee of the Rice Technical Working Group (1990-1992) and Chairman of the Northeast Coordinating Committee on Soil Testing, NEC-67 (1994-1995 & 2002-2003). Dr. Coale has held several leadership positions in the Southern Regional Extension & Research Activity (SERA-17), including Secretary (1996-1997) and Chairman (1997-1998). Additionally, Dr. Coale provides leadership in state and federal agencies advisory committees. He serves as Science Advisor for the State of Maryland, Office of the Governor, Governor’s BayStat Advisory Committee (2008-2012) and Governor’s Bay Cabinet (2008-2012). Dr. Coale provides a tremendous amount of leadership and technical support to the U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program through serving as Chair of the Agricultural Workgroup (2010-2012) and as a member of the overarching Water Quality Goal Implementation Team (2010-2012). He also currently serves as the Chair of the U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Programs Nutrient Management Technical Expert Panel.
Within the University of Maryland, Dr. Coale has held many leadership positions in addition to serving as Department Chair for six years. Most notably, he was Director of the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (1993-2003), served as Search Committee Chair for the new Assistant Director of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service (1995-1996), Chaired the Blue Ribbon Review Panel for the Maryland Institute of Applied Agriculture (2008), was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center (2007-2009), and Chair and Co-Chair of the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure (APT) Committee for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (2011-2013).
The primary area of focus of Dr. Coale’s Extension Education program has been professional technical training. He is a lead educator for the Maryland Agricultural Nutrient Management Program and has been an active member of the teaching team for the Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School. Dr. Coale also provides technical training for professionals within the University of Maryland Extension system and numerous public agencies, the agricultural industry and environmental preservation groups. Since 1993, Dr. Coale has taught over 300 technical training sessions as part of his University of Maryland Extension Specialist activities. A second area of focus of Dr. Coale’s Extension Education program is conducting educational programs for farmers and the general citizenry. Dr. Coale has been invited to present science-based agronomic production information at over 130 public events since 1993. All of these educational presentations were invited by the program organizing committees. The sheer number these invited grass-roots presentations is indicative of presentation quality, applicability, and reception by the target audiences. Demonstrating field research in action stimulates community interest, fosters adoption of new practices and garners support from the end-users of the applied research. Dr. Coale has provided in-the-field demonstration of agronomic management practices at over 50 farm field day events as part of his Extension Specialist activities at the University of Maryland. Typically, field day tour presentations are invited by the program organizing committees and a very limited number of presentations are included in a single tour. Therefore, consistent inclusion in field tours is recognition of the excellent educational value of Dr. Coale’s Extension program. Additionally, Dr. Coale has served on a large number of technical advisory committees to local, state and federal agencies including USDA, USEPA, Maryland Department of Agriculture, and the Maryland Governor’s Office. Providing technical guidance to policy makers and regulating agencies accelerates the infusion of sound science into policy development and is a highly effective mode of Extension education.