Instrumental Access 2017
Nong Lam University: Department of Biotechnology
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Nong Lam University (NLU) was founded in 1955 with an original focus on agriculture, natural resource management, and veterinary medicine. In 2001, the Department of Biotechnology was established and has since been recognized by the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training as a regional training center for southern Vietnam. The department’s vision is to train professionals who can address problems facing the country, including adapting agricultural systems to accommodate climate change.
Areas of Research
Faculty research interests include clean energy production, environmental conservation, wastewater treatment, innovation in agriculture, and controlling carbon emissions.
Shoring Up Agriculture in a Changing Climate: Dr. Chung Nguyen
With over 2,000 miles of coastline, scientists in Vietnam are focused on the effects of global warming, especially for the low-lying regions of the Mekong River Delta where half the country’s food is grown.
Unlike many countries with inner farmlands, climate change is a significant threat to Vietnam’s farmers and a potential catastrophe for the economy, as much of world’s coffee, rice, and tea are sourced from areas threatened by briny waters and changing temperatures.
Dr. Chung Nguyen, a lecturer at NLU, hopes his research can mitigate these environmental challenges.
By investigating the moisture-retaining properties of soils in the Binh Thuan province, Dr. Nguyen is helping farmers use improved irrigation practices to hydrate drought-stricken black pepper crops. The next stage of the project involves developing smart technology for irrigation systems that will increase efficiency and save money for farmers.
Additionally, with British and Indonesian collaborators, Dr. Nguyen is working to quantify the environmental health of dense, carbon-capturing peatland forests, which are threatened by deforestation.
He hopes the data will incentivize farmers to minimize peatland destruction, inform government conservation policy, and help adjacent industries minimize their environmental impact while promoting climate-resilient development in the region.
Dr. Nguyen holds a PhD in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida.
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