University's weed specialist earns national award

Montana State University News Service
Farm Forum

BOZEMAN, Mont. — A Montana State University professor and MSU Extension specialist was recognized with a national award by the Weed Science Society of America last month for her excellence in outreach.

Jane Mangold, a professor in the department of land resources and environmental sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture, received the WSSA’s Outstanding Extension Award at the society’s virtual annual meeting in February. She was nominated by scientists and weed control specialists from around the university and state.

“I continue to be impressed with the energy and innovation Jane commits to her responsive and strong programming in weed science,” said Tracy Sterling, head of the department of land resources and environmental sciences. “She has truly integrated her research and Extension programming, which allows her to create relevant educational programs built upon her research questions.”

Mangold, who has been a part of the MSU faculty since 2008, leads MSU’s Integrated Invasive Plant Management Group and has presented at nearly 400 Extension programs across all 56 Montana counties. In addition to community education programs through Extension, she researches ecology and the management of invasive plants. Between Extension and research grants, she has managed more than $4 million in funding since she arrived at MSU.

“Dr. Mangold establishes productive collaborations that directly benefit the citizens of the state of Montana,” said Mary Burrows, associate director of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and director of the Schutter Diagnostic Lab, which works to identify plants and insects and educate the public about invasive species. “She has provided hands-on teaching opportunities to many thousands of individuals in our state ranging from homeowners to county weed coordinators.”

Mangold also serves on the Montana Invasive Species Council and has served on the board of directors for the Western Society of Weed Science. She has partnered with state and federal agencies, nonprofits and private agricultural companies to educate about and management of invasive species. She assisted in the development of the Montana Grasses smartphone app, which provides glossaries, diagrams and descriptions to help users identify native and invasive grass species around the state. Her Monthly Weed Post has been sharing tidbits about invasive plants and noxious weeds since 2011.

“What really separates Jane as a truly unique and outstanding Extension specialist is her incredible knowledge base, coupled with her approachability, demeanor and humor,” said Clain Jones, an MSU soil scientist and Extension specialist and one of Mangold’s nominators. “These qualities encourage her clientele to ask her questions and engage in her programs.”

Jane Mangold