Associate Professor of Soil and Water Science at the Everglades Research and Education Center
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Alan Wright’s research program focuses on fertilizer and nutrient management to enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), while minimizing adverse environmental effects on Everglades’ wetlands.
Wright’s research and extension projects include assessment of effects of anthropogenic factors on nutrient cycling, agricultural management practices to conserve subsiding soils of the EAA, and soil and water biogeochemical processes in agricultural, urban, and wetland ecosystems. These programs lead to better management of natural resources and improved recommendations for agricultural producers and water managers in the EAA and throughout south Florida.
Major outcomes of Wright’s research include increases in leafy greens yield resulting from improved phosphorus fertilizer management guidelines, as well as contributions to improving fertilizer recommendations for sugarcane. His research has also been used by water managers for improving the functioning of stormwater treatment area wetlands for phosphorus removal.
Wright has developed a particularly close relationship with the lettuce growers in the EAA, and is also assisting other industries with useful changes in fertilizer recommendations. He has conducted research resulting in improved agricultural land management strategies that assist the grower’s ability to make the best decisions possible regarding water and nutrient usage, as well as strategies for reducing soil subsidence. His other audience, water managers, has also benefitted from his strategies for increasing the effectiveness of the Everglades Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) and balancing wetland restoration with critical soil and water choices.
Wright has obtained consistent external funding to support his research programs from diverse sources, such as the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program and USDA-ARS, the South Florida Water Management District, the St. Johns River Water Management District, as well as private industry and the grower commodity groups in the EAA.
Wright’s strong scientific capabilities, coupled with his interaction with growers, scientific colleagues, natural resource and water managers, and county agents has resulted in the development of an outstanding record of achievement in research.