Dukes is the director of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He has received national recognition for his expertise in irrigation and water conservation. The award is given by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) to distinguish work done on behalf of soil.
“It is a great honor to be selected by my peers for this prestigious award,” Dukes said. “I look forward to continuing my work in helping create sustainable landscape practices that will impact not only Florida, but the world.”
As a professor and UF/IFAS Extension irrigation specialist, Dukes conducts research on water conservation and efficient irrigation with a focus on landscape irrigation. His research is used to inform irrigation professionals, decision makers and other stakeholders on how to implement changes and manage landscape irrigation systems to maximize efficiency while maintaining aesthetically pleasing landscapes. His work is invaluable, said Wendy Graham, director of the UF Water Institute.
“Dr. Dukes is one of the leading experts in developing efficient irrigation systems and in translating new technologies into real world water conservation. His pioneering work in soil moisture sensing to improve water use efficiency and development of smart irrigation technologies for both agricultural and urban landscapes have shown significant water savings impacts,” Graham said. “His strong interdisciplinary research and Extension programs are evidenced by his recent recognition as a UF Water Institute faculty fellow and this prestigious John Deere Gold Medal from ASABE.”
Dukes mentors graduate and postdoctoral students pursing the profession, and his research team has researched and developed commercially available irrigation technologies. “Perhaps most importantly, we have documented hundreds of millions of gallons of water being saved that otherwise would have been wasted due to inefficient irrigation,” Dukes said. “Use of these technologies is increasing and being adopted by builders and developers for landscape irrigation throughout Florida and other parts of the United States.”
The award will be presented in Orlando, Florida on July 20 a ASABE’s annual meeting.