News / 2024 /

Dr. Jaehak Jeong Named Regents Fellow

November 2023

The Texas A&M University System has named one of Blackland’s own, Dr. Jaehak Jeong, as a Regents Fellow for 2022-2023. The Regents Fellow Service Awards program, established in 1998, recognizes those employees who have made extraordinary contributions to the university and to the people of Texas.

Dr. Jeong serves as the lead model developer of the watershed and crop systems simulation models offered at Blackland, including the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. APEX is the key simulation model used by USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) to assess the effects of government programs and farmer initiatives on the nation’s croplands.

Dr. Jeong’s research program develops and uses novel computational methods to help major federal and state agencies, cities and other organizations estimate and reduce the effects of their activities and programs on soil and water quality. His work with CEAP, for example, provides national assessments of the impacts of USDA-NRCS conservation programs on soil erosion, water quality, agricultural carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This input is critical in helping USDA develop and manage nationwide programs to control these processes, as well as to control emerging contaminants such as biochar applications on antibiotics and antibacterial resistance genes on croplands. Dr. Jeong's research program also supports water quality management by Texas communities such as Austin, Fort Worth, San Marcos, Brownsville, and San Antonio, and has helped the Bureau of Land Management develop effective policies and action plans to reduce salt concentrations in rivers in the Colorado River Basin.

Over the last three years, Jeong has been the leading faculty member in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAEN) in terms of grant dollars received and the number of peer-reviewed papers published. In 2022, he ranked in the top 2% of all AgriLife Research faculty and scientists in extramural grants activity. In addition to his full-time research appointments with AgriLife Research and BAEN, he is also an enthusiastic and admired teacher and mentor.