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In Memoriam: Remembering Deputy Chief Luis Tupas

Dr. Luis “Louie” Tupas was the Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment at NRCS from 2020 to 2023.

Deputy Chief Luis Tupas

Dr. Louie Tupas was the Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Dr. Tupas provided leadership for addressing the scientific basis for conservation and sustainable agriculture through research, national surveys of soil, snow, water, and other natural resources, inventories of U.S. natural resources and their ecological transitions, and analyzing the impact of conservation practices, including soil, water, and climate studies. He provided national leadership to address global change and climate impacts on agriculture, forestry, and other landscapes, develop and expand climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, and enhance the sustainable utilization of agricultural working lands and waters. He also developed and implemented strategies for sustainable natural resources utilization and environmental systems management and promotes domestic and international partnerships and engagement through collaborative research, education, and outreach programs. 

He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1982 from the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus, majoring in Marine Sciences. He went to the University of Tokyo Ocean Research Institute for his Master of Science in Marine Science (1988) and his Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science (1991). His Ph.D. dissertation was a joint advisory with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Hawaii.

Louie served as a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 1991-2002. His research and teaching careers were in the fields of biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, aquaculture, and biological oceanography. He began his federal government career in 2002 as a program director at the U.S. National Science Foundation. In 2004, he joined USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, now the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). He served at NIFA as a national program leader, division director, and deputy director for Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment. He joined NRCS in 2020. His responsibilities include being the NRCS Research and Scientific Integrity Officer and co-executive leader of the USDA Climate Hubs.

Louie is remembered for his kind spirit, thoughtful mentorship, and effective leadership.