A PARTNERSHIP agreement has been signed between Scotland's James Hutton Institute and Utah State University in the United States, promoting cooperation in agricultural and environmental research, with particular emphasis on climate change issues.

The agreement was signed by chief executive of the James Hutton Institute, Professor Colin Campbell, and USU president Noelle E. Cockett during an online meeting held to mark the occasion.

Established in 1888, Utah State University is one of the foremost institutions working on environmental issues in the US and the world. Its engineers, hydrologists, agronomists, sociologists and climate scientists work on projects in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute similarly research a wide range of subjects related to climate change and land use and agriculture, in particular ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the changes that are taking place and make communities and society more resilient to these changes. Hutton scientists are also working to help the Scottish Government identify ways to meet its net-zero targets.

On behalf of the Institute, Professor Campbell said: “It is a pleasure to establish links with Utah State University as there is vast potential for collaboration. This partnership represents an excellent opportunity to realise scientific collaboration between world-leading science organisations working on similar issues but with many differences in geography and biodiversity that will stimulate lateral thinking. It is a privilege to be able to work with such a thriving research university known and respected around the world.”

Dean of USU’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and vice-president for extension, Ken White, added: “This agreement provides new opportunities for USU’s faculty and students in critical, and globally important fields of research and reinforces the role of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and Utah State University in research with important global impacts that focus on land, water and air quality.

“Certainly, the faculty and students in the Department of Plant, Soils, and Climate are having amazing impacts in these areas, and this will help to expand those opportunities.”

President of the Scottish Business Network US and SBN ambassador in Washington, DC, Ian Houston, commented: “There is a tendency to think of agriculture as something of the past, but this business and research sector is vibrant, modern, and innovative in the current global and local economy. This cooperative partnership between two first-rate entities in Utah and Scotland will reinforce that principle and truly deepen impact.”