Walter A. Hill

Dean, College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences / Director, George Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station

University of Illinois, Ph.D. 1978 Agronomy/Environmental Chemistry
University of Arizona, M.S. 1973 Soil Chemistry
University of Chicago, M.A.T. 1970 Chemistry
Lake Forest College, B.S. 1968 Chemistry

Leadership and service in teaching, research & outreach in agricultural, environmental & natural resource sciences, biology, chemistry, food & nutritional sciences, rural & community development, & international development


  • Advisor for 17 Award Winning Student Science Projects
  • Co-led the development and implementation of the Integrative Biosciences PhD Program at Tuskegee University and facilitated faculty and science teachers in providing "hands on learning" for K-12 students, contributing to increasing underrepresented minorities in the science & engineering fields.
  • Provided leadership for the NASA sponsored Center for Food and Environmental Systems which provided research opportunities for 300 underrepresented minority students in plant physiology and genomics, food science and nutrition, engineering and computer science, and microbiology and environmental science; the Center team published 100+ papers completedtwo space flight experiments and developed protocols for growing, processing, and utilization of sweetpotatoes, peanuts, carrots and herbs for use on long-term space missions and for small businesses development.
  • Regional level - Provided leadership and support for the Southern Food Systems Education Consortium (SOFSEC, nine states), Small Farm Regional Marketing Project (nine states) and the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC, 18 southern & border states) - focused on serving small, underserved farmers, rural communities & schools, through building sustainable teams & partnerships that serve people in disadvantaged and limited resource communities.
  • State level - worked effectively in partnership with community based organizations, other universities and agencies to address issues of agricultural and environmental sustainability, inequities and empowerment, and poverty and wealth creation. Examples of such partnerships include the Alabama Agricultural Land Grant Alliance (AALGA), Black Belt Community Foundation, and Black Belt Action Commission.
  • Local level - worked directly with local leaders and farmers to establish and sustain the Macon county farmers market, which provides locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to local residents.
  • Facilitated development of the Forest Resources BS/MS degree program, the Environmental Science BS Degree Program, the BS Dual Degree program in Food and Nutritional Science/Biology
  • Co-invented and co-patented the system for successful sweetpotato storage root enlargement in a nutrient film (soilless) system with implications for crop growth during long-term space missions.
  • Established the association of non-symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria and nitrogen use efficiency for selected sweetpotato cultivars grown in low nitrogen level soils in the southern USA and Nigeria.

Trotman, A., J., Barfus, C. Morris, W. Hill, et al., 2004. SLSTP: developing human capital for space exploration through systematic scholarship. SAE Tech Paper Series 2004-01-2422.
Mortley, D., J. Hill,C. Bonsi & W. Hill. 2001. Nutrient management of sweetpotato grown in NFT. Act Hort. 548:567-574.
Mortley, D., J. Hill, D. Hileman, C. Bonsi & W. Hill.2001. Light & CO2 interaction on peanut grown in NFT. Acta Hon. 543:327-334.
Mortley, D., C. Bonsi, P. Loretan, W. Hill and C. Morris. 2000. High relative humidity increases yield, harvest index, flowering, and gynophore growth of hydroponically grown peanut plants. HortScience, 35:46-48.
Stanciel, K., D. Mortley, D. Hileman, P. Loretan, C. Bonsi and W. Hill. 2000. Growth, pod and seed yield, and gas exchange of hydroponically grown peanut in response to CO2 enrichment. HortScience 35:49-52.
Hartwood, R., M. Carter, R. Gomez, S. Gliessman, A. Gomez-Pompa, L. Hardin, W. Hill, et al. 1993. Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment in the Humid Tropics, National Research Council/National Academy Press, pp. 702.
Hill, W., P. Loretan, C. Bonsi, C. Morris, J. Lu, C. Ogbuehi. Utilization of sweetpotatoes in controlled ecological life support systems. Adv in Space Research 9 (8) 29-41.
Zabawa, R., N. Baharanyi, W. Hill (eds.). 2002, 2001, 2000 (Series). Land, Community & Culture: African American-Asian American Connections [pp. 170]; African American-Hispanic American/Latino Connections [pp. 154]; African American, Native American/Native Alaskan Connections [pp. 170], Tuskegee Univ.
Zabawa, R., N. Baharanyi, W. Hill (eds.). 1999. Global Food Security: Exploring the Nexus Between Domestic & International Strategies, Tuskegee Univ. pp. 228
Baharanyi, N., R. Zabawa & W.A. Hill. (eds.). 1998. Access & Equity Issues in Agriculture & Rural Development. Tuskegee Univ., pp. 333.
Hill, W., P. Loretan, C. Bonsi (eds.) 1992. Sweetpotato Technology for the 21st Century. Tuskegee Univ., AL. pp. 635.
Hill, W., et al., 2003. Persistent Poverty in the South. Southern Food Systems Education Consortium, Tuskegee Univ., pp. 20.
Stowe, B., J. Glover, W. Hill, D. Jolly, C. Monette, R. Paige and S. Rasmussen. 2000. Research and Education Recommendations for Small Farms. USDA National Agricultural Res., Ext., Educ. & Econ. Advisory Board, pp. 12.
Morris, C., P. Loretan. C Bonsi, W. Hill. 1989 and 1993. Moveable root contact/pressure plate assembly for hydroponic systems. U.S. Patent and trade Office. Patent Nos. 4,860,490 and 5,216,836.
Hill, W., P.Loretan, C. Bonsi. The Sweetpotato for Space Missions. 1984. Tuskegee University. pp.66

Advisor for 17 Award Winning Student Projects
Board of Directors, Black Belt Community Foundation, 2004-present
Commissioner, Black Belt Action Commission, Agricultural Committee, 2004-present
Board of Directors, Macon County Farmers Market, 2004-present
Co-Founder, Former Chair, Alabama Agricultural Land Grant Alliance, 1999-present
Chair, Professional Agricultural Workers Conference, 1988-present
Director, SOFSEC, 1994-2004; USDA/IFAFS Small Farmer Marketing Project, 2001-present
Industrial Development Board, City of Tuskegee, 2005-present
Featured in "George Washington Carver Tech," Modern Marvels, History Channel, 2005-present
Featured in "The New Explorers" television series; Public Broadcasting Station, 1992-present
Board of Directors, American Distance Education Consortium, 1990-2005
NASA Biological & Physical Research Advisory Committee, 2001-2004
NASA Life Sciences Advisory Subcommittee, 1994-2004
Board of Trustees, Lake Forest College, Illinois, 1989-2001
Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, USAID, 1995-2001
USDA National Research, Educational, Extension Advisory Board, 1998-2001
USAID, Scientific Liaison Officer, Asian Vegetable R & D Center, Taiwan, 1989-1997
USDA Agricultural Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee, 1992-1996
Chair, Association of Research Directors, 1994-96; Chair 1890 Council of Deans, 1992-1994
Visiting Scientist: NASA Kennedy Space Center, 1987; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 1985; Purdue University, Department of Agronomy, 1981


Honor Societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Gamma Sigma Delta
SRDI, Tribute to Ten, Southern Rural Development Initiative, 2006
Silver Beaver Award, 2005; Wood Badge, 2004, Boy Scouts of America
Service to Agriculture Award, Alabama Farmers Federation, 2005
Award of Honor, Farm Credit Bank of Texas, 2005
Diversity Award, Council on Chemical Research, 2004
Irving Outstanding Leadership Award, American 2004
Honorary Doctorate of Science Degree, Lake Forest College, Illinois, 2001
Father of the Year Award, Washington Chapel A.M.E. Church, 2000
USDA Award for Superior Service, Distinguished Scientific Research, 1996; Carver Recognition Team, 2000
Leadership and Administration Award, American Society for Horticultural Science Southern Region, 1997
African American Achiever in Agriculture, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, 1996
Outstanding Research and Teaching Award, Alabama Soil & Water Conservation Society, 1992
Russell W. Brown Distinguished Scientist Research Award, Sigma Xi, Tuskegee University, 1991
Futurist in Science and Technology, Black Enterprise Magazine, 1990
Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, The White House Initiative on HBCU's, 1988
Distinguished Scholar Award, United Negro College Fund/MacArthur Foundation, 1984
Distinguished Service Award for Faculty Advisement, G.W. Carver Plant and Soil Science Club, 1982
Alumni Merit Award, University of Illinois, College of Agriculture, 1995
Fellow, American Society of Agronomy, 1992
Outstanding Minority Educator Award, American Society of Agronomy, 1990
Futurist in Science and Technology, Black Enterprise Magazine, 1990
Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, The White House Initiative on HBCU's, 1988
Kellogg Fellow, National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, 1988
Alumni Distinguished Service Citation, Lake Forest College, 1986
Faculty Achievement Award, Tuskegee University, 1985
Distinguished Scholar Award, United Negro College Fund/MacArthur Foundation, 1984
Plucknett Outstanding Research Paper Award, International Society of Tropical Root Crops, 1983
Danforth Associate, for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Danforth Foundation, 1980