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Santa Fe Community College - Charlie Shultz

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Santa Fe Community College - Charlie Shultz

R. Charlie Shultz has been a pioneer in the field of integrating fish and plants for more than 20 years.  Trained initially at Virginia Tech as a fish farmer, Charlie began integrating plants in the system loop as a means to purify fish water while gaining a second valuable crop.  Charlie spent the next 13 years conducting aquaponic research at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) in St. Croix where he worked with Dr. Jim Rakocy, who many consider the grandfather of aquaponic food production.  During this time, Charlie also began teaching intensive short courses at UVI, serving an international audience.  Soon thereafter, he attended graduate school at Kentucky State University focused on indoor aquaponic research where light technologies were compared in terms of energy use, crop yield and crop quality.  This research led Charlie to serve as an Aquaponics Researcher in Alberta, Canada at Lethbridge College where he focused on overcoming the bottlenecks of this emerging industry on a commercial scale.  After a short stint in Texas running a commercial aquaponics facility, Charlie now serves as Lead Faculty for the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) program at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in New Mexico.  Students learn to operate CEA facilities (greenhouses and indoor production) using soil-less production techniques such as Hydroponics and Aquaponics.    SFCC will soon receive an AquaGrove integrated fish and plant system and will operate continuously to generate the latest data and run ongoing studies to test the production system indoors in a controlled environment.  Students will gain valuable experience with this unique system while simultaneously providing rich data and validation of the robustness of the Aquagrove system.  Charlie will be making himself available to discuss the system and give tours around the facility in Santa Fe.  For more information on the CEA program at SFCC, please visit their website.  AquaGrove is looking forward to sharing the progress and studies that will be conducted by Charlie and the students at Santa Fe Community College.