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Daniel Hillel

Daniel Hillel
D.W. Brooks Lecture Date: 11/08/2012

About the Guest Speaker

Spending his formative years around environmental reclamation projects in the Middle East during the 1930s and '40s, Daniel Hillel developed his lifelong interest in ecology and agriculture at an early age.

Born in California in 1930, his mother moved his family to Palestine when he was 9. He returned to the United States to attend high school and college, graduating with a bachelor's degree in agronomy at the University of Georgia in 1950 and a master's degree in soil science at Rutgers University in 1951.

He moved to the newly established state of Israel in the 1950s, where he helped lay the groundwork for the country's agricultural development and established more efficient modes of irrigation. The technologies he championed, including drip, trickle and continuous-feed irrigation, have improved the lives of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

His authoritative texts on soil physics, water-use efficiency and agricultural aspects of climate change are widely cited and have been translated into several languages.

In 2012 Hillel received the World Food Prize in recognition of his contributions to sustainable irrigation practices.