Michel A. Wattiaux
Pronounced: "Me-shell" "Watt-tea-oh"
Professor, Dairy Systems Management
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Dairy Science
266 Animal Sciences Building
1675 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1205
Office Phone: (608) 263-3493 or (608) 263-3308
Fax: (608) 263-9412
Appointments & Education
- Professor, Dairy Systems Management, Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 70% Instruction – 30% Research (07/11 to date).
- Affiliate Faculty, The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (03/09 to date).
- Assistant Professor (05/00 - 06/06) and Associate Professor (07/06 - 06/11), Dairy Systems Management, Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Professional Animal Scientist (PAS), American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS; 11/03).
- Co-director Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development, International Agricultural Programs, and Associate Scientist Department of Dairy Science and Department of Animal Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison (04/97 - 04/00).
- Assistant Scientist (Feb 93 – Nov 96) and Associate Scientist (Nov 96 – May 00), Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development, International Agricultural Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison (02/93 - 04/00).
- Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dairy Science/U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center; Ruminant Nutrition (08/85 - 07/90).
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Honors and Awards
- In 2012 Michel was a recipient of the University of Wisconsin System Outstanding Teacher Award (19th annual Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award). (eCALS announcement here)
- In 2011 Michel received the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricuture and Life Science Excellence in International Activities Award. Read a short documentation of Michlel's International Accomplishments.
- In 2010 Michel was selected as the UW-Madison instructor to engage in a year-long Wisconsin Teaching Fellow & Scholar Program (WTFP), Office of Professional and Instructional Development, University of Wisconsin System.
- In 2009 Michel received a Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Teaching from United States Department of Agriculture. Read Michel's two-minutes remarks that he made at the occasion of this recognition.
- In 2008 Michel’s Teaching effort was recognized with two distinct teaching awards. He was the recipient of:
- the College of Agriculture and Life Science of University of Wisconsin Madison Jung Excellence in Teaching Award.
- the American Dairy Science Association, Land'O'Lake - Purina Award for Outstanding Service and Guidance in Teaching Dairy Science.
- In 2007, Michel received a Fulbright scholarship from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State) for a sabbatical leave in Mexico.
- Michel’s scholarship in Teaching and Learning was recognized in 2006 as he was the recipient of the University of Wisconsin Madison Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
- Michel’s contribution to international dairy extension was recognized in 2002 with the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) Award for International Dairy Production.
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"Getting a PhD in the U.S." Originally from a dairy farm, Michel Wattiaux was raised with a strong commitment to making the family farm profitable. After a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium (1982), Michel came to the United States as an IFYE (International Four-H Youth Exchange) and lived on farms throughout the country. In 1985, he returned to Wisconsin to earn a doctoral degree in Dairy Science (1990).
“Ten years of International Dairy Extension.” After post-doctoral research in ruminant nutrition, Michel began to work with the Babcock Institute for international Dairy Research and Development at the University of Wisconsin shortly after its inception in 1992. While at the Institute, Michel authored and co-authored four dairy management-related books in a series of Technical Dairy Guides. These books are now available in seven languages and have been distributed in more than 80 countries around the world. Michel co-directed the Institute from 1996 until May 2000. His responsibilities have taken him to Asia, Latin America, Africa and The Newly Independent States (former Soviet Union) to create educational and scientific opportunities in the growth and development of dairy industries around the world. During that period, Michel traveled to 23 countries and visited farms in 17 out of those 23 countries.
“Six years of Tenure Track with Emphasis on Teaching.” In 2000, Michel accepted a position as Assistant Professor in dairy systems management with the Dairy Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His teaching (70%) and research (30%) focuses on the improvement of dairy farm management in a way that fosters the social, economical and environmental soundness of production systems. Michel’s research in nitrogen excretion in dairy cattle and efficiency of nitrogen utilization on dairy farms has impacted directly the dairy industry in the U.S. and in other countries. In regards to teaching, Michel taught an existing Ruminant Nutrition course and created four new courses within the first four years in his position:
Michel was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure on the basis of excellence in teaching in the spring of 2006.
“Post-Tenure: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Global-scale Research.” Between 2006 and 2011, Michel’s continued scholarship or teaching and learning (SOTL) efforts have lead to a book chapter, peer-reviewed publications, and numerous teaching-related abstracts. He has been invited to speak on teaching and learning on the UW-Madison campus and at numerous national conferences. He has competed successfully for funds from the USDA Higher education grant program multiple times. The impact of Dr. Wattiaux’s teaching program is exemplified by recurring requests to use courses resource materials that are available on-line on his web server. In addition to the course described above, he has taught the following new original and creative new courses:
Michel’s research program has focused on the environmental impact of dairy production with an emphasis on undesirable gaseous emissions to the atmosphere known to have negative impacts on human heath and balance of natural ecosystems (ammonia) or to contribute to climate change (methane). This research seeks to create "win-win" situations, making farms more economically profitable (reducing feed costs) and simultaneously more environmentally friendly (reduction in undesirable emissions). Specifically, Dr. Wattiaux and his research collaborators have studies the effects of dietary composition on manure ammonia emission and enteric methane emission from dairy cattle. In recent years, Michel has committed himself to a Global-scale research program
. He has received USDA International Science and Education (ISE) grants to foster collaboration with Mexican and Canadian partners to develop research tools to evaluate Dairy Agro-ecosystems Sustainability
. His meritorious scholarship in teaching and learning and international activities during this period of his career have been recognized by a series of honors and awards (see above). Michel was promoted to Professor in the spring of 2011.