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Dr. Zakiya Leggett is a professor at North Carolina State University in the College of Natural Resources. She joined the faculty in 2016 but had previously served as an adjunct faculty member for several years. She currently teaches Introduction to Environmental Science and serves as the campus director for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars (DDCS) Program. The DDCS program trains undergraduate students that are interested in research experiences in conservation issues as well as encouraging diversity in those fields.
In addition to these duties, Dr. Leggett conducts research related to forest and soil ecology. Her research has focused primarily on enhancing the productivity and sustainability of loblolly pine, one of the most common species planted in the southeastern U.S. Her work helps to ensure that plantations are managed without compromising the long-term viability of the land.
Before teaching at NCSU, Dr. Leggett worked for 10 years as a sustainability scientist with Weyerhaeuser Company, which is a forest products company.
During this time, she managed a collaborative experimental research study with industry, university and government agencies that examined the environmental effects of cellulosic biofuel growth in a forest setting.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Leggett earned a B.S from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala. After completing a Masters degree from Duke University, she earned a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Leggett also shares her expertise as a mentor in various career development programs designed to increase the number of minority and female students in the field of ecology. As an invited speaker at schools, national conferences and universities, she shares her passion for environmental education and stewardship. Dr. Leggett is committed to encouraging diverse student populations—whether at the primary and secondary or graduate level—to pursue their educational goals.
Dr. Leggett currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University and for the SEEDS program within the Ecological Society of America. She recently received the Commitment to Human Diversity Award from the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Leggett resides in Raleigh, N.C. with her husband and two daughters and they own the Durham location of International Minute Press Printing.