Being in the right place at the right time sometimes requires being in the wrong place at the worst possible time.
That seems to be the case for Dennis Shannon, a professor of agronomy and soils at Auburn who arrived in Haiti on Monday, Jan. 11 – the day before the small island nation was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
Shannon, who has worked extensively in Haiti over the past 20 years on soils and agroforestry projects, returned there in January with U.S. Department of Agriculture and University of Florida colleagues on a food security project for the U.S. Department of State. The team spent Tuesday formulating a plan for soil sampling and testing to help Haitian farmers rapidly increase food and crop production in the country. Arriving back at their hotel, the Villa Creole in Petion-Ville just outside Port-au-Prince, at about 4:30 p.m., Shannon and UF agronomist Ed Hanlon were in the hotel lobby when the quake hit.