- Position announcement: TWRI director
The search is underway for a director of the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). The position vacancy is posted on the Texas A&M AgriLife Great Jobs website. This position will lead the Texas Water Resources Institute (twri.tamu.edu) which focuses on water-related applications, including water quality, supply, and water use in Texas, the U.S., and internationally. The director will provide intellectual, philosophical, and strategic leadership to system faculty, and the institute’s scientists, staff, and students to meet teaching, research, and extension missions. The director will be responsible for developing optimum tactical and strategic responses to water-related issues and opportunities and will manage the human and fiscal resources, including leading a contract and grants program that elevates water-related efforts throughout the Texas A&M University System.
Visit the Great Jobs posting for more details. Dr. Roel Lopez is currently TWRI interim director as well as director of the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and will continue in the later role following the hiring of a new TWRI director. The institutes will continue to work together and share staff and services.
- 10 simple ways to celebrate Earth Day in Texas
Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day, and if it snuck up on you this year, we’ve got you covered.
Pick from these ten simple ways to commemorate Earth Day, and learn how you can help conserve land, water and wildlife in Texas.
- Reminder: Participate in survey and get free downloads
The Texas Water Resources Institute and the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources appreciate your readership of our Conservation Matters newsletter. To better serve you, we want your help in evaluating the newsletter. Please complete the short, 5-minute survey and let us know what you think of Conservation Matters!
- Texas Water Journal hosting forum April 22 in Austin
The Texas Water Journal, an online, peer-reviewed journal on Texas water issues, will celebrate Earth Day with their second Texas Water Journal Forum on water conservation April 22 in Austin. The journal is published jointly with the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). The free forum will be from 6-7:30 p.m. in Room JBG 2.218 of Jackson Geological Sciences Building at the University of Texas.
- Range and Wildlife Management Field Day set for May 6 in Coryell County
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is hosting a multi-county Range and Wildlife Management Field Day May 6 in Coryell County for landowners interested in managing both wildlife and livestock on their ranches. The field day is from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Harman School Community Center, located about four miles off of Farm-to-Market Road 580 on Harmon Road. The cost of the program is $10, which includes lunch and three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units. For those interested in obtaining 5.5 PTP continuing education units for tax appraisers, the cost is $25. After lunch, attendees will travel to the Hannah Ranch for rangeland demonstrations.
- Soil and Water Stewardship Week is April 27-May 4
The Texas Water Resources Institute has partnered with the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and 23 other organizations to highlight the important connection between voluntary land stewardship and sustaining water availability as part of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 27-May 4. This year’s theme for the statewide campaign is “Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans.”
- IRNR hosting GIS course May 13–14
The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources will conduct an Introduction to ArcGIS 10 training course May 13–14 in College Station. The course will be 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. both days in Room 200 of the Centeq Building, 1500 Research Parkway in Texas A&M University’s Research Park.
- Watershed Planning Training Program selected as TEEA finalist
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1993, the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards honor individuals, organizations and businesses that protect the state’s human and natural resources while ensuring clean air, clean water and the safe management of waste. Presented annually by the Governor of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the award winners and finalists will be recognized during the commission’s annual awards banquet as part of its Environmental Trade Fair and Conference at the Austin Convention Center, on May 7 in Austin.
- Texas Water Summit coming to Austin May 19
The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas will host the 2014 Texas Water Summit May 19 at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin. The program’s theme is “Securing our Economic Future,” and according to organizers, the summit will focus on the near-doubling of the state’s population over the next 50 years and how to meet the water needs of the economy that is expected to support that population.
- Wildlife Society recognizes Texas A&M AgriLife publication, achievements
At the annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society in Austin in February, the chapter celebrated its 50th year and recognized several Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife faculty and staff with honors. The Outstanding Technical Publication award went to Blake Alldredge, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate, who led the development of Native Grassland Monitoring and Management.
- Arroyo Colorado fishing tournament and Stormwater Runoff Conference raise awareness
The Lower Rio Grande Valley - Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (LRGV-TPDES) Stormwater Task Force hosted its 16th Annual Lower Rio Grande Valley Storm Water Runoff Management and Planning Conference April 8-11 on South Padre Island. The conference included sessions on stormwater regulations, permitting changes, watershed protection plans, floodplain management, low impact development, nonpoint source pollution and other water research. The conference culminated in the Second Annual LRGV-TPDES Stormwater Task Force Fishing Tournament to benefit the Arroyo Colorado Conservancy on April 12.
- IRNR and TWRI researchers in the news
Recent interviews with researchers from the Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources have highlighted the impact of their work on endangered and invasive species.
In honor of World Wildlife Day, Tiffany McFarland, IRNR research associate, was interviewed by Rethinking Green, an eco-friendly talk show recorded live from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the SEAD Gallery in downtown Bryan. Mike Marshall, IRNR extension associate, was recently interviewed by Dr. Larry Butler, host of the show, “Out on the Land,” a weekly, half-hour television series that includes video segments from a variety of farms, ranches and other lands. In a three-part video posted on YouTube, Lucas Gregory, TWRI project specialist, discusses the progress and remaining challenges for the Center for Invasive Species Control’s project to control giant salvinia.
- Ogallala Aquifer Program receives secretary’s honor award
The Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP) received the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary’s Honor Award in December 2013. The honor was given to OAP “for sustaining rural prosperity across the drought-prone Southern High Plains by finding solutions to problems from declining water availability for the Ogallala Aquifer,” the award stated.
The program is composed of a research consortium between the USDA - Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Kansas State University, Texas A&M University through Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Tech University and West Texas A&M University. The Texas Water Resources Institute serves on the leadership team for the program.
- Three riparian and stream ecosystem workshops coming up
The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host three workshops in April and May for residents interested in land and water stewardship.
April 24 in Weslaco, a free workshop for area residents interested in the Arroyo Colorado watershed will be hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Hidalgo County from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. A workshop for residents in the Cedar Bayou watershed is set from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 8 in Mont Belvieu. The AgriLife Extension office in Kerr County and the Upper Guadalupe River Authority are co-hosting a workshop May 13 in Kerrville for residents in the Upper Guadalupe watershed.
- Water lessons from Australia to be presented at April lecture series
The Texas A&M University School of Law and Texas A&M’s Water Management and Hydrological Science Program are sponsoring a Water Lecture Series on Perspectives on Law and Policy, and upcoming lectures will feature keynote speaker Mike Young, chair in water and environmental policy at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Young will discuss “Water Scarcity: Is Texas Missing an Opportunity? Lessons from Australia” at 12:30 p.m. April 25 at the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth. April 28, Young will speak on “Allocating and Sharing Water: Lessons from Australia” at 2:40 p.m. in Scoates Hall, Room 208, on the Texas A&M campus.
- Learn how Texas manages nonpoint source water pollution in latest TSSWCB report
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently released the 2013 Annual Report on Managing Nonpoint Source Water Pollution. Highlights in the report include annual load reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment and success stories from water bodies across the state.
The federal Clean Water Act requires states to develop a program to protect the quality of water resources from the adverse effects of nonpoint source water pollution. The Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program, updated in 2012, is the state’s comprehensive strategy for addressing nonpoint source water pollution, according to TSSWCB.
- Tony Allan of London Water Research Group lecturing at TAMU April 29
Professor Tony Allan, head of the London Water Research Group in the Department of Geography at King’s College London, will present a public seminar titled “Who Determines the Demand for Food and Who Manages Water?” April 29 at 3 p.m. in Room 208 of Scoates Hall on the Texas A&M University campus. The presentation is hosted by the Texas A&M Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.
Allan will discuss how food demand impacts sustainable management of the water resources on which food security depends. For more details, see the seminar flyer.
- Dallas Texas A&M AgriLife center brings WaterSense to metroplex
More than 800 people from Dallas and surrounding cities attended the recent WaterSense event at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center held in conjunction with World Water Day and national “Fix a Leak Week.”
Presented in partnership with Dallas Water Utilities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6, the program highlighted various water education and conservation efforts of the center’s Urban Water Program, as well as other water-saving programs and research being conducted at the center.
- Texas A&M doctoral student receives UCOWR national award
Each year, the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) hosts a competition for Best Dissertation in Water Resources. Mario Fernandez, doctoral student in Texas A&M University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, has won the award in the Water Policy and SocioEconomics category for his dissertation, Decadal Climate Variability: Economic Implications for Agriculture and Water in the Missouri River Basin.
The award will be presented at UCOWR’s annual conference in June. Dr. Bruce McCarl, Texas A&M distinguished professor, regents professor and Texas A&M AgriLife faculty fellow, served as Fernandez’s committee chair.