- Institutes’ year in review: 2014
In 2014 the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) wrapped-up a third full year of working together.
“2014 was a very productive year for IRNR and TWRI,” he said Dr. Roel Lopez, IRNR director and TWRI interim director. “Together the institutes received more than $9 million in external grants, which was about a 53-percent increase from 2013.”
- RFP: National Competitive Grant Program
The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has announced the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2015 National Competitive Grant Program by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR). Proposals must be filed online at niwr.net by 4 p.m. CST on Feb. 19. TWRI will then approve the proposals for submission to the program by March 12.
- Meet a scientist: Lucas Gregory
On any given day one might find Lucas Gregory monitoring water quality in the field, analyzing data or writing grants and publications. “There’s really never a dull moment, and that’s one of the things that I like about working here,” said Gregory, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) project specialist and quality assurance officer.
Gregory served as the project coordinator for the Center for Invasive Species’ Caddo Lake Giant Salvinia Eradication Project, which set out to use weevils to control giant salvinia, an invasive aquatic plant originally from South America, in the lake.
- TWRI-led Lower Rio Grande Valley initiative receives $2.3 million grant
A Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI)-led initiative has received a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to address water quantity and water quality concerns in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Improvement Initiative is being funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), a new program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
- Generation Next classes will cover profitably getting involved in the family ranch
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering two-day schools around the state this spring for adult children and grandchildren of landowners who want to get involved in the family ranch. Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch School will be held March 5-6 in San Angelo, March 12-13 in Stephenville and April 9-10 in Corpus Christi.
“The schools are for anybody interested in starting an agricultural business,” Dr. Megan Clayton, AgriLife Extension range management specialist, said, “but we especially want to provide this opportunity for children and grandchildren of landowners. Staying connected to the family ranch is difficult, especially when there’s not an obvious way to make a profit.”
- Texas water roundtable hosting legislative briefing Feb. 16 in Austin
The Texas Leadership Roundtable on Water is hosting a legislative briefing on its recommendations for water policy issues on Feb. 16 from 2-5 p.m. in Austin, at the Capitol Extension Auditorium, E1.004.
The Texas Leadership Roundtable on Water is a diverse group of water professionals from throughout Texas brought together by the Wye River Group, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization. Three panels will discuss the recommendations on surface water and groundwater management, the state water plan, and data gaps and new technologies.
- International Year of Soils promotes the role of soil in meeting global challenges
When it comes to natural resource conservation, water, air and wildlife are often discussed, but there is another equally vital resource that experts say needs protection — soil. 2015 was declared the International Year of Soils (IYS) by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Soil Partnership. The designation celebrates the importance of soil as a nonrenewable resource.
The International Union of Soil Scientists (IUSS) will sponsor a number of international events to celebrate IYS. IUSS, along with the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), Texas A&M and others, will sponsor the Global Soil Security Symposium May 19-21 at Texas A&M.
- Texas Water Journal Forum reunites key players in Edwards Aquifer dispute
Nearly 60 years ago, a tug-of-war began between competing interests battling over use of the Edwards Aquifer. The recent Texas Water Journal Forum reexamined this dispute by reuniting those who worked to resolve it.
The third Texas Water Journal Forum, “History of the Edwards Aquifer Dispute: A view from the trenches,” was held Jan. 20 and centered on the conflict of environmental, municipal and agricultural interests in the Edwards Aquifer during the 1990s, at the height of the conflict.
- Learn weed control strategies from Feb. 5 range webinar
Best management practices for weed control will be the topic of a Feb. 5 webinar by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Ecosystem Science and Management Unit. “To Spray or Not to Spray” is the next topic in the Texas Range Webinar Series, which airs on the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., said Pete Flores, webinar coordinator.
- Navasota and Round Rock well owners invited to trainings
Local private well owners interested in water well management are invited to Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) trainings Feb. 5 in Navasota and Feb.19 in Round Rock. The trainings are free and open to the public, said Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator.
- GPRI hosting Wastewater Short Course in April
The Global Petroleum Research Institute (GPRI) is hosting its annual short course, Water and Wastewater Short Course: Issues, Challenges, Solutions, and New Technologies, at Texas A&M University April 8–9. The course will include equipment demonstrations and cover practical aspects of separations technologies, case studies, system designs, industrial/commercial applications and field trials.