New Waves January 2009

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

2009 AgriLife Conference grants awards

The 2009 Texas A&M AgriLife Conference brought several awards to individuals and teams for their efforts on water-related research, education, or projects.

The Fort Hood Training Lands Restoration and Management Program Team won the 2008 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for the Industry/Agency/University/Association category. The team consists of Dr. William Fox of Texas AgriLife Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple and the Texas Water Resources Institute, Brian Hays of the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Dr. Dennis Hoffman of the Texas AgriLife Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple, Jerry Paruzinski of Fort Hood Integrated Training Area Management and Robert Ziehr of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The team won for its ongoing multi-agency contributions to the sustainability of Fort Hood’s training lands and the management of its natural resources; including water, soils, vegetation, and endangered species.

Dr. Kirk O. Winemiller of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences was recognized as a 2008 Regents Professor for his scientific expertise for application to biodiversity conservation and management of water resources in Texas and other regions in the world. Winemiller is a co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation graduate training grant that provides $3 million to support graduate student training and research in applied biodiversity conservation throughout the western hemisphere. His award was conferred during the December meeting of the Texas A&M System Board of Regents.

Dr. Mark Lee McFarland of the Department of Soil and Crops Sciences was recognized as a 2008 Regents Fellow Service Award for his work as state soil fertility specialist and state water quality coordinator. McFarland has conducted more than 250 field-applied research projects and delivered more than 520 education programs to Texas agricultural producers and land managers. Since 2000, he has coordinated the Southern Region Water Quality Program, a multi-university collaboration. His award was conferred during the December meeting of the Texas A&M System Board of Regents.

Dr. George Di Giovanni of the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at El Paso was named a 2008 Faculty Fellows for Texas AgriLife Research. Giovanni is considered an expert on waterborne pathogens for AgriLife Research and has led bacterial source tracking studies for Texas, among many other activities.

Two water-related teams won 2008 Superior Service Awards from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan Team consists of Extension personnel Rachel Bauer, Matt Berg, Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Bryan Davis, Nikki Dictson, and Dr. Mark McFarland as well as Dr. R. Karthikeyan of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department; Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan of Texas A&M’s Spatial Sciences Laboratory; Debbie Magin of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority; and TJ Helton, Brian Koch, and Aaron Wendt of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

The Rainwater Harvesting Task Force won for its efforts in teaching and training people about managing rainfall on their property. Members of the task force are Dr. James Cathey, Brian Davis, Dr. Monty Dozier, Billy Kniffen, Dr. Bruce Lesikar, Justin Mechell, Dr. Barron Rector, and John Smith.

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