New Waves April 2011

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

  • Mills Scholarships available to graduate students in water resources

    The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) announces the request for applications for Mills Scholarships. Funded by the W.G. Mills Endowment, the scholarships support Texas A&M University graduate students with demonstrated interest in fields of study that have the potential to help Texas solve future water problems. The permanent endowment was established by Mills Cox, former chair of the Texas Water Development Board.

    June 10 is the deadline for applications. The one-year $1,500 scholarships are payable at the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year. For more information, see the application, visit the program website or contact Leslie Lee at 979.862.7139 or lhlee@ag.tamu.edu.

  • Researchers, stakeholders discuss golden algae in Lake Granbury

    Citizens, city officials and agency personnel gathered on April 21 at Granbury City Hall to hear from scientists working to manage golden algae toxic blooms present in Lake Granbury. Along with other lakes in Texas and the nation, Lake Granbury periodically has toxic golden algae blooms, which cause fish kills. The algae typically bloom in the late winter.

    Granbury Mayor Rickie Pratt welcomed the group of about 45 and introduced the topic most were well aware of—golden algae. County Commissioners Steve Berry and Mike Sympson were also in attendance as well as Rep. Bill Flores representative Diane Williams, and Hood County Extension agent Marty Vahlenkamp.

    Drs. Dan Roelke of Texas A&M University, Jim Grover of University of Texas at Arlington, and Bryan Brooks of Baylor University have researched mitigation and management strategies within the lake to prevent these harmful blooms as part of the Testing Approaches to Golden Algae Control: In-Lake Mesocosm Experiment project. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute.

  • TWRI to host Watershed Coordinators Roundtable, Stakeholder Facilitation Training

    The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a Texas Watershed Coordinators Roundtable on July 27 at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Dalchau Service Center in Austin. Presentations and discussions will focus on bacteria dynamics, assessment methods and best management practices (BMPs). To RSVP, visit watershedplanning.tamu.edu.

    Preceding the roundtable, a Stakeholder Facilitation Training will be held July 26, at the LCRA Complex. The training, instructed by Charlie MacPherson of Tetra Tech, will highlight the tools used to effectively identify, engage and involve stakeholders throughout a watershed to restore and maintain healthy environmental conditions.

  • IWR-NIWR requests research proposals

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Institute for Water Resources (IWR) in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) requests proposals for grants to support applied investigations related to water resources issues in the United States.

    Grant proposals may request up to $200,000 in federal funds. Proposals must be submitted to the USACE Institute for Water Resource by a NIWR-designated institute or center, which, for Texas researchers, is the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). The government's obligation under this program is contingent upon the availability of funds. All proposals must be submitted by July 18 to TWRI to be approved and submitted to IWR. The RFP is available online. For more information, please contact Leslie Lee at 979.862.7139 or lhlee@ag.tamu.edu.

  • Well screenings and training available from the Texas Well Owner Network

    Owners of private water wells in several South and Central Texas counties can get their water screened for possible contaminants in the coming months through a program offered through a partnership of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, according to an AgriLife Extension specialist.

    Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension specialist, said the Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) is conducting water well screenings in different counties throughout Texas to test for possible common contaminants, including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and high salinity. View the full schedule to see when and where TWON will be conducting well screenings.

  • Texas scientists publish needed golden algae research

    Texas scientists involved in researching golden algae and its toxic blooms in lakes have recently published numerous articles about their findings in peer-reviewed journals, including two special journal issues.

    Drs. Dan Roelke of Texas A&M University, Jim Grover of the University of Texas at Arlington, and Bryan Brooks of Baylor University have researched mitigation and management strategies of golden algae within Lake Granbury to prevent the harmful blooms. The research was part of a congressionally funded project managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute.

    “To date, our team has published 17 papers on golden algae in Texas, approximately 50 percent of all that is published on this subject,” Roelke said.

  • River Systems Institute offers week-long Instream Flow Habitat Modeling course

    The River Systems Institute at Texas State University will conduct a short course May 16-20 on the theory and application of physical habitat based instream flow modeling. Course participants will use a Windows version of the Physical Habitat Simulation System for one-dimensional hydraulic and habitat based analyses.

    The course will also include the theory and application of Habitat Suitability Criteria (HSC) development, guild approaches for aquatic communities, spatial niche analysis techniques, habitat time series, effective habitat analyses and related time series based project flow scenario comparisons. The course will be closed at 25 participants and each participant must bring their own laptop computer. The cost of the course is $1,000 and includes all software, example data sets, lecture and laboratory manuals and an extensive library of instream flow-related references. Hotel, travel and meals are not included.

  • TWRI grant recipient studies the fate of pharmaceuticals in the environment

    Adcharee Karnjanapiboonwong, a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University, worked with her advising professor, Dr. Todd Anderson, to study the fate of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) at a wastewater application site.

    Karnjanapiboonwong received a 2009–10 Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research grant. The $5,000 grant allowed her to assess the fate of potential PPCPs from a wastewater treatment plant to a land application site where the compounds could transfer from wastewater to soil and groundwater.

  • TTU-TIEHH tests Gulf seafood on “Good Morning America” one year after oil spill

    Researchers from the Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University found no evidence of petroleum hydrocarbons in samples from a shipment of Louisiana seafood tested specifically for a segment on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” during the show’s one-year anniversary oil spill coverage, which aired April 19.

    Though these samples were clean, the sample size was small and more research is necessary before the full picture can be seen, said Ron Kendall, TIEHH Director.

  • Galveston Bay named one of nine new "Great Waters"

    Galveston Bay has been designated as one of nine new “Great Waters” by America’s Great Waters Coalition. The announcement was made by the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) at Trash Bash at Armand Bayou in Bay Area Park on March 26.

    "The health of Galveston Bay has indeed improved over the last twenty years,” said GBF President Bob Stokes. “Much of this can be traced back to restoration efforts that have been primarily funded by federal dollars. Those dollars directly benefit the health of both the Bay and our local economies and we need to continue making those investments to maintain those benefits."

  • National River Rally to be held June 3-6 in South Carolina

    The National River Rally will be held June 3–6 in North Charleston, South Carolina. According to the River Network, which organizes the event, at the rally attendees will have the opportunity to learn the best strategies for river restoration; test and help improve the newest tools and technologies for watershed protection; deliver and discuss critical information from the field and from Washington, DC; and interact with a diverse community of organizations, agencies, tribes and businesses working to connect the water, lands and communities. The event’s workshops will cover issues such as water, energy and climate flow; land trusts and river groups; restoration and protection; and legislation and policy.

  • BEG Bookstore offers resources on hydrology and geology

    The Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at the University of Texas at Austin provides an array of geological and hydrologic material in their bookstore, which is available online and at their Austin location. In addition to books, the BEG Bookstore includes maps, digital media and reports of research conducted by bureau staff from 1915 to the present, in both traditional and digital formats. Rock kits, cross sections and posters, plus selected Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) and Gulf Coast Section- Society for Sedimentary Geology (GCS-SEPM) products are available in the bookstore. Resources for teachers and the general public are also easily accessible.

  • New Publications/Papers and Training Courses

    New technical reports, educational materials, and upcoming training courses.

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