Aggies showcase water research and win scholarships at Water Daze 2023

For the first time since 2019, the Water Daze student research poster contest and water seminar returned to Texas A&M University on March 29. Showcasing water-related research from engineering, agriculture and Earth sciences fields, 40 Texas A&M students presented research posters to contest judges, discussed their work with faculty experts and networked with peers.

The Texas Water Resources Institute and the Water Management and Hydrological Science Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M hosted Water Daze, and Noah W. Garfinkle, infrastructure resilience researcher, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, presented the Water Daze seminar.

Melanie Brewer, graduate student in the Department of Geology and Geophysics in the College of Arts and Sciences, won first place and a $7,500 scholarship for her research poster, “Reconstructing River Hydrology Using Stable Oxygen, Carbon, and Clumped Isotopes in Freshwater Mussels from the Brazos River, TX.”

Christopher Cobos, Ph.D. student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, won second place and a $5,000 scholarship for his research poster, “Soil Water Dynamics in Semi-Arid Cotton Conservation Systems.”

Harrison Coker, graduate student also in soil and crop sciences, won third place and a $2,500 scholarship for his research poster, “Thirsty roots release more nitrogen: Drought increases nitrogenous exudation of cotton.”

Posters were evaluated by a panel of reviewers representing the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences. To be eligible for the poster contest, students had to be graduate students at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas A&M Galveston, or Texas A&M Qatar, have at least one semester remaining in their current graduate program, and be enrolled in eligible study areas, including engineering hydrology, stochastic hydrology, coastal hydrology, water quality, watershed management, hydrogeology, and hydrologic techniques in water resources planning.

The awards were funded by the W.G. Mills Memorial Fellowship in Hydrology, established to promote the development and conservation of water resources in Texas and develop leadership for tomorrow’s water resources managers.

The W.G. Mills Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 1967, by Mills Cox of Gay Hill, Texas, who was chairman of the Texas Water Development Board. He created the permanently endowed fund in memory of his great-grandfather, W.G. Mills of Millican, who helped prepare the site for Gathright Hall, the original student dormitory and dining hall on the Texas A&M campus, constructed in 1875-1876.

Since 2001, TWRI has awarded more than $453,700 in Mills scholarships to support 211 students involved in water-related studies. Poster contest winners’ funds will be applied directly to their tuition and fees accounts.

View the winning Water Daze research posters and photos from the event at


As communications manager, Leslie Lee leads TWRI's communications and marketing strategy and team, manages TWRI's publications, and coordinates effective communications support for TWRI's numerous projects serving the state of Texas.

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