Three of the 13 distinguished faculty members from across Texas A&M University recognized as 2021 Chancellor’s Enhancing Development and Generating Excellence in Scholarship, EDGES, Fellows are affiliated with Texas A&M AgriLife and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The Urban Water Innovation and Sustainability Hub (Urban WISH) is a new collaboration across Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension. It seeks to address the current and future challenges of urban water security and sustainability for North Texas and beyond.
Urban WISH seeks to engage North Texans to identify opportunities for innovation in urban water management to advance economic and environmental sustainability across communities. In addition, we seek to work with a diverse set of local communities and organizations to both encourage and engage in stakeholder discussions on a sustainable urban water management system and services. This adaptive approach offers a strategy to better identify how our researchers and extension personnel can support the community and advance a sustainable urban water future.
Collaboration with local stakeholders in urban water systems is critical to the co-creation of responsive and impactful research and extension programs on urban water. Our team will seek opportunities to convene and engage key stakeholder groups in meetings and workshops. We host activities at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center at Dallas' state-of-the-art sustainable LEED facilities and in communities across the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex to advance a sustainable and deeply integrated partnership and collaborations. As part of this work, we focus our attention on the role of citizen science. The ability to have a foothold in the community, offer substantial location of engagement and physically reside in the community near other partners supports the critical relationships necessary for the extension work and research enterprise to continue in the long term.
Urban WISH also aligns with the international and national agendas on urban sustainability and urban water and will place the research conducted at the AgriLife Dallas Center at the forefront of global scholarship. The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex provides a critical place to examine the epic challenge of urban water systems in a fast-growing metropolitan area under dynamic water-climate conditions. Therefore, our efforts are strategically aligned with and connected to local and regional needs while engaging larger scientific communities in the United States and beyond working at the forefront of urban water sustainability.
Wendy Jepson, Ph.D., is the associate director of research (social science) for TWRI at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center in Dallas. In addition to providing leadership to the Institute, she is focused on urban water sustainability, a topic critical to the well-being of Texas and Texans.
Dr. Becky Bowling is the AgriLife Extension lead for Urban WISH. She works jointly with AgriLife’s extensive network to develop and deliver outreach programming and resources to critical audiences on the topics of water conservation, water security and the science of Extension.