Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M Offer Joint USDA Water Quality Fellowship Program Summer 2017

Applications are now being accepted for the five-week Water Quality Fellowship Summer Program jointly directed by Texas A&M University (TAMU) and Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU).  This program sponsored by the USDA-NIFA Research and Extension Experiences for Undergrads (REEU) will be offered during Summer Session I at TAMU (June 1 – June 30, 2017).  Benefits of the program include 3-hours of course credit, undergraduate research experience in water quality, a $2,500 stipend, housing at Texas A&M University during the program, a meal allowance of $150 per week, internship experience with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, and a $250 travel allowance to present their research at a water quality conference. A limited number of top-tier fellowship students showing exceptional performance in the program, will also have the opportunity to apply for a fully funded scholarship to go on the 2018 BAEN Environmental Science and Engineering Study Abroad program in Leuven, Belgium.

The goal of the program is to provide Fellowship students with: 1) hands-on learning experiences in water quality, 2) exposure to careers in agricultural research and extension, and 3) a pathway to graduate school.  Participants will have the chance to interact with a multidisciplinary team of extension specialists, agricultural engineers, and soil and water microbiologists, from the TAMU and PVAMU campuses. A mentoring program will pair students with faculty members who will introduce the students to the program, cultivate the student’s interests, and help the students to set individual educational and research goals for the experience.

Students will attend a series of lectures that will present the basic scientific principles related to hydrology and water quality, particularly as related to Onsite Sewage Facilities (OSSFs).  Hydrology topics will include the movement of water through the soil by infiltration, percolation, and through overland flow processes.  Water quality topics will include the physicochemical properties, transformations, and pathways of nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria.  Additionally, students will gain a working knowledge of the functional operation of anaerobic and aerobic OSSFs and wastewater reuse systems.  Students will use this knowledge to conduct research to address a variety of problems related to OSSFs, and the transport of nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria through soil and water.

To participate in the program students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be a university student who has freshman or sophomore classification, be an agriculture science or environmental/agricultural engineering major, be a minimum of 18 years of age, and have a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students from under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.  Applications and necessary forms are available online at www.pvamu.edu/cahs/reeu. Essays should be one page in length describing student’s research interests, career goals, and related experience. The application deadline is March 30, 2017.

Please contact Dr. Anish Jantrania, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, (anish.jantrania@ag.tamu.edu or (254) 774-6014),  Dr. Ali Fares, Prairie View A&M University, (alfares@pvamu.edu or (936) 261-5019) or Dr. Clyde Munster, Texas A&M University, (c-munster@tamu.edu or (979) 847-8793) for more information about the program.

Article by Whitney Steinmann

For details about this news story and others please contact Stormy Kretzschmar, stormyk@tamu.edu.

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