Faculty, Student Scholarship in Spotlight at Annual Research Fair

ResearchFair23 Faculty and student researchers have investigated everything from the warming climate to English language learning to police involvement in mental health emergencies —even to the Amarillo Symphony’s origins and sleep patterns in mice. Nearly 70 projects will be featured in posters and live presentations, including 38 faculty projects and 31 student projects.

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WT to Offer Embedded Associate Degrees for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s

OldMainFountainView West Texas A&M University students soon can earn an associate degree en route to completing their bachelor’s degree, thanks to a new plan approved by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents that will help combat student indebtedness. Pending final agreement from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, TAMUS Regents on Feb. 9 approved a plan that establishes eight new degree programs: associate of arts degrees in liberal arts and humanities and multidisciplinary studies, and associate of science degrees in business, education, health sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences.

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WT McNair Scholars Present Research at National Conference

McNairConference24 Five West Texas A&M University students recently presented research at a national honors conference. The students, all members of WT’s McNair Scholars program, presented research in disciplines ranging from animal science to digital communication and media at the Ronald E. McNair 38th Annual Celebration and 14th Research Symposium at North Carolina A&T State University. McNair Scholars from across the country presented their research and attended a graduate school fair during the conference, held Jan. 27 to 29 to commemorate the anniversary of the Challenger tragedy in which McNair and six other astronauts perished in 1986.

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‘I Am WT’ Podcast Spotlights Sara-Louise Newcomer, Companion Animal Program

NewcomerIAmWT West Texas A&M University’s student-run podcast continues its second season Dec. 7 with an episode highlighting the University’s new companion animal program.

“I Am WT” hosts Myka Bailey, a junior PR/advertising/applied communication major from Abernathy, and Thomas Rodriguez, a junior digital media and communication major from Katy, are joined by Dr. Sara-Louise Newcomer, WT’s Dr. Russell C. Long and Natrelle Hedrick Long Professor in Companion Animal Studies.

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WT Attebury Honors Graduating Seniors to Be Honored at Nov. 30 Reception

AtteburyDec23Grads A trio of West Texas A&M University’s most accomplished students will be honored at a Nov. 30 reception. Students from the Attebury Honors Program will celebrate their accomplishments and salute their advisers during the reception, set for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Alumni Banquet Hall on WT’s Canyon campus. “Attebury Honors Graduates engage in individualized honors pathways that include specialized courses, colloquial engagement, research activity, and presentation and leadership experiences,” said Dr. Carolyn Baum, Attebury Honors Program director and assistant professor in the Department of Communication. “These students are unique problem-solvers and are sure to enrich and elevate the communities in which they live.”

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WT Students Earn Surprise Scholarships from Education Credit Union Foundation

MoneyMgmtBootcamp23 Dozens of West Texas A&M University students earned scholarships Nov. 14 in a surprise presentation from Education Credit Union Foundation. In a ceremony honoring 110 graduates of WT’s Money Management Bootcamp, 44 students were presented $250 scholarships. Ten of those were awarded by WT, and 34 were awarded by the ECU Foundation. The bootcamp is a six-week, noncredit course hosted by the Education Credit Union Buff $mart program.

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Single Mom, Daughter from Canyon Named WT’s Family of the Year

FamilyYear23 A determined single mother and her fiercely loyal daughter were named West Texas A&M University’s Family of the Year during weekend celebrations. Isabella Van Stavern, a freshman wildlife biology major from Canyon, and her mother, Ashley Bell, an interior designer at Officewise in Amarillo, were honored during a special brunch as part of WT Family Weekend, which ran Oct. 27 to 29. “What stood out in Isabella’s nomination was the love and appreciation she had for Ashley as a single mother and her understanding of the struggles that come with being a single mother,” said Amanda Lawson, senior director of orientation and academic success for WT. “Isabella also wrote convincingly about how supportive and encouraging her mom has been about her attending WT.”

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Matlack Named WT’s New Davidson Professor of Wildlife Biology

RayMatlack_DavidsonProf West Texas A&M University’s expert on all creatures large and small that call this region home is now the University’s new James A. “Buddy” Davidson Professor of Wildlife Biology. Dr. Ray Matlack, who joined WT in 2002, recently was appointed to the position, announced Dr. Jason Yarbrough, head of both the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Physics in WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

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WT Student Science Clubs to Host Science Community Night

SciCommunityNight The impact of the sciences—and how West Texas A&M University plays a crucial role in this region—will be in the spotlight in a new event set for Nov. 3. Science Community Night, sponsored by the Paul Engler College Agriculture and Natural Sciences , will begin at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on WT’s Canyon campus. Tickets, which include dinner, are $10 for students and $25 for alumni and community members.

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WT’s One West Campaign Sets New Goal: $175 Million


West Texas A&M University today announced an ambitious new goal for its One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, already the largest in Texas Panhandle history. Almost exactly two years after the campaign was publicly launched and just four months after its first goal was reached , One West leaders announced that they aim to raise a staggering $175 million by the time the campaign ends in 2025.

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Jon Mark Beilue: Climate Science Awareness

JMBJapanA West Texas A&M University students Ava Sealy and Jacob Hurst taught classes on environment science at Amarillo College and in the Canyon ISD last year. That was, in a way, the dress rehearsal for taking their act on the road. And what a long road it was – approximately 6,555 miles. Sealy and Hurst, under the coordination of Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, associate professor of environmental science, traveled to Japan in July as part of the University’s Study Abroad program.

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WT Leading New Study into Microbes, Water Quality at Lake Meredith

LakeMeredithStudy Following a summer of historic rainfalls that refilled Lake Meredith, West Texas A&M University students are taking part in new research that they hope will provide unprecedented scientific understanding of the reservoir. The study—led by Dr. Maitreyee Mukherjee, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Erik Crosman, assistant professor of environmental sciences, in the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences —is examining variations in the microbiology and water quality of the lake, a key source of drinking, recreational and agricultural water sources in the region.

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WT’s McNair Scholars Cohort Announced for 2023-24

McNair22-23 Fifteen West Texas A&M University students will join one of the University’s most prestigious academic programs in the fall. The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, or the McNair Scholars Program, at WT prepares underrepresented, low-income and first-generation undergraduate students for doctoral study through research and other scholarly activities. In 2022, the program won a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education , providing $275,000 in annual funding for five years.

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WT Student to Study in South Korea Thanks to State Department Scholarship

NoahWolffGilman A West Texas A&M University student who grew up in foster care now will study in his ancestral home in South Korea for the 2023-24 academic year thanks to a generous scholarship from the U.S. Department of State. Noah Wolff, a sophomore biology major from Pampa, will study at Chonnam National University in Gwanju beginning in August after receiving a $7,000 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship from the State Department.

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22 WT Faculty Members Earn Promotions; Seven Announce Retirements

23Promotions-Professors Twenty-two West Texas A&M University faculty members have been recognized for outstanding performance by being awarded tenure and/or promotion for the 2023-24 academic year. This total includes 13 faculty members awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor and nine promotions in academic rank to professor. Extensive reviews and recommendations by faculty colleagues at the department, college and university levels inform the decisions, which culminate with final approval by President Walter V. Wendler and The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

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Outstanding WT Faculty, Staff Recognized at End-of-Year Ceremony

22-23FacultyAwards Exceptional members of West Texas A&M University’s faculty and staff were honored during an end-of-year meeting May 4. “Winning one of the university awards is a special moment in these faculty and staff members’ professional careers, further enhanced by the knowledge that they have earned the highest level of respect from your peers, dean, administration, and other stakeholders across campus in recognition of your distinctive production,” said Dr. Neil Terry, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

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Spring ’23 Attebury Honors Graduates Celebrated at WT

AtteburySpring23Grads Nine of West Texas A&M University’s most accomplished spring graduates were recognized May 2 at a pre-commencement reception.

Students from the Attebury Honors Program celebrated their accomplishments and saluted their advisers during the reception in the Fairly Group Club at Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium on WT’s Canyon campus.

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WT to Memorialize Students Lost in 2022-23 Academic Year

WTHalfStaff West Texas A&M University flags will fly at half-staff April 28 in honor of students who died during the 2022-23 academic year.

A student memorial service also will be held at 2 p.m. April 28 in the Joseph A. Hill Memorial Chapel on WT’s Canyon campus. A reception will follow in the commons area of the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.

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WT Woman, Man of the Year Celebrated Among Other Outstanding Students, Staff

WomanMan23B Two prominent student leaders were named West Texas A&M University’s Woman and Man of the Year during the annual All-University Honors Ceremony. Annie Valicek, a junior agribusiness and economics major from Houston, and Tucker Gattis, a graduate public administration student from Pottsboro, were given the respective honors during the April 21 ceremony, held by the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership in Legacy Hall in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.

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WT Recognizes Year’s Top Student Employees

StudentEmployees23 An information technology employee who arranged for continual campus tech support during a school shutdown and a graduate assistant who makes sure students get their diplomas from one of the University’s largest Colleges are West Texas A&M University’s Student Employees of the Year for 2022-23. Christopher Bland, a senior computer information systems major from Fritch, and Emma Deer, a graduate agriculture science student from Canyon, were recognized by WT’s Office of Career and Professional Development at an April 10 reception in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on WT’s Canyon campus.

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'I Am WT' Podcast Focuses on Tiny Earth Initiative, Search for New Antibiotics

IAmWTMukherjee An upcoming new course of study at West Texas A&M University that can have global implications is highlighted in the latest episode of WT’s student-run podcast. Dr. Maitreyee Mukherjee, assistant professor of biology, speaks with “I Am WT” hosts Brae Foust and Tearanee’ Lockhart in the latest episode, available April 6 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and SoundCloud, as well as at .

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WT's Hiranuma Appointed to Energy Department Advisory Committee

NarukiEMSL A West Texas A&M University environmental science professor has been named as an advisory committee member for a U.S. Department of Energy lab. Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, associate professor of environmental science in the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences in WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences , now serves on the user executive committee for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.

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Memorial Scholarship Fund Established in Honor of Late WT Student Joe Hoot

HootScholarship Joe Hoot was a young man who’d stop and hold the door for anyone, even when the line would ceaselessly keep streaming in. Who’d give the sweatshirt off his back to an acquaintance who was cold. Who’d give his own food away to a stranger who was hungry. Now, following his unexpected death at age 22, his generous spirit will live on in the form of a new merit scholarship at West Texas A&M University.

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WT Student Scores Second, Five Others Present Research at TAMUS Conference

WTGenericImage_smaller A senior West Texas A&M University student placed second in a research conference for students across The Texas A&M University System. Five other WT students also participated in the 18th annual Pathways Student Research Conference , held March 2 and 3 at Texas A&M University–Galveston.

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WT Students to Present Research at Regional Honors Conference

GreatPlainsConference23 Two West Texas A&M University Attebury Honors students will present their research into religion and healthcare at an upcoming regional conference. Madelyn Eatley, a senior political science major from Amarillo, and Elizabeth Ragan, a senior biology/pre-med major from Missouri City, will present at the Great Plains Honors Conference March 10 to 12 at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.

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WT Joins Tiny Earth Initiative in Effort to Increase Hands-On Learning in Labs

TinyEarth West Texas A&M University students next fall will join a global effort to find new antibiotics as part of an innovative way of teaching microbiology. WT has joined the teaching initiative Tiny Earth , in which traditional laboratory experiences in introductory science classes are converted into discovery-based research exercises.

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WT Faculty, Students to Present Wide-Ranging Efforts in Research

PosterSession From water availability to workplace victimization, and clown noir to the Texas Constitution, faculty and students from across West Texas A&M University will share their research on a wide variety of topics at Cornette Library’s 18th Annual Faculty Research Poster Session and Research Fair. For the first time, student researchers present alongside WT faculty members.

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Former WT President, Wife Establish New Program in Small Animal Studies

LongGiftA A major gift from a former president of West Texas A&M University and his wife will allow the University to significantly expand its foothold in pre-veterinary education and animal studies. WT President Emeritus Russell C. Long and wife Natrelle Hedrick Long have announced a $2.1 million planned gift to the University to establish a new companion animal science program for students planning on a career in veterinary medicine or in a host of other pet-related careers.

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The West Texan: What It Means to Be a Regional Research University

BiofidelicSilicone Every day, students, faculty and staff across West Texas A&M University are searching for solutions to problems facing not only the Panhandle community, but also those gripping similar regions around the world. They’re fulfilling the singular goal of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World , which is to cement WT as a Regional Research University. But what, exactly, is a Regional Research University?

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WT Awarded Department of Energy Grant to Further Study of Cloud Formation

BithiMicrofluidicA Ongoing research conducted by a West Texas A&M University team into how climate change can be measured recently won a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant will fund the joint research of Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, associate professor of environmental science; Dr. Swastika Bithi, assistant professor of engineering; and Dr. Sanjoy Bhattacharia, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Bithi and Bhattacharia are part of WT’s College of Engineering , and Hiranuma is a faculty member in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences .

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WT Graduate to Present Significant New Research into Playa Lakes at National Conference

PlayaLakeResearch A recent West Texas A&M University graduate will present groundbreaking research into methods to more closely analyze a crucial feature of the Texas Panhandle ecosystem — playa lakes. The High Plains area is home to tens of thousands of playa lakes—shallow, circular wetlands that Texas Parks & Wildlife calls “arguably the most significant ecological feature” in the region. “Mounting evidence points to playa lakes as a critical recharge source for the Ogallala aquifer,” according to Texas Parks & Wildlife. “Playas filter and recharge as much as 95 percent of the water collected in the southern portion of the aquifer.”

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WT Professor, Students Making Science Education Fun for Panhandle-Area Children

ClimateOutreachB A West Texas A&M University professor and his students are making it easier for students around the Panhandle to understand climate science. Dr. Naruki Hiranuma and students in the WT Climate Science Society have developed an outreach program to teach climate science to various age groups—a program that they hope to loan out to schools around the state and the globe. “Combining the topics of environmental and climate science is an efficient and interesting tool to connect young students with fundamental science by demonstrating how science provides information so one can interpret, digest and solve everyday life problems,” Hiranuma said.

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Explore Graduate School Opportunities in WT's Engler College of Agriculture & Natural Sciences

PECANSGradOpenHouse Potential students looking to expand their career possibilities in highly in-demand fields can explore their options at a pair of upcoming virtual open houses. The Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences will host two events: Agricultural Sciences at 6 p.m. Aug. 2, and Natural Sciences at 6 p.m. Aug. 4. “The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the clothes we wear all impact the lives of our families, our communities and our world, and by pursing graduate studies through our College, students can become a part of creating healthy, thriving communities,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean of the Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

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WT-led Study into Extreme Palo Duro Canyon Heat Continues for Second Summer

PDCTempUpdate With temperatures soaring in the Texas Panhandle, researchers with West Texas A&M University and the National Weather Service are continuing an impactful study on the hazards of extreme heat in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. WT students helped install 24 temperature and humidity sensors on the floor and walls of the canyon in summer 2021, and preliminary observations appear to confirm the long-held belief that the canyon traps heat like an oven, sending temperatures on the canyon floor soaring 12 degrees higher than those in Amarillo.

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WT Academic Affairs Feature Biology Student, Carlos Guerrero

AnnaBonnet_WT125Medal As a young boy, Carlos Guerrero had big ambitions to become a scientist. He enjoyed hands-on learning and the ability to discover new things. In five years, Carlos hopes to find himself pursuing a doctorate in something related to chemistry or finishing dental school. His passion is to improve the quality of life for others, which he can accomplish in the research or dental field. Dr. Flynn is one of many mentors that has guided Carlos at West Texas A&M. These mentors have created an outlet to build confidence for students going into future graduate and doctorate programs such as Carlos. 

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LEES Students Received WT Student Research Awards

AnnaBonnet_WT125Medal Graduate and undergraduate students presented their work in either paper, oral or poster presentations. The annual event, held April 7, gives students at WT as well as those from other educational institutions an opportunity to showcase their research and creative projects in professional venues. Students competing for cash awards are judged and critiqued by a panel of faculty members. Some of the winners are LEES students!

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WT Scholars Take Part in TAMUS-Wide Research Conference

Pathways22 Ten West Texas A&M University scholars recently discussed their research into family planning in South Korea, extreme heat in Palo Duro Canyon and more at a conference that brought together students from across The Texas A&M University System. The Pathways Conference, held March 3 and 4 at the flagship Texas A&M University in College Station, provides students opportunities to network with recruiters, faculty and fellow students. 

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Rural Panhandle Residents Sought for WT-Led Study into Flood Preparation, Mitigation

FloodStudy_MSU_WT West Texas A&M University students and faculty are seeking rural Texans who have suffered from damaging floods and may be eligible for state aid. Students working with WT’s Dr. Erick Butler, Dr. Erik Crosman and Dr. Nathan Howell will spend the next six weeks traveling to small communities in the Texas Panhandle to interview residents who have experienced flooding as part of an outreach study for the Texas Water Development Board. WT is partnering with Dr. Jonathan Price and students in the Kimbell School of Geosciences at Midwestern State University’s McCoy College of Science, Math and Engineering.

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From China to London by Way of WT

YidiHou_JMB_A The pursuit of an education has taken Yidi Hou to places and cultures that five years ago she could have not imagined. In 2017, she completed her high school education – or fundamental education – in Tai’an, a city of 5.6 million in the Western Shangdong province of China. Today, she’s pursuing a master’s degree in the environmental sciences field at Imperial College in London – more than 5,000 miles west of where Hou called home. But before that, and certainly connecting the two cities, was a swing 6,650 miles to the east and four productive years spent at West Texas A&M University.

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WT Environmental Science Professor Contributes to Major Study on Methane Emissions

UintaBasin A West Texas A&M University assistant professor of environmental science helped examine weather patterns for a major new study on methane emissions. Dr. Erik T. Crosman from WT's Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences was one of several contributors to a study published Nov. 16 in Scientific Reports and funded by the Climate Program Office and its Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate program.

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WT Leads Climate Study in Alaska, Will Continue Monitoring Data from Canyon

EliseWilbourn A West Texas A&M University research team recently launched a study near the northernmost city in the United States that could have a long-range impact on measuring climate change. The team — led by Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, associate professor of environmental sciences in WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences — journeyed to the north slope of Alaska near Utqiaġvik to measure aerosols in ice-containing clouds. Aerosols, or ice-nucleating particles, are the microscopic material in the air that water vapor condenses around to form ice crystals that make up clouds.

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WT Spotlights on Biology Student, Keshon Cervantes 


Keshon Cervantes shares his passion for science and how WT prepared him for his next step in the research world. "I will already have the skills and knowledge instilled into me," Keshon says. "When I go to the next place, I don't second guess myself."

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WT Students Make Important Progress in Becoming Researchers


Twenty-eight undergraduate and graduate students took part in the annual internal grant poster presentation, held Oct. 5 by WT’s Graduate School in Cornette Library. This year’s annual student research poster session included the graduate student research posters and the President’s undergraduate research posters from both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. The poster presentation is the end of a process that begins with the submission of a grant proposal. Once approved, students conduct research and present their findings in the poster session.

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Study into Extreme Heat at Palo Duro Canyon Being Conducted by WT Students


Students from West Texas A&M University are taking the lead in a summer-long study of extreme heat in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Heat-related illness among hikers and other visitors is a common experience each summer in the canyon, where temperatures can soar more than 12 degrees higher than in Amarillo or Canyon. “Despite its beauty, Palo Duro Canyon can be a very dangerous place,” said Jeff Davis, assistant park superintendent. “While visitors worry more about venomous snakes or trips and falls, heat and dehydration are the real danger here. Our partnership with WT will be a critical step in educating our visitors about the dangers of heat at the park.”

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WT Graduate, Undergraduate Student Scholars Honored at Student Research Conference


A graduate student from the Republic of Benin was given the first WT 125 Research Award at the recent Student Research Conference at West Texas A&M University. Erasme da Cruz, a natural sciences graduate student, won the new award for his oral presentation “Environmental Crisis in the Panhandle of Texas: The Tale of Buffalo Lake.” Thirty-three graduate and undergraduate students participated in the 27th annual conference on April 14 and 15, presenting their work in paper, oral or poster presentations.

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WT Student Groups to Host Earth Day Event for Regional Schools


West Texas A&M University students will help regional elementary students celebrate Earth Day with hands-on activities. The Environmental Science Society at WT will lead several activities April 21 to help third- and fourth-grade students from Thomas R. Helton Elementary School in Wheeler and Wildorado Elementary School learn more about the importance of protecting the environment. “We all live on Planet Earth, and we all need to do our best to keep it in the best shape possible. That starts with education. That’s the first step in making progress,” said Damaris Washington, ESS vice president and junior environmental science—geology major from Borger.

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WT Grad Student’s Research Helps Understanding of Precipitation in Texas Panhandle


Research that recently was published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics might lead to better understanding of precipitation across the Panhandle and beyond, including more efficient ways to modify the weather.

Hemanth Sandeep Vepuri, a student from Hyderabad, India, who is pursuing his master of science degree in environmental science, is the primary author of the research into ice-nucleating particles (INPs) — the microscopic material in the air that water vapor condenses around to form ice crystals that make up clouds.

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Xcel Energy Archives Now Preserved at PPHM Through WT’s Center for the Study of the American West

student-brownDecades’ worth of material charting the history of one of the region’s most prominent industries have been preserved, thanks to the efforts of two West Texas A&M University student interns and WT’s Center for the Study of the American West.

In a collaboration established by Wes Reeves of Xcel Energy and Alex Hunt, director of CSAW, the interns preserved and established an important collection of materials for the archives of Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

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WT Professor Part of Major Study on Tortoise DNA Published in Science Magazine


Dr. Peter A. Scott is the lead author of a study of the DNA of Mojave desert tortoises that appeared as the cover story of the Nov. 27 issue of Science .

“It’s pretty wild,” said Scott, an assistant professor of wildlife biology. “It’s not something I ever thought studying some tortoise DNA would get me. Part of that is that these results stem from a side project, so one of the main lessons is to listen to what the data says and be flexible enough to go where it tells you. Sometimes, you get an unexpected but powerful result.”

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LEES Faculty and His Research Group Received the 2019 University & College Intellectual Contributions Excellence Award

LEES_Hiranuma_GroupDr. Naruki Hiranuma earned a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from Texas A&M University and joined the faculty at WT in 2016.

“The receipts of a Department of Energy Career Award of $750,000 in 2018 and a National Science Foundation Career Award of $500,000 in 2019 highlight his intellectual contribution accomplishments,” said Dr. David Sissom, chair of the Department of Life, Earth, & Environmental Sciences.

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WT's Hiranuma is Awarded by the National Science Foundation

hiranuma-pineWest Texas A&M University’s Dr. Naruki Hiranuma (aka Dr. Seonggi Moon) has been awarded the highly-coveted CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The $500,000 grant will support a five-year project led by Dr. Hiranuma, assistant professor of environmental sciences. The funds will be used to hire two graduate students to boost research efforts in the University's environmental science program, as well as research expenses and teaching activities.

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Drs. Johnson and Fritzler Take to the Field in New Mexico

New Mexico Game and Fish ResearchDrs. James B. Johnson and Jason Fritzler, both Assistant Professors of Biology, recently had the opportunity to team up with New Mexico Game and Fish to conduct research centered on the questions: 1) What strains of chytrid fungus and  ranavirus are currently present in two drainages in southwestern New Mexico where this sensitive species of frog occurs; 2) Is there any evidence of the presence of  chytrid fungus or  ranavirus in water and soil used at nurseries that grow the sorts of plants that could be used for restoration projects?



Dr. Carolyn Bouma, Associate Professor of Biology, is the recipient of the 2018 University & College Professional Service Award

Dr. Carolyn Bouma Dr. Carolyn Bouma, associate professor of biology, received the University award for Professional Service. Since 2006, Bouma has contributed to WT by supporting students in roles such as coordinator of the Texas Tech Mentor Program, advisor for the Pre-Healthcare Club, past-chair of the Texas Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, a mentor in the Joint Admission Medical Program, a statewide scholarship program for pre-medicine students, and as an academic adviser. Bouma not only assists students enrolling in courses, but she also supports students through the medical school application process, which amounts to approximately 40 pre-medical students annually.

As chair of the College Health Professions Advisory Committee, she prepared 24 evaluation letters for 17 students applying to graduate schools, scholarships, full-time employment and summer programs in 2019. On average, more than 50 percent of WT students who applied to medical school were accepted, above the 42 percent national average.

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WT Faculty Help Encourage Early Interest in the STEM Fields

don-harrington-logoWest Texas A&M University partnered with the local meteorology community to host "Weathering the Storm: The Science of Severe Weather," an annual educational event for kids about severe weather patterns, at the Don Harrington Discovery Center (DHDC). Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, assistant professor of environmental science at WT, John Harris, chief meteorologist at KAMR-TV, and Jason Boggs, an experienced storm chaser, demonstrated various labs for more than 300 students from local elementary schools in the all-day event earlier this month.

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Fascinating Course at WTAMU Takes Campus by Storm

Doppler Dave OliverBetween the arts and sciences, many stick to one for their degree requirements. But whether a student demonstrates aptitude in either is not exclusive to the deep appreciation students have for one of the most favored courses at West Texas A&M University - meteorology.

The percentage of students majoring in environmental science is modest, but the buzz around taking an elective focused on understanding the weather is keeping classes full and growing for meteorologist instructor Dave Oliver. Currently, a general meteorology course is available for spring and fall semesters, but increased demand may open up options to specialties in severe weather and climate change.

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University Receives NSF Grant to Support Low-Income STEM Students

West Texas A&M University is the recipient of a federal grant totaling almost $1 million through the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the recruitment, retention and graduation of low-income students interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

"Our world’s increasing reliance on technology and data means strong STEM-focused minds will continue to be in high demand, and we should give students in these fields every advantage to succeed," John Cornyn, U.S. senator from Texas, said. "I applaud area leaders for their work to obtain this grant, and I’m grateful to the Trump administration for supporting students at West Texas A&M."

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WTAMU Professor Receives DOE Early Career Award

Dr. Naruki Hiranuma Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, assistant professor of environmental sciences at West Texas A&M University, is one of 84 scientists selected from across the nation to receive significant funding for research as a 2018 Early Career Award recipient through the DOE Office of Science. The Early Career Research Program, now in its ninth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. The recipients include 30 scientists from DOE’s national laboratories and 54 from universities across the United States.

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WTAMU prepares grads for fast-changing energy industry

At the epicenter of the oil industry, Texas is the leading state for opportunities in oil and gas exploration. For decades, a sure way to begin a career in fossil fuels included a degree in geology, but as the industry advances, so must the college curriculum. Fortunately, West Texas A&M University has restructured to fit this need with an environmental science and geology program.

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Earth Day at Amarillo Zoo

Earth day at Amarillo Zoo Three faculty members and students from the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences at West Texas A&M University provided hands-on activities and demonstrations to local students in celebration of Earth Day at the Amarillo Zoo.

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Earth Day at Don Harrington Discovery Center

West Texas A&M University faculty members Dr. Nick Flynn and Dr. Naruki Hiranuma provided hands-on activities and demonstrations to area elementary students at the Discovery Center on April 20 th to celebrate Earth Day. The theme for this year’s annual event was Marine Chemistry and was selected by the American Chemical Society.

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WTAMU Senior Achieves Record-Setting MCAT Score

Senior Amanda Bell, double-majoring in biochemistry and biology, has achieved one of the top two Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores ever earned at West Texas A&M University. “I hadn’t taken biochemistry yet when I took the MCAT,” Bell said. “I studied for about two months, but my adviser, Dr. Carolyn Bouma, was one of the biggest reasons I got into med school. She reviewed parts of my application and gave me tips as an expert. She and Dr. Donna Byers really helped me with cell biology, too.”Bell, who is from Midland, received invitations to interview at eight of the 10 medical schools in Texas, and she is the first traditional WTAMU student to receive an interview at the only private medical school at Baylor College of Medicine. She received early acceptance from Texas Tech University (TTU) and University of Texas at Houston McGovern. Ultimately, she decided on TTU.

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WTAMU Grad Student is Poster Winner at AMS Conference

Kimberly CoryKimberly Cory, a graduate student in biology at West Texas A&M University, is the  winner of the student presentation competition at the 98th annual conference of the American  Meteorological Society in January in Austin. Her winning poster was titled "Laboratory Investigation on  the Immersion Freezing Behavior of Arctic Aerosols Collected in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard."

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WTAMU Professor Collects Aerosol Samples for Cloud Formation Research

hiranuma-arctic-1It could easily be said that Dr. Naruki Hiranuma has his head in the  clouds. Literally. It’s a good thing, too, because the West Texas A&M University professor has traveled as far as the Arctic to gather aerosol samples—fine solid or liquid particles suspended in the air— for extensive research on cloud formation and composition in his Atmospheric and Aerosol Measurement Lab at the University’s Killgore Research Center.

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Happy State Bank Academic & Research Building, Suite 262
WTAMU Box 60872, Canyon, TX  79016