A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize a research partnership in addressing transboundary issues in agriculture and natural resources was signed by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and leadership from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, or FMVZ, at Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, or UAT, in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
The goal of the collaborative partnership is to facilitate joint education programs, student and professor efforts, and international research projects from both universities. While both institutions specialize in agriculture and environmental efforts, their partnership will not only help address agricultural, natural resource and wildlife challenges along the Tamaulipas-Texas borderland region but also help train future agricultural and natural resource professionals from both countries.
“Areas of interest from our renewed relationship include student and professor exchanges, workshops and service programs that benefit conservation on both sides of the border,” Texas A&M’s Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, Director Dr. Roel Lopez said.
Texas A&M AgriLife Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr. Susan Ballabina said the MOU will expand academic efforts, research and collaboration among both universities, and that she’s interested in watching the partnership expand as both universities pursue future research endeavors. Examples of projects include work on feline species in the Tamaulipas-Texas borderland region and work with aquatic resources for shared watersheds. Other potential collaborative efforts include animal-wildlife disease work and land stewardship.
The NRI looks forward to the partnership to support ongoing activities along the Texas-Mexico border, said Lopez, and their ecology, taxonomy, population distribution, and other science-based knowledge and solutions for state and federal natural resource agencies.
Ballabina and Lopez attended the signing, which took place August 15, 2019, on the Texas A&M University campus. Also in attendance was FMVZ-UAT’s Director Edgar López-Acevedo, who expressed his enthusiasm to jointly develop research, academic excellence and strengthen international collaborative efforts. Other attendees included NRI’s Associate Director for Research Dr. Brian Pierce and UAT’s Everardo Salinas-Navarrete and Eduardo A. González, both FMVZ professors and researchers.
The NRI works to improve the conservation, management of natural resources and private land stewardship through interdisciplinary and applied research, education and policy. NRI is a unit of Texas A&M AgriLife Research headquartered in College Station with offices in San Antonio, Dallas and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to https://nri.tamu.edu/.