UTSA College of Sciences Professor Weldon W. Hammond holds the Amy Shelton and V.H. McNutt Distinguished Professorship in Geology. The endowed professorship was established in 1998 by the trustees of the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.
An expert in hydrogeology, Hammond heads UTSA's Center for Water Research (CWR), an interdisciplinary research center active in San Antonio and throughout Texas, Mexico and Central America. Through CWR contracts and partnerships, faculty and student scientists work with local communities to study water quality and improve water resources.
Vachel H. McNutt was a pioneer petroleum and mining geologist, most famous for his 1925 discovery of the first commercial potash deposits in the United States. His discovery broke the German domination of the substance used in munitions as well as in industry and agriculture. After his death in 1960, his wife, Amy Shelton McNutt, established the V. H. McNutt Memorial Foundation to support education and research in the sciences.
The Center for Water Research projects often take Hammond and his graduate students to remote areas in the developing world where access to clean water transforms community health. Endowment funds have supported the acquisition of sophisticated and expensive geophysical equipment -- such as a resistivity instrument -- that makes locating and drilling for water in remote locations more accurate.
"It's done a world of good," Hammond said. "All the graduate students have access to state-of-the-art geophysical research equipment."
One such ongoing project is in the Departamento del Paraiso in Honduras, to the south and east of Zamorano, an area of small agricultural villages with critical water problems. UTSA partners with the National Autonomous University of Honduras, training students and faculty, drilling and developing wells, and training locals in sustaining each project. With the data Hammond and his students have gathered in Honduras, he plans to submit a grant this fall to the National Science Foundation to support further water resource research projects in Honduras.
The fund also is used to support travel for staff and students to conferences and special training seminars, such as one held recently by the Advanced Geophysics Company in Austin.
"These funds give us the opportunity to work with students on problems that involve people -- it gives us the opportunity to find solutions at the community level," Hammond added.
"In view of the importance of water resources to the San Antonio area, the trustees of the Foundation requested that the Distinguished Professorship be awarded to a professor whose primary area of study and teaching is hydrogeology," said trustee Valerie Guenther. "We have been very pleased with Dr. Hammond's achievements and vision."
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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