OCTOBER, 20, 2020 — The University of Texas at San Antonio has received a four-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to advance research, technology development, student training and the diversity of students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
The Bioenergy and Water for Agriculture Research and Education (BE AWARE 2) Network is a consortium led by Krystel Castillo, director of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute, GreenStar Endowed Associate Professor in Energy and VP in Energy Efficiency for the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute. It involves several partners including The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, The University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, San Antonio College, South Texas College and multiple U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies.
Nowadays, concerns are growing over the ability of the modern smart agriculture systems to simultaneously achieve security and environmental sustainability. The increased penetration of Internet of Things (IoT) based smart security and monitoring devices allows farmers to collect data with a high granularity and in enormous quantities; however, security issues are a latent concern. Additionally, the use of machine learning as well as artificial intelligence techniques is revolutionizing the decision-making support systems in smart agriculture. Yet, the dominant tendency is to conceptualize diverse smart agriculture systems (e.g., biofuels, food, water, etc.) as separate, disconnected issues, which is a key barrier to educational transformation.
BE AWARE 2 will continue and expand efforts to provide research opportunities and transdisciplinary training in IoT security, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence for the optimization and design of integrated bioenergy and water systems.
“The BE AWARE 2 team will work towards addressing the shortage of trained workforce in data analytics to optimize smart agriculture with a holistic systems perspective,” said Castillo.
BE AWARE 2 trains a future workforce with a strong baseline understanding of data-driven agriculture systems by engaging students in research projects showing the integrative nature of biofuel production and water remediation. BE AWARE 2 aims to identify frontiers in agriculture and devise the future of data-driven agriculture systems.
“The holistic approach and training in data-driven integrated systems will allow fellows to address challenges from a science, experimental, analytical and computational integrated approach,” said Castillo.
The long-term impact, Castillo added, will be to create a competitive workforce, able to design and manage smart agriculture systems to increase the economic competitiveness of the United States.“This type of research, which directly impacts our communities while engaging a broad network of academic and government partners, is a perfect example of how UTSA and the College of Engineering seeks to serve our society,” said, JoAnn Browning, dean, UTSA College of Engineering. “The work that Dr. Castillo and her colleagues will complete helps us to shape the future economic prosperity, health, and food security of our region for generations to come.”
As a continuation of the great discussion from the "Coping on the Fly" webinar in early summer, Mary McNaughton-Cassil, Professor of Psychology and Donna Edmondson, the University Ombuds are providing four 30-minute interactive webinars. The topics will address workplace issues facing faculty and staff such as communication and change, social support, burnout and compassion fatigue, and holiday stress.Virtual Event
Part III of Cultivating Wellness series will focus on looking after your own mental health, stress in the workplace, building resilience in yourself and your team and managing personal energy.Virtual Event
Victory celebrations in San Antonio always include honking car horns, and we are carrying that tradition over to UTSA. Graduates are encouraged to bring someone along to drive, so they can wave and take photos from their vehicle. To ensure safety everyone is encouraged remain in their vehicles and limit their celebration to one car per graduate. All cars must begin at the parade starting point and stay in line as the drive goes through campus. Share your videos on social media using #UTSAGrad20 for a chance to be featured on our channels.UTSA Main Campus
At UTSA, Commencement is more than a ceremony. It’s a celebration, a defining moment, of the diligence, dedication and collaborations from this educational community which culminate in earning that significant degree.Virtual Event
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