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NSF REU Program Overview

REU Site: Restoring cattle ranches for sustainable land and water resources


Rocky creek on the ranchHereford cattle with yellow ear tagsBluebonnets growing in a rocky area
Program Overview

This REU Site award to Tarleton State University, located in Stephenville, TX, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2018 - 2020. Research will be conducted both on the main campus and at Timberlake Biological Field Station, located south of Goldthwaite in Mills County, TX. The scientific focus is on environmentally related issues associated with converting a working cattle ranch into a long-term biological field station. Ranching was once a widespread and profitable business with little environmental focus. However, increasing emphasis on sustainable land and water use has helped reshape how cattle ranchers manage their resources to maximize their gain while minimizing their impact on surrounding ecological systems. Faculty mentors from six different departments (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, Geosciences, Sociology, and Wildlife, Sustainability, and Ecosystem Sciences) across three colleges will guide undergraduate students through the scientific process as they address basic and applied issues associated with balancing economic sustainability with environmental sustainability.

Program Dates
  • May 30, 2018 - August 4, 2018 (10 weeks)
  • May 28, 2019 - August 3, 2019 (10 weeks)
  • May 26, 2020 - August 1, 2020 (10 weeks)
Male student holding a fish caught at the station with two students standing in the river with a netAn instructor working with two students to fix netsThree female students under a tree taking a break at the station