On Saturday 21 October 2017, 62 people attended the 14th Annual RISE (Research Insights in Semi-Arid Environments) Symposium in the Marley Building on the University of Arizona campus. You can find the program at http://www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rise/index.htm
The objectives of the symposium are to share recent results of scientific research in semiarid environments, with an emphasis on work conducted at the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) and the University of Arizona Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER), and to encourage future research and outreach activities.
This year, five of the nine invited speakers came from outside Tucson, and provided regional and international themes to the program. Similarly, two of the 17 posters were from authors visiting from Mexico, and one from a Polish visitor.
These presentations and posters will be archived at http://www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rise/index.htm, where we also provide presentations and poster from the previous 13 symposia.
The highlight was the 1.5-hour poster session where 17 presenters led a cacophony of discussion in the Marley Building foyer. Through a generous contribution from long-time supporter Mr. Malcolm McGregor, there were monetary awards for the Best and Honorable Mention posters reporting research performed by graduate and undergraduate students working at WGEW or SRER, or using data collected at those facilities.
Best Undergraduate Poster and $300 was awarded to Lilian Engle from the Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department, University of Arizona with the poster title “Objects Detection from Drone Images”. The Honorable Mention Poster and $100 was awarded to Erika Ackerman Engle from the Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department, University of Arizona with the poster title “Accuracy of SfM Tools for Different Land Surface Compositions”. Both undergraduate winners are mentored by Dr. Kamel Didan from the Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department, University of Arizona.
Best Graduate Poster and $500 was awarded to Matt Roby from School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona with the poster title “Controls on Soil Respiration in a Semi-Arid Grassland”. Matt is advised by Dr. Dave Moore from School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona. The Honorable Mention Poster and $300 was awarded to Jeff Gillan from School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona with the title “Estimating Forage Biomass and Utilization in a Desert Grassland with Small Unmanned Aerial System Imagery”. Jeff is advised by Dr. Wim van Leeuwen from School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Members of the Tierra Seca Club, which is the student chapter of the Society for Range Management provided coffee, juice, fruit, cheese and baked goodies for attendees before the talks began at 9 am. The Club will use donations for these goodies to help cover travel expenses to the national meeting of the Society for Range Management this January 2017 in Sparks, Nevada.
Matt Roby (featured photo) Best Grad Poster, Lilian Engle (left) Best Undergrad Poster, Jeff Gillan (center) Honorable Grad Poster, and Erika Ackerman (right) Honorable Undergrad poster.