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Researchers Gather for the Binational Perspectives on Gulf of Mexico Sustainability

March 16, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – More than 50 researchers and students from the United States and Mexico met to share their knowledge and build collaborations while attending the Binational Perspectives on Gulf of Mexico Sustainability Workshop, held March 8-10, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Located at the Hacienda de Santa Clara, this two-day event centered on developing international research partnerships that advance scientific understanding and inform stakeholders across political boundaries on how climate change affects essential resources for countries that share the Gulf of Mexico.

“This workshop, along with the upcoming State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit 2017, which the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies is leading at the end of the month, highlights the leadership role of our University in the region,” said Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President of the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation project that partially sponsored the workshop. “Workshop outcomes will lead to collaborative research projects, data management efforts and policy studies that will impact students and community members around the Gulf.”

Research leaders from the United States and Mexico, private sector representatives and federal agency directors gathered as workshop panelists to discuss three main topics including:

  • Food-Energy-Water Nexus – A Fundamental Resource Challenge in an Evolving World
  • Resilient Urban and Rural Society in the Face of Climate Change
  • An Evolving Gulf of Mexico Influence on our Binational Future

“With this workshop, we renewed partnerships and formed new ones within and between our nations as we discussed common issues of sustainability in Mexico and the U.S. from our various points of view,” said Dr. Jim Gibeaut, Endowed Chair for Coastal and Marine Geospatial Sciences at the Harte Research Institute (HRI) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and workshop attendee.

Dr. Jerry Miller, Director of the Science and Technology for Sustainability Program in the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and Dr. Elva Briones, Director of the Institute for Marine Sciences and Limnology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, were the keynote speakers. Other organizations attending the workshop included the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources.

The workshop was sponsored by A&M-Corpus Christi, the HRI, NASA, the National Science Foundation, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the Texas A&M University System, and the Research Coordination Network (RCN) – Climate, Energy, Environment and Engagement in Semiarid Regions (CE3SAR).

RCN CE3SAR is a South Texas sustainability project that aims to develop an innovative model for conducting interdisciplinary, region-specific, sustainability research closely tied to the needs of highly engaged local stakeholders. RCN CE3SAR is led by Cifuentes, the HRI and the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science. RCN CE3SAR is partnered with the Southwest Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Texas State University, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and various other organizations.

“RCN CE3SAR enables faculty, research scientists and students from South Texas institutions the ability to connect and collaborate through creating strong networks,” said Cifuentes. “This network is apparent in the United States, but I am proud to say it now extends to Scotland and Mexico.”

To learn more about RCN CE3SAR and the Binational Perspectives on Gulf of Mexico Sustainability workshop, visit rcnce3sar.tamucc.edu.