Agriculture and a healthy environment must go hand in hand. The College is committed to environmental sustainability and restoring the health of our ecosystems.
Our students can follow their passion by creating parks and green spaces, protecting wildlife and guarding the health of our water bodies and fisheries. With Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the College is involved in many projects in these areas, including restoring military training grounds at Fort Hood, surveying and protecting endangered wildlife species, revitalizing rangelands, designing parks and trails throughout Texas, studying the effects of climate change and developing biofuels for a clean and secure energy future.
From preserving biodiversity to sustainable stewardship of land and water resources in the face of global change, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is dedicated to protecting our environment.
What is Protecting Our Environment?
In a comprehensive report, the US Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that access to high quality fresh water is not just an agricultural or human health issue, but a major peace and security issue. By 2025, 1.8 billion people are expected to be living in countries or regions with “absolute” water scarcity and two-thirds of the world population could be under “stress” conditions. The polluting of clean water sources further threatens access to safe drinking water and increases the tension between water needs of people, agriculture, nature, and the industry.
Urbanization & Land Use Change
The world population is expected to increase by 33% from 7 billion in 2011 to 9.3 billion in 2050. Issues of food security may become even more important for people living in urban areas. Conversion of farmland and wild lands to urban land increase conflicts between urban people and nature, while decreasing the ability of ecosystems to provide essential ecosystem services such as food, water purification and air pollution removal. Research that leads to a better understanding of human-dominated ecosystems and the services they provide, can inform sustainable development of urban areas that will be healthy environments for generations to come.
In many cases, invasive species affect multiple ecosystem processes, thereby modifying the environment to exclude native species and promote their own success and potentially pave the way for other invasive species to establish. Often invasions lead to irreversible changes in ecosystem function, reduced biodiversity and reduced provisioning of ecosystem services. The US Fish and Wildlife service estimates that invasive species cost the United States more than $120 billion in damages and control strategies every year.