Tarleton's TIAER celebrates 30th anniversary

TSU Newsroom

STEPHENVILLE — The Legislature created Tarleton State University’s Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research in 1991 to address water quality along the North Bosque River. On Nov. 3 it celebrated three decades of life-changing discovery.

TIAER scientists and staff celebrate three decades of life-changing discovery. Far left is Dr. Rupa Iyer, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Development, and far right is Tarleton President James Hurley.

For 30 years, data collected for elected officials, government agencies and community planners has played a vital role in developing water-quality models and testing throughout the nation and around the world.

“Breakthroughs by TIAER scientists and staff are improving quality of life, it’s that simple,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “And they’ve being doing it for 30 years, which testifies to their commitment to innovation and the common good.”

TIAER’s research involves projects in 35 U.S. states and Canada as well as partnerships with China, Ecuador, Ethiopia and New Zealand.

“The 30th anniversary of TIAER is the perfect time to recognize the important achievements of the researchers, staff and students who have all been instrumental in taking on global environmental challenges,” said Dr. Rupa Iyer, Tarleton Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Development. “TIAER work has led to significant changes and expanded knowledge in the areas of water quality and environmental science.”

Though active worldwide, Texas is still TIAER’s heart and soul.

Scientists collect water samples and run analyses at the nationally accredited laboratory from more than 15 watersheds across the state. These projects identify sources of pollution.

After Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019, TIAER sent teams to measure hydrocarbon and bacterial contamination and assess water quality in flooded communities in South Texas.

Closer to home, TIAER and Texas A&M’s AgriLife Research received an almost $1 million grant in 2016 to expand the study of bioenergy recovery from dairy waste and improve the sustainability of agricultural industries at Tarleton’s Southwest Regional Dairy Center.

TIAER also regularly assists public entities in developing and implementing programs that promote environmental equality through instruments like the free, online Nutrient Tracking Tool. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the tool estimates nutrient and sediment losses, which helps farmers and ranchers conserve resources.