Angelo State University (ASU) received a $116,500 gift from Shell Oil Exploration and Production to fund a rangeland reclamation research project through joint efforts of the ASU Department of Agriculture and Department of Physics and Geosciences.
Dr. Cody Scott, professor of animal science and range scientist, and Dr. James Ward, assistant professor of geology, will co-direct the one-year project to develop research and strategies for reclaiming West Texas rangelands affected by salt water spillage and contaminated shallow aquifers from oil field operations.
Their efforts will involve soil remediation, sub-surface water removal and the introduction of salt-tolerant plants following the study of soil types, aquifer depths, levels and types of contamination, and the adaptability of specific plants in the various ecological sites. The research and reclamation efforts will take place on private West Texas ranches and in other West Texas rangeland areas owned by the University of Texas System’s University Lands program. ASU said that the ultimate goal of the research is to develop the project into a long-term collaborative effort to help remediate multiple regions in West Texas.