The host for the conference is the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at Texas Tech University (TTU), located in Lubbock, Texas. TTU has long been a leader in research in arid and semi-arid environments, being home to the Water Center in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Water Resources Center in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, the Center for Water Law and Policy in the School of Law, and the International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies in the OIA. Other entities at TTU and in the TTU system will also participate. The primary International collaborator for this meeting is the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences but we are expecting participants from a number of other countries as well.
Arid and semi-arid lands are often thought of as having little worth. In fact, they cover over 40% of the planet and are home to some 2 billion people. Over 40% of agricultural cultivation occurs in drylands, which are home to almost a third of all cultivated plants. At the same time, about half of the human population of dry regions, spread over some 100 countries, are some of the most vulnerable. They suffer from high rates of infant mortality and other indicators of low well-being and are some of the people most likely to be severely affected by ongoing land degradation resulting from human activities, climate change, and other factors. With nearly a quarter of the world showing signs of land degradation, much of it in croplands and rangelands, the impacts on people and the environment can be devastating. The International Aridlands Conference will be addressing all components of this complex equation.
Lubbock is a city of about 250,000 people located in the South Plains region of North America. Historically comprised of short-grass prairie, the region now produces about one quarter of U.S. cotton and cottonseed and cattle is another big regional product. Information for visitors, including hotel information, can be found at www.visitlubbock.org.
Participating: To participate, submit a title (up to 20 words), abstract (up to 250 words), session of interest, and contact information to: Dr. Gad Perry (Gad.Perry@ttu.edu) by 25 June 2018.
Four primary sessions are planned:
- Land Degradation/Desertification
- Sub-session: water
- Sub-session: soil
- Sub-session: restoration ecology
- Sub-session: general
- Remote sensing
- Rural health
In addition, discussions about international research and graduate education collaborations will allow participants to jointly design future products leading to long-term teamwork.