Texas Tech University

Locally Funded Projects

The Departmental Allocation Funding Committee was formed to enable faculty to submit proposals for support of small projects that may not have other funding sources, projects of immediate need or even seed money for future larger projects. These funds can be used for research, outreach, teaching, student support and student organizations. Committee members serve 2 year terms:


The following proposals have been funded.

Department Funding Abstract (Ancell, Arseneau)- Fall 2023

The AceCAST software will be licensed from a private company, TempoQuest, to run the weather research and forecasting model (WRF) on the TTU HPCC Matador graphics processing unit (GPU) cluster. This is the only known WRF code capable of running in full GPU mode, and it will support the bulk of Isaac Arseneau's PhD research. At a cost of $0.25 per GPU-hour, the GPU-WRF capability will allow nearly 30,000 simulations, substantially increasing experimental capacity relative to the currently available WRF framework (roughly increasing simulation capacity by 10 times). The resulting research is expected to provide unprecedented fundamental knowledge to understand the nature of observation targeting for high-impact weather forecasts. It will likely be the first time simulations will fully describe forecast impacts in a fully nonlinear fashion, in contrast to the approximated linear methods that have been required in past work with slower CPUs. We expect this not only to provide insight into the utility of linear methods, but to reveal the usefulness of GPU computing cores to tackle very large atmospheric modeling problems in reasonable amounts of time.


Dr. Rodolfo Hernandez-Perez ($5,500)

The requested funds for the Geospatial Creativity and Social Mapping Workshop will be used to establish an education and outreach strategy and the foundation of a mixed methods mapping lab in the Program of Geography. The distribution of funds will be allocated in four areas: 

1. STUDENT PERSONNEL: Senior undergraduate student (affiliated to the Geography and Youthmappers Club -GYM-) who will co-design workshop materials and contents, assist the execution of the activities during the workshop, collect and systematize workshop data, co-write the academic report, and prepare a presentation for a national conference

2. WORKSHOP MATERIALS & LOGISTICS: Office supplies, mapping materials, transportation for high local school students, and food for participants

3. SOFTWARE: Qualitative analysis software licenses -NVivo-

4. CONFERENCE REGISTRATION AND TRAVEL: Support the undergrad student assistant to present the academic report at a national conference.

The main benefits to the Department will be: 
Strengthening geography education: One of the key job market areas and professional development dimensions in Geography is education. Currently, however, our program does not offer courses or labs to foster skills and knowledge in STEM education, education in geography, or applications of pedagogical materials outside the classroom. This workshop, and ultimately the mixed-methods experimental lab, will expose undergrad and graduate students of Geography to the process of designing a mapping workshop, creating pedagogical content and materials, and delivering them to high school students. 
Student research engagement and capacity: The initiative will fund the work of one undergraduate student (affiliated with GYM) who will co-lead and assist the process during one semester and will present it at a national conference. Additionally, students registered for the course “Qualitative Mapping” (Spring 2024) will collaborate with planning workshop activities, content, and material design. All the students will receive training on STEM pedagogy, social mapping, and mixed methods. 



Dr. Jay Tung ($2016)

To support a euthanistic and outstanding student in participating in an undergraduate research project in earthquake hazard modeling. Such support would act as seed funding to foster a bigger proposal to the external funding application to be submitted to the Southern California Earthquake Center in late 2024. The educational benefit for the student is crucial as the student is preparing to apply for graduate schools elsewhere. This funding and project involvement is crucial for retaining talented students in our department. The anticipated research output would also benefit Dr. Tung and his research team in publishing and acquiring new external funding in the future. 

Funding undergraduate students is an opportunity for a student to get an opportunity to work with faculty members and their research teams on projects that are externally funded and understanding the work that goes into these projects as students prepare for graduate studies.