Newsletter | Vol. 13
In this edition
- First-generation Ph.D. student Christina T. Igono presents, wins award at international conference of soil scientists
- California and Nevada scientists study nitrogen pollution in dryland watersheds
- Photo Gallery | 4-H across the state
- Test your home for radon and reduce the risk of lung cancer
- Associate professor uses innovative technology for dryland research
About our College
A founding college of the University, we have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and engagement programs that benefit the health and economic vitality of Nevada. We offer programs in:
- agriculture, horticulture, rangeland & veterinary sciences
- biochemistry & molecular biology
- children, youth & families
- community & economic development
- health & nutrition
- natural resources & environmental science
First-generation Ph.D. student Christina T. Igono presents, wins award at international conference of soil scientists
Igono's award-winning research conducted at Experiment Station facilities
"I didn’t choose to study environmental and soil science but rather, this major chose me," Igono said.
Christina is a first-generation student. Following her passion for soil science, soil ecology and natural resources, she's earning her doctorate degree in Environmental Science from our College. In exploring her calling here, Christina said she has encountered constant challenges, support and opportunities to learn, grow and be better in all that she does.
And it all started when she was an undergraduate biology student in Alabama.
"I was just a desperate broke freshman student seeking a job on campus when I got the opportunity to work as a laboratory technician in a soil science lab," she said. "This part-time job quickly became a passion."
She realized she loved working in the lab and with its equipment, discovering things she never knew about soil. That feeling told her she was on the path to her career.
Love is a fire
"Besides being a student athlete playing soccer," Christina said, "I knew I had found another passion, and that was being an environmental soil scientist."
California and Nevada scientists study nitrogen pollution in dryland watersheds
Large research project conducted in California will shed light on dryland watershed pollution worldwide
Nitrogen pollution, largely from burning fossil fuels, industrial agriculture and wildfire can reduce drinking water quality and make air difficult to breathe.
Thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, we will soon have a better understanding of how much nitrogen arid ecosystems can absorb before they produce negative effects. The study is being conducted by scientists at UC Riverside; University of Nevada, Reno; and UC Santa Barbara.
The three-year research project will allow Homyak; Erin Hanan, fire ecologist with the University of Nevada, Reno, who is leading the study with Homyak; and collaborators at UC Santa Barbara to monitor how three dryland ecosystems in southern and central California process nitrogen, and to gauge saturation levels. From this information, they can then build models to help predict what may happen in the future and what we might do to mitigate detrimental impacts to our water quality and air.
“If we can get a better understanding of how nitrogen cycles through these drier watersheds, we can build models to help us predict what will happen under increased nitrogen loads and in a warmer, drier future,” said Hanan, who is also an assistant professor in the College , and a researcher with its Experiment Station. “Dry ecosystems represent a third of Earth’s total land surface, so understanding how they respond to pollutants is important.”
Photo Gallery | 4-H across the state
Snapshots of 4-H clubs throughout Nevada
For more than 90 years, Extension has administered a 4-H program in Nevada, part of one of the largest youth organizations in the U.S. Many 4-H alumni have become elected state officials, legislators and teachers, contributing greatly to the state and their communities.
4-H is a learn-by-doing life-skills program that teaches youth communication, self-concept, team-building, problem-solving, decision-making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration-building, goal-setting, community leadership and career development. The youth learn through projects, in or after school, in a variety of subjects ranging from animal science to nutrition, leadership, public speaking, horticulture and other science and technology programs. Through these projects and interactions with other youth and leaders, 4-H youth learn how to make good choices, feel good about themselves, think critically and become leaders.
Take a look at the photos below to see what's happening at some of the 4-H clubs throughout the state.
Test your home for radon and reduce the risk of lung cancer
Extension offers free test kits at public meetings statewide
January is National Radon Action Month, and Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits to Nevadans from Jan. 1 through Feb. 29. Radon test kits are available at Extension offices and partnering locations, as well as at free presentations, statewide.
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It comes from the ground and can accumulate in homes, raising the risk of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving and house fires.
In Nevada, one in four homes tested show radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses a risk of developing lung cancer similar to the risk posed by smoking about half a pack of cigarettes a day.
Associate professor uses innovative technology for dryland research
Robert Washington-Allen joins the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources
University of Nevada, Reno welcomes Robert Washington-Allen to the Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources as an associate professor, graduate program director for the department and Range Club advisor.
Along with teaching and advising, Washington-Allen researches the sustainability of drylands using innovative technologies, including drones, laser scanning, ground-penetrating radar, virtual and augmented reality tools, geographic information systems, and remote sensing. His research focuses on the past, present and future sustainability of drylands at both local and international scales, with a particular interest in Nevada’s drylands.
Growing a stronger Nevada
Our programs work together to make an impact
Our teaching, research and engagement programs are intertwined and complement one another. Faculty who teach on campus also conduct research as part of the Experiment Station, allowing students to learn about and participate in research. Extension faculty engaging with communities identify research needs, as well as join Experiment Station faculty to conduct research. Faculty on campus help to develop Extension programs in communities.