About Our Work
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas, 17360 Coit Rd., houses scientific research, public outreach, and education programs. The center is a regional hub for all Texas A&M AgriLife activity. We are one of 13 AgriLife Research and Extension Centers across the state — each focusing on issues specific to our regions. Initiatives at Dallas hinge on "green" innovation in urban agriculture, water resources, landscapes & ecosystems, and healthy food systems.
Head to our campus page for an interactive tour of the Dallas Center.
The Dallas center’s urban surroundings keep us focused on "green" innovations for more than 80% of all Texans — those who live in cities. Rapid urban population growth places increasing demands on urban food supply systems. Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research at Dallas utilize innovative technology to strengthen the resilience of the urban food system and promote access to healthier food. Using big data and predictive machine learning, we are aiming to achieve precision crop breeding and precision agriculture production to ensure food security.
At the same time, we investigate genetic and cellular machinery that controls virus and late blight disease in vegetables and tuber crops. Potato is important for urban agriculture because of its high nutritional value, high energy production and relatively low input requirements. Researchers at the Dallas Center seek to produce more resilient potato varieties. The United States produces more than 441 million hundredweight of potatoes annually with a total value of $3.74 billion, and Texas is a major producer of summer potato.
Water Resources and Ecosystems
In a joint initiative between AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Dallas-based Water University program delivers public and professional outreach on conserving and protecting water resources through landscape interventions. Meanwhile, our ecological engineering group develops interventions for managing excess water in cities while helping to preserve natural urban waterways.
Dallas-based researchers with the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute focus on conservation and management of imperiled native freshwater mussel species. Information derived from their efforts helps guide environmental flow recommendations, which seek to protect river flow for plants, fish, wildlife, and humans. This is particularly important as demand for water in Texas is expected to increase, as sources of water will likely remain the same. River flow loss could result from poorly managed water resources, affecting wildlife and human populations who depend on them. The potential listing of mussels as threatened or endangered is a priority for key stakeholders in Texas because declines will likely have long-term ecological consequences. Their listing brings potential for significant economic impacts. Because of this there is a strong desire to ensure management and conservation for mussels are guided by the best scientific data available, which researchers from TAMU-NRI provide through cutting edge field and laboratory studies.
Turfgrass and Landscape Research
As we influence healthier landscapes through water quality protection and conservation at Dallas, entomologists here identify emerging insect pests in Texas cities and schools. They educate industry pest control professionals, school districts, and the public on best practices for integrated pest management outdoors and indoors. Also located on campus are urban foresters with the Texas A&M Forest service, reaching North Texas communities with information on protecting important local tree systems.
Research is also being conducted in the laboratory and field, and with industry partners, to develop solutions to reduce the epidemic rose rosette. This virus threatens to devastate the US rose industry. Roughly 2,000 businesses that produce roses to sell in the U.S. account for about 36.6 million garden rose bushes annually. The Dallas Center works to provide solutions for this economic crop.
Healthy Food Systems
Addition of new research faculty in urban agriculture marks a leap toward establishing our center as the authority in producing nutritious food in and around Texas cities. The new faculty join AgriLife Extension specialists already implementing robust outreach programming around food and public health.
Family and community health programs at Dallas, including AgriLife’s Healthy Texas initiative, educate Texans on chronic disease prevention through nutritious eating, healthy cooking and understanding food labels among other approaches.
Meanwhile, 4-H programming contributes its long history of youth education around better agricultural systems. The organization now places strong emphasis on STEM learning, specifically in the realm of engineering — building the next generation of agricultural production capabilities.
Our initiatives at the nexus of these disciplines follow an emerging theme within Texas A&M AgriLife — healthier Texans through precision agriculture, better nutrition and education.
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