Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Will Host International Aridlands Conference

Randy Rosetta

August 10, 2018


The event features two days of presentations and breakout workshops.

Texas Tech University continues to solidify its reputation worldwide as one of the foremost centers for the study and research of aridlands, and next week the spotlight will shine on the school.

The university's International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies (ICASALS) will host the International Aridlands Conference Monday-Wednesday (Aug. 13-15) at the International Cultural Center, 601 Indiana Avenue, with a variety of opportunities for researchers and scientists from the world to learn, absorb knowledge and collaborate.

“ICASALS was established in the 1960s to coordinate research locally and globally,” said Gad Perry, senior director for International Research and Development in the Office of International Affairs. “This conference is an opportunity to showcase the work we have done at Texas Tech to our international partners.”

The conference returns to Texas Tech for the first time in several years and will be packed with opportunities to learn about a collection of research that Perry said is among the most impactful work done at the university.

Plenary discussions begin each day, the first led by Katherine Hayhoe, professor in the Public Administration program in the and director of the Climate Science CenterDepartment of Political Science at Texas Tech; and the second by Jacqueline McLaughlin, associate professor of biology at Penn State University Lehigh Valley.

Conference guests will have a chance to attend a series of presentations and workshops throughout the first two days on issues affecting arid and semi-arid environments.

Four primary sessions are planned Monday, focused on land degradation and Desertification, biodiversity, remote sensing and rural health.

There will be a reception at 6 p.m. that includes a poster session and exhibit tour at The Museum of Texas Tech University.

On Tuesday, a morning session after McLaughlin's presentation will focus on the impact of water levels on arid and semi-arid lands and will be one of the highlights of the conference, Perry said. Following the water session and lunch, Tuesday concludes with two collaboration workshops – one on research and one on teaching.

“All the presentations are aspects of the bigger picture,” Perry said. “We have people from all over the world coming to our campus, including a group from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. We hope this event leads to more collaboration in such an important area of research.”

The conference wraps up Wednesday (Aug. 15) with optional tours related to arid- and semi-arid lands around the Lubbock area starting at 8 a.m.


The International Center for Arid and Semiarid Land Studies (ICASALS) at Texas Tech University was created in 1966 to promote the university's special mission of the interdisciplinary study of arid and semi-arid environments and the human relationship to these environments from an international perspective. The purpose of ICASALS is to stimulate, coordinate and implement teaching, research, and public service activities concerning all aspects of the world's arid and semi-arid regions, their people and their issues.