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Agricultural News

OSU Students Win Irrigation Foundations Awards

Mon, 21 Dec 2015 12:58:47 CST

OSU Students Win Irrigation Foundations Awards
Two Oklahoma State University students were selected by the Irrigation Foundation as winners of the 2015 Irrigation E3 program. Samia Amiri and Colton Craig were among the 15 winners chosen from applicants across the nation, based on recommendations from faculty who nominate outstanding students for this distinction.

Amiri, a graduate student in OSU's Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, was nominated by Saleh Taghvaeian, BAE assistant professor. As a research assistant to Taghvaeian, Amiri conducts research on soil salinity issues in southwestern Oklahoma.

"In this area, due to low quality of irrigation water and drought, the salt buildup in the soil is increasing," Amiri said. "Our objectives are investigating the current status of salinity in the area and finding the main contributing factors to the problem."

Craig, a landscape architecture student, was nominated by Lou Anella, ornamentals professor and director of The Botanic Garden at OSU..

"I've always wanted to be a golf course architect," Craig said. "I started drawing courses in crayon when I was 5 years old."

In particular, Craig is interested in turf reduction plans.

"Water scarcity is a very real thing," he said. "A lot of courses are starting to include turf reduction plans and introducing native grass areas that are drought tolerant."

As part of the award, Amiri and Craig received all-expenses-paid trips to Long Beach, California, to attend the 2015 Irrigation Show and Education Conference, as well as daily stipends for food and other amenities.

"The Irrigation Association has been really good to all of us," Craig said.

The Irrigation E3 program was founded in 2012 to promote exposure to the irrigation industry, and to provide experience and education for students and faculty. This year, a record number of students received awards to attend the conference, where they took classes and gained exposure to technologies and companies in the irrigation industry.

"The Irrigation Show and Education Conference was a great opportunity to meet professors from prestigious universities all around the country," Amiri said. "I attended classes related to my research area, and I talked to several irrigation companies during the Irrigation Show, which brought me innovative ideas not only for my current studies but also for my future career."

Craig agreed the conference was quite beneficial.

"It was rewarding to take courses and interact with professionals in the industry who I look forward to working with in the future," he said.

Both students gained valuable experience and contacts that will help them in their academic and professional careers thanks to funding from the Irrigation Foundation and nominations from OSU faculty.



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