The Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) was created by Texas Legislature in 1991 and is based at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Tarleton State University is part of the Texas A&M University System.
Early on, TIAER recognized that our nation’s success in cleaning up water pollution from point source pollution was not being matched by efforts to curb nonpoint source pollution. To help address problems associated with nonpoint source pollution TIAER instituted a policy initiative known as Industry-Led Solutions. Funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), TIAER conducted a series of national workshops that brought together leaders from agriculture, government, and environmental organizations to proactively identify effective approaches to address nonpoint source water pollution in agriculture.
TIAER can mobilize and coordinate stakeholders to assist in developing and implementing watershed protection plans, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), and use attainability analyses (UAAs). While a UAA is a scientific assessment of a waterbody’s physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, it is with TIAER’s expertise in TMDLs that stakeholders are provided with a measurable way to target efforts and practices utilized with the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of streams, lakes, and bays. Additionally, TIAER is currently working with state partners to prepare a document that will establish the framework needed to develop and implement Watershed Action Plans across the state of Texas.
Addressing water quality issues has been TIAER’s primary niche with the North Bosque River providing an outdoor laboratory as the basis of much of TIAER’s early research. TIAER operates an accredited environmental laboratory, and the data collected within the North Bosque River watershed continues to provide a vital long-term database for water quality model development and testing throughout the nation. Through the years, TIAER’s research efforts have expanded beyond the North Bosque watershed to areas throughout Texas and within at least 35 states across the U.S. as well as into Canada. Reaching internationally, TIAER is currently engaged in partnerships around the globe including Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, and Italy.
With a staff comprised of environmental scientists, agricultural economists, and individuals with public relations expertise, TIAER is uniquely positioned to engage stakeholders while holistically addressing key environmental concerns.