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Words from a Winning Presenter

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The Oklahoma Water Resources Center will host the annual Student Water Conference March 23-24, 2017. 

Briana Wyatt, a doctorate student studying soil science, participated in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Student Water Conferences. Last year, Wyatt won the “Outstanding Graduate Student Oral Presentation” award with her presentation on drainage estimation through soil moisture monitoring.

"At the 2016 Student Water Conference, I presented the results of my research titled "A Simple Method for Estimating Drainage through Long-Term Soil Moisture Monitoring." The project involved using 17 years' of soil moisture data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, along with soil properties, to estimate the amount of water that is passing through the soil to become groundwater at each Mesonet site,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt explained the Student Water Conference has served as a great opportunity for her to learn about other water-related research that is taking place at Oklahoma State University as well as in other universities across the nation. Graduate students often focus closely on their own field of study; this conference provides a place to network with other students and faculty involved in research with useful insight and the chance to become potential collaborators. Furthermore, the event speakers serve as an example of what it’s like to be involved in water resource issues beyond the academic realm.

“You’re guaranteed to meet new people, learn new things, and gain valuable experience in presenting your own work,” said Wyatt when asked what encouragement she has for students considering participation in this year’s conference. “Everything happens right here on campus. There really is not a downside.”

Wyatt’s research goal was to provide current estimates of yearly groundwater recharge for the state of Oklahoma. Before her research, the most recent state-wide study of groundwater recharge was published over 30 years ago in 1983. Through this project, Wyatt successfully estimated annual and long-term average drainage rates using soil moisture data from the Mesonet. These results are available to the public online at: www.soilmoisture.okstate.edu.

“Over 35% of all water used in Oklahoma comes from groundwater sources, the majority of which are being used for irrigated agriculture,” Wyatt said. “Excessive pumping from aquifers has led to declines in groundwater in many areas of the state, specifically in the Panhandle. To preserve these resources and ensure their sustainability for the future, it is essential to know how much water is being returned to groundwater systems.”

The Student Water Conference allowed Wyatt to present her research, receive feedback, and connect with fellow student researchers.

If you are interested in attending or participating in the 2017 Student Water Conference, visit www.water.okstate.edu/swc. Abstract submissions are due February 24, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. central time.


Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
145 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

Emily E. Horton
Communications Student Worker
Oklahoma Water Resources Center
245 Agricultural Hall
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-5615
Fax: 405-744-5339
Email: emily.e.horton@okstate.edu