Texas A&M AgriLife Extension partners with Borderlands Research Institute to provide additional resources for West Texas landowners

ALPINE A new partnership in West Texas will provide additional resources to area landowners seeking assistance in conserving rangelands for both livestock and wildlife. The Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University in Alpine has partnered with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to fund a new position that is a joint appointment for both organizations.

Silverio Avila has been selected for the role and will serve as Assistant Professor and Extension Range Specialist, embedded with the Borderlands Research Institute team at Sul Ross.

“This partnership is a direct result of the longstanding productive collaboration that the Borderlands Research Institute has with Texas A&M,” Louis Harveson, the Dan Allen Hughes Jr., Endowed Director of the Borderlands Research Institute, said in a news release. “Dr. Silverio Avila is a perfect fit for this position and has hit the ground running to develop new resources that will benefit West Texas landowners across the Trans-Pecos region.”

In this new role, Avila will help plan, conduct, and evaluate educational programs in rangeland management and will develop research programs in rangeland restoration, soil-plant communities and plant community response to grazing. He will also support and provide technical expertise to Extension Service agents in West Texas. He is on the faculty of both universities and will serve as a mentor on graduate student committees and undergraduate research projects.

“Dr. Avila’s joint appointment with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Sul Ross State University’s Borderlands Research Institute is a testament to the critical importance of collaboration in advancing rangeland conservation and management,” said Roel Lopez, head of the Texas A&M Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute. “Through our collective expertise in research, teaching, and extension, this partnership aims to provide land and ranch managers with the latest science-based information and resources needed to steward the Trans-Pecos.”

Avila obtained his B.S. in forestry from Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro in Saltillo, Mexico, where he learned about the ecology, business, and management of forest and rangeland ecosystems. He obtained an master’s in range and wildlife and a Ph.D. in wildlife and rangeland sciences from Texas A&M University-Kingsville with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.

“I am thrilled to be part of the team at Borderlands Research Institute and help serve the landowners in West Texas with educational resources to help them meet their land stewardship goals,” Avila said in the release. “This partnership is a great opportunity to combine forces to benefit landowners across the region.”