April's UTPA Faculty Forum: Biologist to discuss water conservation and the Maya
Posted: 04/01/1999
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"The Mayans from an Aquatic Biologist's Perspective" is the topic of the next Faculty Forum at noon April 7 at the Tower Club (200 S. 10th, Suite 1700) in McAllen, sponsored by The University of Texas-Pan American Alumni Association.

Dr. Robert J. Edwards, UTPA professor of biology and 1998 recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Faculty Award, will use examples from his travels to the region to show how important water was to the Maya, how its presence directed the locations of their cities and the various ways they conserved this limited resource.

The Maya lived in a region of the Yucatan with almost no surface streams, and periods of drought were a persistent problem for their survival. From his perspective as an aquatic ecologist, Edwards will show how some of the lessons learned from the Mayan culture are applicable to the periodic droughts currently faced by the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Edwards' research centers on the ecology and conservation of fishes of Texas and the Chihuahuan Desert region of Texas and Mexico. He has received the Southwestern Association of Naturalists' George Miksch Sutton Award for Conservation Research three times, serves on the Board of Governors of the association and is a past president of the Texas Organization for Endangered Species.

The forum, sponsored by the UT Pan American Alumni Association, is open to the public. Tickets are $12.50 per person and include the soup-to-dessert buffet. Reservations can be made by calling 956/381-2500.