Latest News from Sul Ross February 21, 2014


    Sul Ross State University will offer a new degree program in sustainable ranch management, through a $1.2 million endowment from the Dixon Water Foundation of Marfa and Decatur.
    The endowment establishes the Clint Josey Endowed Chair for Sustainable Ranch Management in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Through $200,000 annual increments over a six-year period, the foundation’s gift will fund the creation of both a B.S. degree and a certificate program in sustainable ranch management, as well as a permanent endowment.
    “Young, experienced ranch managers are in short supply,” said Robert Potts, president and CEO of the Dixon Water Foundation. “This program will help train young people how to manage economically and ecologically sustainable ranches that are so important to our state’s future.”
    Dr. Bonnie Warnock, professor of Natural Resource Management, will be the endowed professor.
“This is an academic program that will study the ranch as an ecosystem, with people as an integral part of this system,” Warnock said.
Warnock has conducted extensive ecological research on the Dixon Water Foundation’s Mimms Unit northwest of Marfa. Mimms Unit is one of four Dixon ranches in Marfa and northeast Texas, where the foundation demonstrates sustainable land management practices.
    Under terms of the endowment, Warnock will begin developing a curriculum this year, with the first students to be enrolled in the program in fall 2015. She noted that a ranch is a rangeland ecosystem, and successful management of a ranching enterprise should involve an understanding of soils, water, energy, nutrients, vegetation, wildlife, livestock, in addition to economics and business. The curriculum will include classes in soils, range management, wildlife management, animal husbandry and agricultural business.
    “We are looking at our ranching heritage with traditional range animal science classes, but we are really buying into the future,” Warnock said. “We will be learning how to incorporate a sustainability component.”
    Dr. Rob Kinucan, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, said the endowment was the result of a lengthy working arrangement with the foundation.
    “Bonnie has worked with the Dixon Water Foundation at the Marfa ranch for a number of years, and they appreciated the research she was conducting,” he said. “This endowment grew from that working relationship. The foundation board is an excellent group of people, and we are really pleased with this turn of events.”
    Founded in 1994 by the late Roger Dixon, the Dixon Water Foundation promotes healthy watersheds through sustainable land management. In addition to their demonstration ranches, the foundation funds annual grants, sponsors research projects, and hosts educational programs for landowners, students, and others interested in sustainably managing land, water and wildlife.
    Clint Josey serves as Vice President and Chairman of the Board. When Roger Dixon died in January of 2005, Josey became executor of his estate and President and CEO of the Dixon Foundation. The Dixon Foundation later changed its name to The Dixon Water Foundation. In 2007 Robert Potts became President and CEO and Josey became Vice President and Chairman of the Board.
    Warnock, who received Sul Ross’ Outstanding Teaching Award for 2011-2012, joined the faculty in 2001. She also ranches with her husband, Seth, near Marathon. Her family has been active in ranching near Marathon and Sanderson since the 1890s.
    At Sul Ross, she teaches undergraduate classes in soils, range ecology, fire ecology, watershed management, habitat management, range inventory and plant identification. Warnock also teaches graduate classes in restoration ecology and field ecology.
    This is the second endowed position at Sul Ross, both in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. In 2012, a $1 million gift from Peggy and Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., San Antonio/Beeville, established the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Endowed Director for Borderlands Research. Dan Allen Hughes is a member of the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) Advisory Board of Directors.
    For more information about the Dixon Water Foundation, visit  

Dixon Water Foundation endowment

Representatives of the Dixon Water Foundation and Sul Ross State University signed the agreement Wednesday (Feb. 19) establishing a  $1.2 million endowed chair in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. The Clint Josey Endowed Chair for Sustainable Ranch Management has been established by the Dixon Water Foundation of Marfa/Decatur. Pictured (seated, from left) are: Josey, Vice President and Chairman of the Board; Dr. Quint Thurman, Sul Ross interim President; Robert J. Potts, President and CEO, Dixon Water Foundation. (Standing), David Rogers, president, West Texas National Bank of Alpine and president of the Sul Ross State University Support Organization Foundation; Dr. Bonnie Warnock, professor of Natural Resource Management; Dr. Rob Kinucan, Dean, College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. (Photo by Steve Lang)


    Participants of the Feb. 15 “Love Your Community” 5K walk/run raised $16,600 for the Food Pantry of Alpine and Sul Ross State University local scholarships.
    About 125 persons took part in the event, which started and ended on the Sul Ross campus. Walkers and runners solicited donations for the Food Pantry and for scholarships to be awarded to high school graduates from Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties.
            The event was organized by the Sul Ross Alumni Association in partnership with the Alpine Chamber of Commerce. The Lobo football team and residential life staff assisted the University Department of Public Safety and Alpine Police with monitoring the course.
            Top fund-raisers were Greg Schwab, Sul Ross professor of Theatre and a former board member of the Food Pantry of Alpine; Liz Jackson, executive director of the Museum of the Big Bend; and Joey Dishron, Fort Worth, a member of the Sul Ross Alumni Association Board of Directors.
    Grand prize drawings were held for participants who raised $150 or more, as well as for area students who raised at least $50.
    Major sponsors included: Alpine Medical Center, Big Bend Regional Medical Center, and Tallent Roofing. Supporting sponsors were: Aramark, Porter’s Thriftway, and West Texas National Bank. Raffle prize contributors were: Americana, La Casita, The Cleaners, The Gage, Hampton Inn, The Holland Hotel, Johnson Feed & Western Wear, Magoos Place, Maverick Inn, Morrison True Value, Reata Restaurant, Subway, and La Trattoria.
    “We are very grateful for the enthusiastic participation and generous support of so many individuals and businesses,” said Karen Brown, Alumni Association director.  “Everything came together so well because people truly love this community. We are looking forward to next year’s event!”
    For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs, (432) 837-8697 or 837-8443 or


Sculpture relocated

"Between Broncs," (left) a bronze sculpture by Garland Weeks, was relocated to the foot of the Museum of the Big Bend's exterior staircase Wednesday (Feb. 19), in time for the opening of the 28th annual Trappings of Texas. The sculpture was presented to the Museum in March 1997 by Mr. and Mrs. Al Micallef of the CF Ranches, and was initially installed at Lawrence Hall when the Museum was located there. At the time of the installation, Mr. Micallef stated that he wanted the bronze to always be physically connected to the museum building. (Right photo) Physical Plant employees Kirk Miller and Cory Maples (right) secure the 600-pound sculpture to its base. (Photos by Steve Lang)


    Nine cadets are enrolled in the upcoming Sul Ross State University Law Enforcement Academy (LEA), which begins classes Monday, March 3.
    The 18-week academy will conclude July 3. Sul Ross presently offers two day academies, from March-July and August-December, as well as a night academy in Fort Stockton. Ten cadets are enrolled in the night academy, which began classes Jan. 6.
    A memorandum of understanding between Sul Ross and Midland College provides expanded opportunities for LEA cadets. By enrolling through Midland College, financial aid is available to eligible cadets to cover the $1,900 tuition. In addition, cadets who qualify can receive up to 12 semester credit hours in criminal justice through Midland College that are fully transferable toward a bachelor’s degree at Sul Ross.
    For more information, contact Lloyd Dragoo, Sul Ross LEA director, (432) 837-8614 or

    Career Services will host the annual Spring Career Fair Wednesday, March 19 at Sul Ross State University.
    Fair hours are 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. Representatives of business, agriculture, hospitality, non-profit, community service, criminal justice, park services and other fields will be present to recruit, answer questions, network and provide referral contacts. Registrants may call (432) 837-8178 to reserve space at the fair. Prospective employers are invited to participate.
    Attendees seeking employment are urged to dress appropriately and bring copies of their resumes. The Career Fair is open to Sul Ross students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as high school students and the general public. Refreshments  will be served and electronic door prizes will be awarded. Career Services will also provide information on internships and volunteer opportunities.
    For more information, contact Career Services, (432) 837-8178 or (432) 837-8357. Career Services is located upstairs in the University Center, open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.            

ANRS seminar

Dr. Philip Eppard, Regulatory Affairs lead for Monsanto, Latin American North, Canada, presented a seminar at the Turner Range Animal Science Center Wednesday (Feb. 19). Eppard addressed "Monsanto: A Commitment to the Future of Agriculture." (Photo by Steve Lang)