AES Strategic Research Investment Fund

Agricultural Experiment Station Strategic Research Investment Fund Up to $50,000 for investments in infrastructure, equipment, and/or activities that increase the research capacity at Experiment Station Units. Possible investments might include but are not limited to sensor arrays that generate data sets and the accompanying hardware and software to store and provide access to that data, or the conversion of analog data sets to digital on-line data for broader distribution to the research community. This is not a call for a research proposal. Review criteria includes likelihood of increasing use of Experiment Station facilities and data sets by campus faculty. In other words, we want to raise the tide for many ships, not just one ship at a time. Next submission deadline expected on 19 March 2018.

2018 Request for Proposals
2018 Recipient of Award

2017 Request for Proposals
2017 Recipient of Award

2018 Recipient

Rock and McLain Receive 2nd Annual Experiment Station Strategic Research Investment Award

Increasing demands on limited water resources have made wastewater recycling (reclamation or reuse) and other non-traditional or impaired water sources an attractive option for extending water supplies for agriculture. However, questions remain about the short and long-term impacts of salt and sodium on soil health and plant productivity as well as microbiological impacts to food safety of fresh produce.

The $48,214 funding of the “Water Treatment Innovation Pilot (Water TIP)” by the Experiment Station Strategic Investment Fund will increase the use of the Maricopa Agricultural Center by both local and campus-based faculty interested in evaluation of water treatment and impacts of non-traditional water sources on agriculture and the environment, including recycled water. By maintaining a separate retention pond dedicated to recycled water supplied by Global Water Utilities, this provides a unique opportunity to conduct highly controlled experiments unlike anywhere in the State of Arizona. This facility, with industry input, will also encompass the ability to evaluate “plug and play” water treatment technologies in a defined and controlled manner. By providing a site for researchers and extension specialists to test treatment effects on irrigation water quality and delivery in situ, this site will extend campus-based activities into real-world applications.

For more information about the project, contact Channah Rock ( or Jean McLain (

2017 Recipient

Download the 2018 Progress Report

Brierley, Sanchez and Brown Receive Inaugural Experiment Station Strategic Research Investment Award

Researchers at Yuma Agricultural Center received $50,000 to purchase new equipment and develop data base management capacity to better describe crop water use efficiency and provide that information to users world-wide. A new Large Aperture Scintillometer will be added to existing arrays of Eddy Covariance sensors in the Yuma Area in order to have more finescale measurements to integrate with the larger-scale measurement from the Eddy Covariance sensors. Data from that integrated system will be available through a new data access interface so that many researchers and stakeholders benefit from the newly generated information.

This is the first award from the new Agricultural Experiment Station Strategic Research Investment Fund. The purpose is to increase the capacity of Experiment Station Units to support a broad range of faculty research missions. In other words, we want to raise the tide for many ships, not just one ship at a time. The next request for proposal will appear in January 2018.

For more information about project contact Paul Brierley, Charles Sanchez, or Paul Brown