Mississippi River Research Center-Center for Ecology & Natural Resources

MISSION 

To advance knowledge in preservation, conservation, and improvement of water quality while balancing economic and environmental impact.

VISION 

To be a bastion and leader for strong research and professional training in water management, planning, and policy issues.

SUMMARY 

The Mississippi River Research Center – Center for Ecology & Natural Resources (MRRC-CENR) has been actively engaging numerous under-served and minority communities and small-limited resource farmers in protecting the environment. Many communities have been proactive in becoming stewards of the environment through water quality education.

One of our programs engaged over 20% of the University population to protect its ground water resources. These activities have been acknowledged by the National Groundwater Foundation. Alcorn State University,  the first college in Mississippi,  and the first 1890-Land Grant Institution, was the second university in the nation to receive the Groundwater Guardian Community designation award in 2007. 

The Center will continue its efforts in providing scientific research findings, offering experiential learning to advance academic and non-academic curricula in environmental studies, as well as promoting environmental stewardship to protect our water resources.

MAJOR ACTIVITIES: 

  • Water quality monitoring
  • Watershed Assessments and Education
  • Drinking Water & Human Health Education
  • Evaluate land-use impacts to water resources
  • Identification of best management strategies to protect soil and water and the environment
  • Develop and implement wellhead protection plan
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Education
  • Environmental Stewardship and Groundwater Guardian designated community
  • Integrate science, policy implementation, and community proactive approach.
  • Water preservation and conservation
  • Recycling program

The MRRC – CENR facilitates academic, research and extension/outreach efforts in educating the minority and underserved communities in the areas of water and environmental sciences.

ACADEMIC 

The MRRC-CENR supports the Environmental Science Program offered through the Department of Agriculture, School of Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Applied Sciences (AREAS).   The Center provides the infrastructure to support programs in academic and community education. Through the academic program, minority students will be able to broaden their knowledge in addition to traditional disciplines in the field of agriculture. Students in this program are actively involved in public outreach programs mentoring K-12 students throughout the summer. 

RESEARCH 

Research studies conducted through the Center covers ecological and natural resources research, analysis, and management to enhance multidisciplinary approach in finding solutions to solve complex environmental issues and; thus, support the development of economic vitality of the surrounding communities and the state of Mississippi.

Students in the Environmental Science Program receive technical training in collecting data from the field and analyze them in the laboratory. These exercises will advance their skills and enable them to compete nationally and internationally. Increasing the number of minority students in the field of Environmental Studies will help support the nation’s challenge in increasing minority professionals in this field.

EXTENSION/OUTREACH 

The MRRC-CENR also facilitates activities to support conservation and preservation of our water and natural resources through workshops and other community engagements.  The Center has been active in reaching out to K-12 and minority communities in distributing and facilitating traditional and non-traditional activities. The Center reaches out to K-12 students and teaches them about the environment and how they can protect or contaminant our water resources and promotes other environmental stewardship activities.  

Since 2007, over 1,500 people comprising of minority students and citizens from under-served communities have been engaged with the Center’s various programs.