TTU grad students one step closer to winning $100K prize - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

TTU grad students one step closer to winning $100K prize

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

For most, graduate school means spending long hours in the library and writing papers, but, for four Horticulture Graduate Students at Texas Tech University, it also means changing lives one drop of water at a time.

As part of their thesis project, Kyle Tengler, Daniel Cunningham, Michael Kanyi and Teresia Mbogori have taken on an incredible task: fighting malnutrition and hunger in Northern Kenya by harvesting rain water.

On paper, it's an ambitious subject matter for a graduate thesis. In real life, it's an opportunity for these students to save lives.

"It's about helping people. The degree is a nice bonus and if, for whatever reason, that didn't work out, that will be okay. As long as I am helping people, I'll be happy," Tengler said.

The group of students are focusing on a region in Northwestern Kenya called Turkana. The area only averages about 7 inches of rainfall a year. The temperatures there are in the 90s year round.

"I know we've dealt with the drought here in Lubbock in recent years, and I know we've all felt hardships, but to go over there and see the hardships they deal with, it really puts things in perspective," Cunningham said.

Cunningham, Tengler, Kanyi and Mbgori have come up with an incredible mission.

"Establishing a sustainable agriculture system, to make the best use of their natural resources," Cunningham said.

Using a method called Dryland Agroecology, the students want to harvest the rainfall the Turkana regions. The long term goal is to help create healthy soil, crops and nutrition. They want to do this while reducing and reusing the waste and outputs.  

It is a complex process that has required a lot of research and hard work, but the students are passionate about what they are doing.  

While their goals is to earn a Master's Degree, they also want to save the lives of those in need.

"Whenever you see that kind of hunger, it's hard not to want to do something for people," Tengler said.

Through their work, the students have become finalists in a competition called the Agricultural Innovation Prize which honors projects that will have a huge impact on agriculture and food systems. Their project is one of several finalists chosen from more than 200 colleges around the world. If they win this weekend's competition, they could receive as much as $100,000 to go toward funding their project.

The students are also up for an Audience Choice Prize through the same contest. All they have to do is collect as many "Facebook likes" as possible, and they could win $15,000.  

To vote for the group, visit https://www.facebook.com/AgriculturalInnovationPrize and "like" the page. Select the DRYLAND AGROECOLOGY group from Texas Tech University. You can vote once per day until April 24.

You can also learn more about the project: https://www.facebook.com/TurkanaProject

The students are also hoping to raise $40,000 to fund their project. If you would like to donate, contact Daniel Cunningham at daniel.cunningham@ttu.edu.

To learn more about the student's research you can read the attached PowerPoint:


Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • City of Lubbock issues warning due to increase in recreational water illnesses

    City of Lubbock issues warning due to increase in recreational water illnesses

    Friday, July 28 2017 12:41 PM EDT2017-07-28 16:41:38 GMT
    City of Lubbock Health Department offers vaccinations at summer festival (Source: City of Lubbock)City of Lubbock Health Department offers vaccinations at summer festival (Source: City of Lubbock)

    Information provided by the City of Lubbock The City of Lubbock Health Department has seen an increase in reports of recreational water illnesses (RWIs) including Cryptosporidium (Crypto). RWIs are caused by germs spread by swallowing or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water play areas, and natural bodies of water such as lakes. 

    Information provided by the City of Lubbock The City of Lubbock Health Department has seen an increase in reports of recreational water illnesses (RWIs) including Cryptosporidium (Crypto). RWIs are caused by germs spread by swallowing or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water play areas, and natural bodies of water such as lakes. 

  • Disabled Texans say bathroom bill could further complicate their lives

    Disabled Texans say bathroom bill could further complicate their lives

    Octavio Armendariz, 8, smiles as he watches cartoons on his iPad in his living room at his home in El Paso, Texas. Octavio has moderate-to-severe autism and severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas TribuneOctavio Armendariz, 8, smiles as he watches cartoons on his iPad in his living room at his home in El Paso, Texas. Octavio has moderate-to-severe autism and severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

    For Octavio Armendariz, using the bathroom while he’s home is no big deal. When the autistic eight-year-old is out in public with his mom, it’s a different story.

    For Octavio Armendariz, using the bathroom while he’s home is no big deal. When the autistic eight-year-old is out in public with his mom, it’s a different story.

  • Texas executes man who claimed his lawyers committed fraud

    Texas executes man who claimed his lawyers committed fraud

    TaiChin Preyor was sentenced to death in the 2004 slaying of Jami Tackett in Bexar County. (Source: TDCJ)TaiChin Preyor was sentenced to death in the 2004 slaying of Jami Tackett in Bexar County. (Source: TDCJ)

    After more than 12 years on death row, a San Antonio man convicted in a fatal stabbing was executed Thursday night. It was Texas’ fifth execution of the year.

    After more than 12 years on death row, a San Antonio man convicted in a fatal stabbing was executed Thursday night. It was Texas’ fifth execution of the year.

Powered by Frankly