United States Department of Agriculture: Grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions

Past USDA Projects

USDA Education and Research Experience in Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles for Precision Agriculture

The primary purpose of this four-year interdisciplinary multi-HSI project is to increase the number of South Texas students graduating from 2-yr Associate-granting institutions (DMC, TSTC) transitioning to 4-yr Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees (TAMUCC, TAMUK, UTRGV) in fields related to the agricultural and biological sciences.

For The Students

  • Faculty and staff at partner institutions will provide undergraduate and graduate training and education in the use of UAV technology for precision farming in agriculture.
  • Targeted coursework will be created to include two permanent on-line introductory courses in UAV technology and ethics and one blended (on-line/hands-on) course in UAV applications.
  • Training will include internships and assistance in research projects aligned with UAV as a tool for soil, animal and natural resource sciences.

Lead Institution--Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

The overarching goal of this project is to provide undergraduate and Masters students with academic coursework and experiential training in the use of UAS technology in management of agriculture crops.  More specific target goals are to:

  1. assist students at 2-yr Associate degree institutions (DMC, TSTC) with interests in the agriculture and food-related sciences in transitioning to 4-yr B.S. degree institutions (TAMUCC, TAMUK, UTRGV) through experiential field sessions/field days at TAMUCC, USDA agencies and Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centers.
  2. design and offer basic and applied UAS-for-agriculture coursework at the undergraduate and graduate level for students at 4-yr institutions.
  3. provide "hands-on" research training opportunities in UAS through internships with TAMUCC, TAMUK, UTRGV, Texas A&M AgriLife, USDA and various private-sector groups.
  4. increase the number of underrepresented students attending and presenting at regional and national meetings of scientific professional societies involved in agriculture and allied disciplines.

Lead Institution

  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi--Project Director:  Dr. Joe Fox


  • Texas A&M University-Kingsville--Lead Collaborator:  Dr. Randy Stanko (randy.stanko@tamuk.edu)
  • University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley--Lead Collaborator:  Dr. Robert Gilkerson
  • Del Mar College--Lead Collaborator:  Dr. Jonda Halcomb
  • Texas A&M AgriLife--Lead Collaborator:  Dr. Juan Landivar

Summer 2019

Student Name---Career Experience Location

Hunter Carroll---Central National Technology Support Center-Fort Worth, TX
Virgilio Gomez---AgriLife Research-Corpus Christi, TX
Jesus Lopez---AgriLife Research-Weslaco, TX
Victoria Trevino---AgriLife Research-Weslaco, TX

Summer 2018

Student Name---Career Experience Location

David Esparza---AgriLife-Corpus Christi, TX
Julio Gutierrez---AgriLife-Corpus Christi, TX
Michael Page---NRCS-Geospatial Center-Dallas, TX
Elsa Wiley---AgriLife-Weslaco, TX

Summer 2017

Student Name---Career Experience Location

Eutimio Alaniz---AgriLife-Corpus Christi, TX
Christopher Flores-Lopez---Citrus Center-Weslaco, TX
Christina Lee---AgriLife-Corpus Christi, TX
Guadalupe Rodriguez---AgriLife-Corpus Christi, TX
George Thomas III---ARS-Beltsville, MD

Upcoming Events

Past Events

  • Summer Career Experience (Internship) Presentations open to public (September 19, 2018; 3:00-6:00pm; Wildlife Center)
  • Summer Career Experience (Internship) Presentations open to public (September 20, 2017; 5:00-7:30pm; Kleberg Ag Rm 102)