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Resource Economist Highlights Oct. 23 NMSU Water Lecture Series

LAS CRUCES - A resource expert in programs ranging from cotton boll weevil eradication to water allocation in Florida's Everglades will highlight an upcoming special New Mexico State University water lecture series Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. in the Gerald Thomas Hall auditorium.

Ron Lacewell, Texas A&M Unviersity's assistant vice chancellor of agriculture (10/10/2003) Courtesy Photo from Texas A&M Unviersity'

"We have to make sure that our social capital is spent wisely and effectively," said Ron Lacewell, an internationally recognized expert on resource economics at Texas A&M University. "We have to understand the economic consequences of any social investment, even when it runs in the face of a vested interest or region. It's not always cut-and-dried and it's not always easy."

Examples of such projects include flood control, recreation or irrigation efforts which at times can involve massive use of state and federal funds, he said.

Lacewell will present a free public seminar on the role of resource economics in social investments as part of a water lecture series from NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics Water Task Force, civil and geological engineering department and the Water Resource Research Institute.

Lacewell currently serves as Texas A&M's assistant vice chancellor of agriculture and professor in the agricultural economics department, said Craig Runyan, water quality specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service and the university's Water Task Force coordinator.

NMSU formed the task force in 2000 to supply objective, scientific data about water issues in New Mexico. Pulled from across NMSU, this group of specially identified faculty and staff members are experts in water-related issues, Runyan said. They provide rapid responses to public requests for studies, white papers, expert testimony at public hearings and proposed solutions to water problems, he said.

Lacewell's research has focused on best management practices in irrigation, integrated pest management, dairy waste management and farming systems, Runyan said. Lacewell is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and the recipient of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association's 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to his academic duties, Lacewell has served as an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in addition to working as a statistician with the U.S. Bureau of the Census. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from Texas Tech University, and a doctorate in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University.

The final speaker in NMSU's water lecture series is John Shomaker, a hydrologist with Shomaker and Associates, on Nov. 13. For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, please contact Leeann DeMouche at (505) 646-5254 or ldemouch@nmsu.edu before the event.