A RCP-led expert panel undertook a site visit to the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM) in late January, where they assessed UPRM’s implementation of their four-year NSF EPSCoR (the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Track 2 award. This award was given in 2016 for UPRM’s Sustainable Water-Energy-Food [SusWEF] nexus program, conducted in partnership with the University of South Carolina. The SusWEF program has focused on creating collaborations between UPRM and USC in biochemical engineering research related to wastewater treatment and agriculture amendments, as well as on building graduate and undergraduate research in this area.
This was the third and final site visit for the panel, and the trip was almost delayed due to the month-long series of earthquakes in southern Puerto Rico that caused highway damage in Mayagüez on the western coast and that temporarily closed UPRM. The week before the trip, however, UPRM was able to reopen, and the site visit, though very interesting scientifically, was uneventful as regards earthquakes. RCP staff very much hope that the earthquakes in southern Puerto Rico continue to die further down, and that the area can recover soon.