Soltis Impacts


The Soltis Center enhances the student learning and research experiences through a unique setting for developing multidisciplinary research, education activities, and community service, as well. The Center further promotes investigation into critical fields of research, such as global warming, the impact on biodiversity and productive systems, and regional changes in rainfall patterns and distribution, among others. Samples of specific impacts include the following:


Student Impact
Participant surveys from former Texas A&M University students, who participated in Soltis Center programs over a 10-year period, shows that 69% whom visited less than 2 weeks:

  • 96% -- Improved their understanding of the planet’s biodiversity
  • 94% -- Gained intercultural communication skills
  • 92% -- Felt encouraged to do additional study abroad after the Soltis experience
  • 84% -- Changed behaviors so they are more focused on sustainability
  • 84% -- Increased engagement in environmental issues
  • 80% -- Said their Soltis Center experience increased their ability to be successful in the workplace
  • 74% -- Were encouraged to learn another language because of their Soltis Center experience

Research Impact
  • Numerous research publications and presentations directly connected to the Soltis Center
  • Both graduate and undergraduate student researchers have gone on to earn their PhDs with careers based on the work they did at the Soltis Center.
  • The Soltis Center has hosted scientific meetings
  • Permanent research equipment at the Soltis Center includes:
    • 10-m meteorological tower and 40-m walk-up canopy tower
    • Water tower sensors
    • Weir dam monitoring watershed hourly discharge
    • Weather station network
  • Research Databases include GIS, meteorological and hydrology data, and species tables consisting of local plant and animal species discovered or found at the Soltis Center.
 
Outreach Impacts
  • The Soltis Center is used by the local community and region for promoting science, education and cultural activities that have included science fairs, environmental days, cultural and dance activities, and a health fair. 
  • Improvement in local infrastructure for the Center included paved roads, electricity, and internet connections in San Juan de PeƱas Blancas.
  • The Soltis Center’s existence has resulted in local jobs for people, improving the quality of life for many in the local community.
  • The Soltis Center has increased tourism, which also improved the community.
  • Texas A&M University students work in the local community with local teachers and on such community projects as harvesting crops, building a soccer field, designing and constructing a bathroom for the local school.

For more information regarding the Soltis Center's impact on students, staff, the region, community, and more, please visit the About Us section, Program Assessment page and click the ten-year study link.