The Center for Desert Agriculture in collaboration with National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combatting Desertification (NCVC) is establishing an agricultural and environmental research and extension facility, located in Wadi Qadid National Park, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, called the KAUST-NCVC Experiment Station and Ecological Observatory (KNESEO).
The initial funding for the KNESEO project comes from the Center Partnership Fund (CPF), a program administered through the KAUST Office of Research Administration.
What is an experiment station? Experiment stations function to make science useful. By providing the infrastructure, resources, and professional staff, experiment stations continuously support collaborative, cross-sector research and extension in target areas of significance to local stakeholders.
What is KNESEO? A 10-hectare experiment station located in Wadi Qadid National Park dedicated to research and extension in food, energy, water, and ecology.
What will be in KNESEO? A research greenhouse, plant nursery, agricultural field site, fabrication shop, and laboratories, supported by an operations and visitors center and dormitories for staff.
What is the purpose of KNESEO? To support research and extension activities between KAUST, station partners, and local stakeholders in target areas related to sustainable development, including food, energy, water, and ecology.
Where is KNESEO? The northeast corner of Wadi Qadid National Park, which is north of Khulais in the Makkah region (about a 15-minute drive from KAUST).
Who is leading KNESEO? The KAUST Center for Desert Agriculture is leading the establishment of KNESEO, in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combatting Desertification (NCVC), which allocated the 10-hectare area in the national park for the station.
The KNESEO core team includes the following members of the CDA:
Dr. Rebekah Waller - Project Manager
Eng. Wesley Hopwood - Project Designer
Ms. Dalia Al-Shahrani - Project Coordinator
When will KNESEO launch? The first phase of construction for KNESEO is expected to be completed in Spring 2024, at which point the station will begin operational activities.
Interested to contribute to the KNESEO project? Please contact Project Coordinator Ms. Dalia Al-Shahrani for more information.