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How To Help

Wildlife Museum Fund

The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology maintains a wildlife and fish museum that has well over 6,000 vertebrate specimens dating back to the early 1900s. These specimens are a testament to the origin and historical distribution of wildlife and fish throughout New Mexico. Students, researchers, local resource agencies and the public use the specimens for research and education outreach; however, this valued resource is in jeopardy.

Specimens in both museums are in disrepair owing to recent budget cuts and lack of appropriate funding for dedicated and knowledgeable staff. Without such oversight, valuable specimens could be destroyed by simple neglect or even acts of goodwill gone awry.

The Department is working to secure funding to renovate the museum and to purchase supplies to repair existing specimens and acquire new specimens. If recurring funding can be obtained, the Department will be able to support a graduate assistantship dedicated to the museum, support undergraduate students eligible for work-study funds, establish a collaboration with the Asombro Institute of Science Education as part of their Jornada Basin Schoolyard LTER program, and secure half-time, recurring funds to support a valued colleague and curator (Dr. Jennifer Frey) with over 20 years of museum curatorial experience who would oversee the museum collections including all of its research, educational and outreach activities.

Wildlife Health/Genetics Laboratory

The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology is in the process of developing a wildlife health/genetics laboratory. Students will benefit from such as facility through experience in lab techniques while working toward addressing conservation problems in the region. Pressing conservation issues include characterizing genetic relationships of species at risk throughout New Mexico and the southwest. The Laboratory is also expected to play a key role in studies of wildlife health including chronic wasting disease in our deer herds, whirling disease in trout, and the effects of West Nile virus on our bird populations. Currently, space is available for the laboratory and some of the rudimentary laboratory equipment has already been acquired, but we have a long way to go. Through cooperative team work and building upon shared resources, we anticipate the laboratory to be available in 2011.

Scholarship Fund

Our students are important to us and because of this our scholarship fund is important. Most of our students work while they attend school so even a modest scholarship can have a large impact on how much attention they can devote to their studies. Scholarships also play a very important role in student retention, a serious problem throughout the University. Financial concerns are the most frequently cited reason students give for dropping out of school. Need-based scholarships often mean the difference between finishing school or dropping out. Our goal is to develop this fund to a level that insures no successful student in our program drops out of school because of shortage of funds to purchase books or pay tuition costs.

Chair in Conservation Biology

Our Department is far too small to adequately address the teaching and research needs in Natural Resource Management that are important to the people of New Mexico. It our goal to develop funding for an endowed chair in Conservation Biology and fill that position with an individual of national stature. This approach will not only add significantly to the resources available in our Department, but a national figure will lend a new impetus in our efforts to address many of the important regional problems in natural resource management that we face today.

Gifts to the Department

You can help the Department achieve its goal of becoming an outstanding resource for our students, the University, the State and the Profession. Your tax deductible gifts can be part of this. Gifts can be earmarked to support a specific project, or they can become part of the general fund that supports all our activities. It's easy, just make out a check to the New Mexico State University Foundation and send it to the Department. Be sure to include a brief note indicating how you would like the gift used. Even small gifts can have a big impact in helping us serve you better.