April 7, 2017

Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business

  • Four NMSU Water Science and Management PhD students attended a USDA project planning workshop (attached agenda) held at UTEP on Wednesday, March 15. The students are Sarah Sayles, Befekadu Habteyes, Sarah Acquah, and Dina Salman. The workshop's goal was to coordinate plans on the USDA project "Sustainable water resources for irrigated agriculture in a desert river basin facing climate change and competing demands: From characterization to solutions." The project's core question was, "How can water be managed so that three sectors: ag, urban, and environment, can secure a sustainable future?" Meeting participants discussed the status and plans for a 'bucket model' under development by NMSU and other project investigators. The model is designed to track sources, uses, and economic values of water for irrigation, urban, and environmental protection in the Paso Del Norte region downstream of Elephant Butte Reservoir.

Media Productions and Learning Games Lab

  • Lobster Diver, a math game created by the Learning Games Lab, has surpassed 1 million downloads on the Apple App Store. Targeted at middle school and elementary school, this STEM education app was produced by the NMSU Math Snacksteam and with University of Maine Cooperative Extension. It has been used in schools, with 4-H clubs, and in other informal learning.

Plant and Environmental Sciences

  • The New Mexico Climate Center, led by PES professor Dr. Dave DuBois, has added six weather stations, located at NMSU agricultural science centers, to the National Mesonet Program, with four more stations to be added to the program this year. The National Mesonet Program is a contract awarded by the US Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to Earth Networks Inc., which sub-contracts with various non-federal entities, including NMSU, to provide weather data to the program. The addition of NMSU to the program will help enable improved prediction of high-impact, local weather events and enhance NOAA's high-resolution numerical weather prediction capabilities. As a side benefit, this program will also provide high quality weather data to our researchers at the NMSU science centers around the state. Data from these weather stations can be found at http://weather.nmsu.edu and http://mesowest.utah.edu/.

  • The Soil Geomorphic Institute (SGI) was held from March 14 until March 31, 2017, in Wooten Hall Rm 105. Dr. Rolando A. Flores, dean of ACES, inaugurated the workshop. The SGI was an intensive 3-week training that presented soil landscape concepts and develops field skills essential for soil survey by major land resource area and digital soil modeling. The training blended scientific principles with field observations in a variety of geomorphic settings. The Las Cruces session incorporated seven field trips to various sites, including Jornada experimental range, Kilbourne hole, Black range, and WSMR. There were 25 participants from NRCS, USDA, and a student from Israel. Additionally, there were five instructors and three faculty members from the College of ACES. Overall, participants were impressed with NMSU facilities including classroom, activity center, hospitality, and overall coordination of the SGI. SGI provided an excellent opportunity for NMSU faculty and USDA/NRCS scientists to interact for possible future collaborations.