October 22, 2016
Agricultural Experiment Station
- Dr. Sam Fernald, director of the Water Resources Research Institute and professor of Range Sciences, and Dr. Steve Loring, associate director–AES, facilitated a faculty forum to discuss significant water issues facing New Mexico and faculty perceptions of opportunities and responses for NMSU. Dean Rolando Flores spoke about the importance of water to the mission of NMSU. The forum was attended by representatives from the colleges of ACES, Engineering, and Arts & Sciences. A white paper summarizing their comments along with those from off-campus faculty and stakeholders will be prepared for use by college deans when evaluating research, teaching, and extension/outreach programs.
Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology
- Meredith Campbell, a graduate student from the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, received the Graduate School's 2016 Outstanding Graduate Award. This is the highest award the NMSU Alumni Association bestows upon a graduate student. Meredith was selected through a competitive process among many outstanding nominees across NMSU and is well deserving of this recognition.
Extension Plant sciences
- Extension Plant Sciences Southwest Turfgrass Association's Annual Recreational Landscape Conference and Expo was held at the Las Cruces Convention Center, October 25-27, 2016. This year's conference featured a trade show and educational programs, and a field day at the NMSU Saline Irrigation Research Plots. Over 140 participants learned about effective water conservation management practices, how to produce quality turfgrass areas using saline and non-potable water sources, effective weed management strategies, sprayer calibration, and irrigation needs of turf and landscape plants. Two students received a scholarship from the Southwest Turfgrass Association: David Rodriguez Herrera, a senior majoring in Genetics in Plant and Environmental Sciences, and Laura Johnson, graduate student in Horticulture with Plant and Environmental Sciences.
NMSU Extension and Research Youth Agricultural Science Center at Memorial Middle School
- Students in AXED 484 "Methods of Teaching Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences in Agriculture" developed lesson plans and delivered a STEM program on the hydrologic cycle to students at the NMSU Extension and Research Youth Agricultural Science Center in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The Center serves a diverse student population. The lesson included information on the hydrologic cycle, an experiential hydrologic activity to reinforce teaching and learning, and an inquiry-based learning experiment simulating the effects of climate extremes on plant growth. Regents Professor Tom Dormody, and Center Director and CES specialist Peter Skelton collaborate annually on this program to provide NMSU students pre-service teaching experiences, test innovative STEM teaching methods at the Center, and to encourage youth to attend NMSU through near-peer mentoring. One NMSU student stated about the experience, "I like this learning experience better than a conventional lecture-based course because I am a hands-on learner and I get more from the course if I can apply what is being taught". Another stated, "Being in the classroom today reiterated my passion for students and excited me even more to be a teacher. What an awesome class, what an awesome experience." Grant funding the Center received from the Enchanted Life Foundation will support the two-day NMSU student-led STEM program for the next two years.
- Jacki Baca, Santa Fe County Extension Program Director, co-authored a study on "Growing Our Own: A Longitudinal Evaluation of a Professional Development Program for Early-Career 4-H Professionals." The study was a longitudinal evaluation of the Western Region 4-H Institute, a five-day training program designed to enhance the skill sets of early-career Extension professionals organized around the 4-H professional research, knowledge, and competencies model. Results indicated that networking and developing effective programs for youth were paramount for participants, suggesting the importance of providing professional development opportunities for early-career professionals.