The University of New Mexico has an extremely high enrollment of underrepresented minorities. Many of these students are majoring in the sciences and are attempting to gain research experience but are finding it difficult because of the lack of common-use resource facilities on campus. This proposal requests funding to establish a laser scanning confocal microscopy facility. Confocal microscopes provide a marked reduction in the out-of-focus haze that tends to make many studies employing conventional flourescence microscopy impossible to carry out. In addition, the thin optical sections produced by confocal microscopy can be used in conjunction with computer reconstructions to produce highly informative 3-D images. Such features make the confocal microscope an extremely powerful research tool that is ideally suited for the wide range from evolutionary/ecological studies to cellular/molecular investigations, an in many cases, preliminary data are presented to demonstrate the feasibility of these confocal analyses. The faculty members contributing to this proposal have active research programs that involve numerous minority undergraduate and graduate students. These students and other minority students enrolled at the University of New Mexico would greatly benefit from having access to a confocal microscope. Thus, the acquisition of the confocal microscopy system requested in this proposal should significantly enhance the training of minority students at out institution.