An award has been made to the University of New Mexico that will provide research training for 10 weeks for 10 students, for the summers of 2011-2015. The program focuses on aridland ecohydrology - the interplay between ecology, geology, climate and hydrology - in dryland environments. The Department of Biology, US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Forest Service together have about 25 scientists participating as research mentors in the program. Students may pursue independent research in a wide range of potential topics in population, community and ecosystem ecology, soils, and hydrology in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Students will do full-time field-based research in and around the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico, as well as participate in seminars, a journal club and workshops on the responsible conduct of research, professional communication skills, career opportunities, and the graduate school application process. Students will also have opportunities to visit natural and cultural areas in the region. REU students have access to a rich array of forest, grassland, shrubland, riparian and aquatic habitats. Comfortable housing and outstanding laboratory facilities are provided at the UNM Field Research Station ( located in the Refuge. The program's multi-phase recruitment effort consists of wide distribution of recruiting materials via digital media, well-known student job posting sites, as well as recruiting visits to local minority serving institutions. Students are selected based on academic record and coursework, letter of application, past research experience, career goals, letters of recommendation, phone interviews, and potential for conducting independent research in an aridland environment. Students are tracked by media such as Facebook and email to determine their continued interest in their academic field of study, their career paths, and the lasting influences of the research experience. Information about the program will be assessed by personal interviews during the summer research experience, periodic email requests, and an REU common assessment tool. More information is available by visiting or by contacting the Project Coordinator (Ms Jennifer Johnson at, the PI (Dr. Scott L. Collins at, or the co-PI (Dr. Les McFadden at

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Ann Sakai
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University of New Mexico
United States
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