$10,000 PNM 30th Anniversary Grant Awarded to NMSU-A STEM
PNM has awarded the NMSU-A STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program a $10,000 PNM 30th Anniversary Grant to help fund a Native Plant Demonstration Area at the City of Alamogordo Library. The project is part of an HSI-STEM grant that is working via the Outreach & Transfer Coordinator, Christina S. Stroud, to provide more internships and community service-learning opportunities for students in the STEM fields. The grant is overseen by an evaluation team consisting of Dr. Mark Cal, Gary Bond, Dr. Juan Garcia, Greg Hillis, Jary Rupe, Bryan Yancey, Donna Cook, Director Jeffrey Bacon, and Cathy Aguilar-Morgan.
Dr. Gloria Villaverde, Assistant Division Head of Math, Engineering, Science and Health has agreed to take the lead in the project. Under her direction, NMSU-A, the City of Alamogordo, Alamogordo High School, and the local chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico plan to promote water conservation through xeric landscaping while beautifying the grounds fronting the Alamogordo Public Library. The plan at the library involves designing and constructing a Native Plant Demonstration Garden; providing materials that promote xeric landscapes and water conservation; and improving the appearance of the Alamogordo Public Library. Dr. Villaverde’s Environmental Science classes at NMSU-A will coordinate with Mrs. Stroud’s NMSU-A STEM Club Student Members and Alamogordo High School’s Environmental Science classes to research native, xeric plants and their benefits. The area will demonstrate that native plants can be used attractively as natural habitats for native butterflies and hummingbirds.
The City of Alamogordo will provide the land for the garden and provide construction assistance. NMSU-A and AHS students will contribute to the garden’s construction and maintenance. Dr. Villaverde views the project “as an environmental stewardship demonstration. As a positive impact to the environment, we’ll be demonstrating water conservation, benefits to wildlife, and the attractive use of recycling materials.”