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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU receives more than $21 million in congressional appropriations for FY 2005

New Mexico State University will receive more than $21 million in congressional appropriations for the 2005 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.


ppropriations will fund research projects ranging from development of a new automated import examination system to development of an ultra-long duration balloon for scientific research.

Congressional appropriations, or earmarks, are separate from competitive grants and contracts awarded to university researchers or departments by government agencies.

"This funding will help us launch key initiatives designed to foster long-term, sustained leadership in areas that are of strategic importance to the state of New Mexico and the nation," said Don Birx, interim vice provost for research.


Birx credited the New Mexico congressional delegation with helping secure this funding, particularly Sen. Pete Domenici, who is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Funds earmarked for NMSU include:

--$4.9 million to the Physical Science Laboratory to build its unmanned aerial vehicle systems operations and validation program. The program is designed to facilitate the entry of unmanned aerial vehicles into U.S. air space. (Funding provided through the Defense Department)

--$4.2 million to the Physical Science Laboratory to develop decision-making software for the Army Research Lab. (Funding provided through the Defense Department)

--$3 million to the Physical Science Laboratory for development of an ultra-long duration balloon. Such balloons would enable scientists to conduct research in near-space for more than 100 days at a time at a fraction of the cost of commercial space flight. (Funding provided through NASA)

--$2.5 million to WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development, which is led by NMSU. The funds will allow WERC to continue its education and outreach programs, as well as development of technologies that addresses issues related to human health and the environment. (Funding provided through the Department of Energy)

--$2.14 million to the Physical Science Laboratory to establish its Food Safety Technology Laboratory and its Counterterrorism Chemical Technology Laboratory, and to expand development of an automated import examination system. (Funding provided through the Food and Drug Administration)

--$1.79 million to the Cooperative Extension Service for programs ranging from the cataloging of genes associated with drought- and disease-resistant crop plants to research on chile wilt. (Funding provided through the Department of Agriculture)

--$1.25 million to the Southwest Region Photovoltaic Experiment Station, a research department in the NMSU College of Engineering. The department will use the funds to support its testing, evaluation and development of solar energy systems. (Funding provided through the Department of Energy)

--$1.1 million to the Physical Science Laboratory to develop a program to prepare students for careers with intelligence agencies. (Funding provided through the Defense Department)

--$300,000 to the Joe Skeen Institute for Rangeland Restoration. (Funding provided through the Interior Department)

--$125,000 to the Bridge Research Center in the NMSU College of Engineering. The center will use the funds to continue its programs related to bridge inspection, bridge monitoring and bridge evaluation. (Funding provided through the Department of Transportation)

--$92,412 to the Water Resources Research Institute to support water-related research projects throughout New Mexico and dissemination of those research results. (Funding provided through the U.S. Geological Survey)

--$15,000 to the Southern New Mexico Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy, which is based at NMSU. The academy works with public elementary, middle and high schools in Southern New Mexico that primarily serve minorities who are underrepresented in science and engineering fields. (Funding provided through NASA).

NMSU researchers also will benefit from appropriations to other agencies such as the Agricultural Research Service, which has an office on the NMSU campus. The ARS has received several congressional earmarks, including a $3.2 million grant for arid lands research at the Jornada Range in Las Cruces.

In addition, NMSU researchers will benefit from appropriations to joint projects such as a $2.5 million appropriation to the Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy. This center involves NMSU and nine other universities in the United States and Mexico.