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New Mexico becomes eligible for NASA EPSCoR

New Mexico has been selected to participate in NASA's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which assists with the development of academic research activities that are long-term, self-sustaining and nationally competitive.

Patricia Hynes is director of the New Mexico NASA EPSCoR office. She also serves as director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, based at NMSU.

Patricia Hynes, director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium at New Mexico State University, said NASA recently awarded a $400,000, three-year grant for setting up a New Mexico NASA EPSCoR office. Hynes will serve as director of the New Mexico program, which will be based at NMSU.

NASA is one of seven federal agencies with EPSCoR programs designed to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of research capabilities. Funding is provided for states and jurisdictions with modest research infrastructure to help them develop a more competitive research base.

New Mexico joins 24 other states and jurisdictions that are eligible to compete for NASA EPSCoR grants. Hynes said the New Mexico program already has solicited proposals for a $750,000, three-year NASA research grant and will submit two proposals by the July 10 deadline to compete for the funding.

The state has been a participant in the National Science Foundation's EPSCoR program since 2001. The New Mexico NASA EPSCoR program, with a focus on space-related research, will work with the existing New Mexico EPSCoR committee to further research and education in the state, Hynes said.

A 12-person Technical Advisory Committee has been established to assist the New Mexico NASA EPSCoR program. The committee will advise on New Mexico's space-related research and economic development priorities as they relate to space research and education projects; assist in planning research areas that align with New Mexico's priorities; and provide technical guidance and review the state program's progress and accomplishments.

Hynes will chair the committee. Other members are:
? Vimal Chaitanya, New Mexico EPSCoR committee representative, vice president for research, graduate studies and international programs at NMSU.
? Rick Homans, state government representative, former secretary of economic development and now executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.
? Jeff Steinborn, state government representative, District 37, state House of Representatives.
? Dave Westpfhal, affiliate member representative, New Mexico Tech, collaborating scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Very Large Array.
? Reed Dasenbrock, affiliate representative, former provost at the University of New Mexico and now secretary of the state Higher Education Department.
? Tom Burton, affiliate member representative, department head of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering at NMSU.
? Stephen Horan, affiliate member representative, department head, NMSU Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
? Keith Beck, industry representative, vice president and general manager, Jacobs Technology.
? Jerry Clark, industry representative, Advanced Planning/Program Management, General Dynamics.
? Bill Hiscock, external jurisdiction representative, Montana EPSCoR.
? Klaus Dannenberg, external jurisdiction representative, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.