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New Mexico State University

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New Mexico receives more than $1 million from NASA

New Mexico NASA EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) recently received two grants from NASA totaling over $1 million for astronomy-related research.

The goal of NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding to enable New Mexico to develop academic research directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research. EPSCoR contributes to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education and economic development of New Mexico.

The research program titled "New Mexico Solar and Stellar Seismology" received $750,000. Bernie McNamara, New Mexico State University astronomy professor, is lead scientist for this program. Other researchers include Jason Jackiewicz, assistant professor of astronomy, NMSU; Harjit Ahluwalia, physics and astronomy professor, University of New Mexico; Thomas Duvall, astrophysicist, Laboratory for Solar Physics, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center; Joyce Guzik, Los Alamos National Laboratory; and K. Balasubramaniam and Han Uitenbroek, National Solar Observatory.

The research program titled "New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI)" received $732,016. Michelle Creech-Eakman, associate professor of physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIM&T), is lead scientist for this program. Other researchers include David Westpfahl, physics professor and department head, NMIM&T; Penelope Boston, associate professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, NMIM&T; Colby Jurgenson, scientist, Magdalena Ridge Observatory; Pin Chen, visiting associate, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology; Gautam Vasisht, senior staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA; Mark Swain, research scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA; and Pieter Deroo, research scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA.

Both submissions were well received by NASA. Eighteen eligible states out of 25 were funded. Six states including New Mexico received two awards. Proposals were chosen through a merit-based, peer-reviewed competition. Patricia Hynes, New Mexico NASA EPSCoR director, is responsible for monitoring these research programs.

For further information, contact Hynes at (575) 646-6414, pahynes@nmsu.edu.