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Contents, Edition 2007

Spring 2007 Cover


The Essentials of Water
Researchers tap the secrets of water quality, availability, efficiency

A Holistic Approach to Energy
Fuel cells, biofuels, solar and wind resources: All are part of the solution

‘Smart Skins’ In Your Future
New nanocomposites could lead to flexible electronic displays

Removing the Twinkle
Researchers solve key problem in free-space laser communications

Making Spaceflight Safer
Analytical chemist’s work flies on International Space Station

Floating at the Edge of Space
For out-of-this-world experiments, scientific balloons are often the vehicle of choice

Mysteries of the Mind and Brain
Psychologist studies the processes involved n complex thinking

Big Ideas for Tiny Light
Arrowhead Center helps innovative businesses get off the ground

What’s In a Whiff?
Researchers find link between food odors and lifespan in fruit flies

Arid Landscapes
In desertification, the complexity is what’s interesting


Message from Vice President for Research

New Mexico State University brings to bear a long tradition of excellence in water research as it examines current concerns and challenges related to the availability, quality and quantity of our water. This is especially true in a semi-arid state, where every drop can make a difference to our woodlands, communities and agricultural lands.

This focus on water research has been a priority throughout our 125-year heritage as a land-grant institution, and is especially important given New Mexico’s dry climate.

Water research has a significant presence among our Core Research Strengths. Listed under the topic of “Sustainability,” our water research and outreach programs are conducted by researchers in four colleges based at our Las Cruces campus and the Agricultural Science Centers, located across New Mexico.

NMSU is headquarters for the statewide and federally supported (in part) New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, which studies aquifer salinity, water availability, quality, sustainability, and water-related border and international issues.

Other key research initiatives originating in the College of Engineering include the National Science Foundation funded Engineering Research Center, which is a multi-university effort to reinvent America’s aging and inadequate urban water infrastructure. NMSU joins Stanford University, the Colorado School of Mines and the University of California, Berkeley, in this effort.

Research efforts led by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences focus on water technology research in Afghanistan; monitoring and solving trans-boundary water issues on the U.S-Mexico border; the link between traditional irrigation systems and ecosystem and watershed health; and the effects of climate change on New Mexico’s mountain sources of water.

I invite you to learn more about our critical, community-oriented water research activities in the following pages of this magazine.

Excellence in water research at New Mexico State University is a longtime source of pride and an everyday responsibility as we explore the best opportunities and seek the best solutions to the challenges related to the availability, quality and quantity of this precious resource.

Vimal Chaitanya, Vice President for Research

Signature of Vimal Chaitanya Vice President for Research
Vimal Chaitanya
Vice President for Research