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Contents, Edition 2014

Spring 2014 Cover


Solar storms
NMSU professor receives NSF CAREER award to study space weather

Fueling discoveries
NMSU leads team seeking potential for algal biofuels

Tribal ethics at work
Researcher finds that tribal wisdom, business ethics more related than they seem.

Exploring secrets
Biologist lands NSF award to study ‘miracle trees’

From idea to market
$2 million grant helps researchers commercialize inventions

Examining ecosystem
Jornada the premier place for desert ecology research

Small world, big impact
Researchers’ discoveries possible with nanotechnology

Research diversity
NMSU’s annual poster fair explores wide array of research, creative activity


Message from President, Vice President for Research

From the immensity of the sun to the microscopic inner workings of DNA, New Mexico State University researchers are constantly seeking new discoveries that can lead to transformations in fields as far removed as astronomy, cell biology, desert ecosystems and even legendary, “miracle” trees that are critically important in Central American agriculture.

The vastness in research activity is summarized in the pages of the 2014 edition of NMSU’s Research & Resources Magazine. While these snapshots can give a good feel for the breadth of the work being done by NMSU scientists, the diversity and depth of research is illustrated in the 26 NMSU faculty and staff members who have generated external funding of more than $1 million each and 40 faculty and staff who have received funding of more than $500,000 each in fiscal year 2013 (see Page 3). Total research expenditures for fiscal year 2013 is more than $133 million. Also demonstrating the wide variety of projects underway is the annual University Research Council’s Research and Creative Activities Fair (see Page 11).

The economic impact of all this work is evident in the number of patents NMSU faculty and staff have received (see Page 16). Also vital is the potential commercialization of technology, which was supplemented in 2013 by the award of $1 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. NMSU and its partners matched the funds, creating a $2 million shot in the arm that will expand Arrowhead Center’s proof of concept program – Launch – and fund the creation and continued development of the Arrowhead Innovation Network, a support network for Launch that will provide technical assistance from experienced business people, connections, better access to investment funds and other services.

We invite you to learn more about our vivid and dynamic research activities in the following pages of this magazine.

Whether it’s an examination of the potential to infuse tribal ethics into the business community or seek out new ways to combat the deadly impact of mosquito-borne diseases, research activity at New Mexico State University is going to great lengths to find discoveries that can transform lives in the communities it serves and beyond.



Garrey Carruthers


Vimal Chaitanya
Vice President for Research