Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) has announced that a consortium including the University of New Mexico will receive a $6 million research grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
The University of New Mexico will partner with research institutions in Nevada and Idaho to create a Western Consortium for Watershed Analysis, Visualization, and Exploration (WC-WAVE) that aims to advance watershed science, workforce development and education with cyber-infrastructure (CI)-enabled discovery and innovation.
“This grant will help New Mexico’s talented researchers better understand and address the unique environmental challenges facing our state in a way that grows the economy and creates jobs,” Rep. Lujan Grisham said. “In light of our state’s three-year-long drought and this summer’s devastating wildfires, this project is more important than ever.”
WC-WAVE CI will enable researchers to create better models to understand the processes that govern a large proportion of water and ecosystem services to communities. These systems are affected by climate change, which impacts water storage, flow moderation and water quality improvement. Interactions among precipitation, vegetation growth, fire regime, soil moisture, runoff and other landscape properties create systems in which even subtle changes in climate may lead to significant environmental and economic impacts.
The principal investigators on the project are William Michener at the University of New Mexico, Gayle Dana at the Nevada System of Higher Education and Peter Goodwin at the University of Idaho.
EPSCoR is a program designed to fulfill NSF’s mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. Twenty-eight states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam are currently eligible to participate. Through this program, NSF establishes regional partnerships with government, higher education and industry that effect lasting improvements in a state’s or territory’s research infrastructure and research and development capacity, and hence, its academic competitiveness.