Las Cruces Chapter Grants to NMSU Students

Photos: 2022 and 2023 Grant Recipients. Photo Credit: Sara Fuentes-Soriano, NMSU

2022 Grants

On Nov 9, 2022, the Las Cruces NPS chapter presented a $500 NMSU student grant to a student whose project/research relates significantly to the NPS mission. In 2022, there was both a grant winner, Alicia Marmolejo, and an honorable mention recipient, Noel Prandoni.

Alicia Marmolejo’s project investigates the invasive properties of a New Mexican native plant, camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris), in Israel. The project stood out for its potential local and large-scale contributions. She is studying how our native camphorweed, introduced to Israel 30 years ago, genetically adapted to become an uncontrollable invasive plant species. The grant supports field work, lab analysis, and testing equipment that might not otherwise be supported. Alicia presented findings from her research at the November 8, 2023, Chapter meeting.

Noel Prandoni received Honorable Mention for her work on dryland restoration through seed introduction and rainwater harvesting practices. Noel will be working with the NMSU Herbarium and others to help select appropriate native species for use in intermittent waterways, specifically the Rincon watershed.

2023 Grants

The Las Cruces Chapter of NPSNM was proud to award two $500 grants to NMSU students involved in research and activities highly related to our mission.

Mickie Barraza, on behalf of the NMSU Range Club, won the undergraduate grant so that the club can prepare for the Society for Range Management Conference Plant ID Competition by being properly equipped with hand lenses, books, clipboards, and for local field trips to augment their study. The Las Cruces Chapter enthusiastically supports these field studies and looks forward to working further with the club to help with mutually beneficial goals.

Sarah Ramirez, NMSU Biology MS Graduate Student, is investigating the impact of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by native desert microbes on plant germination and growth. This research is important for understanding micro-scale interactions and addressing broader challenges related to habitat and biodiversity conservation. She will use the grant to allow her to take a specialized training program in VOC analysis in Guanajuato, Mexico. The Las Cruces Chapter is pleased to support her important graduate work.

Congratulations to all our grant recipients, and many thanks to all our generous donors. We appreciate your continued donations to fund 2024 NMSU grants.