New Mexico AMP Horizons
In Summer 2011, the New Mexico AMP Summer Community College Opportunity for Research (SCCORE) program provided students with outstanding research experiences and other professional and academic development.
Thirteen (13) students participated in the 2011 Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE) and were matched with an NMSU faculty mentor in a discipline-related research project. Four (4) students from Doņa Ana Community College participated in SCCORE: Rebecca Astorga (Pre-engineering), Julian Baeza (Electronics Technology), Albert Mondragon (Electronics Technology), and Anthony Castro (Horticulture). Rebecca and Julian worked with Dr. Ou Ma, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, on a team project entitled "Inertia Properties Algorithm Verification (IPAV): System Engineering." Albert worked with Dr. Salim Bawazir, Associate Professor of Civil and Geological Engineering, on "Calibrating the Decagon EC-5 Sensor for Use in Monitoring Soil Moisture"; and Anthony worked with Dr. Paul Bosland, Regents Professor, Plant and Environmental Science, on "The Effects of Gibberellic Acid on Ornamental Dwarf Chile Pepper Plants." Attending SCCORE from Luna Community College were Felipe Garcia (General Engineering) and Julian Hooegerhuies. Felipe worked with Anthony Hyde, Professor of Engineering Technology-Mechanical and Wes Eaton, Program Manager of Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center, on a project entitled "Mechanization: Green Chile De-stemming Machine," and Julian worked with Dr. Bawazir on "Using Remote Sensing to Classify Crops in the Mesilla Valle, NM." Participating in SCCORE from Central New Mexico Community College were Jessica Burris and Lillian Gonzales (both Biotechnology), who worked with Dr. Jinfa Zhang, Assoc. Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences. Jessica's project was entitled "Using Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism to study Salt Resistance in Cotton Plants," and Lillian's project was entitled "Editing Mitochondrial Genes and its Association with Cytoplasmic Male Sterility in Cotton." Calvin Silas, (Pre-engineering) from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, worked with faculty mentor Dr. Nirmal Khandan, Professor, Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, on a project entitled "Cultivation of Microalgae in an Airlift-Raceway for Biodiesel Production." Two students attended from New Mexico State-Alamogordo Community College: Lariza Diaz, (Biology), and Ariel Quintana (Pre-engineering). Lariza worked with Dr. Zhang on a project entitled "The Genetic Basis of Resistance to Verticillium Wilt in Cotton," and Ariel worked with Dr. Bawazir on "Consumptive Irrigation Requirement of Alfalfa in South Valley Albuquerque Area."
In addition, Dominique Hinson and Monica Johnson, two exchange students from Voorhees College, a four-year institution in the South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP), worked with Dr. Peter Cooke, Director, Electron Microscopy Laboratory. Dominique's project was entitled "Rinse Before Serving: Doubts About Sprouts," and Monique's project was entitled "Accumulation of Oleoresin in Habanero Peppers." In addition to devoting time to their research projects in the program, students also attended a credit-bearing course that exposed students to the various STEM majors and introduced them to university life and campus resources. Students went on an all-day field trip with Dr. Bawazir, who provided a tour of his research projects in the region, including those at Leasburg Dam and the Rio Grande, the Elephant Butte Irrigation Canal Network, and study sites focused on evapotranspiration (Stahmann Farms), alfalfa, weather stations, and the earth dam by Picacho. They also participated in workshops that helped them to navigate the transfer process from the 2- to 4-year institution, and several student panels were provided, including a student success panel, a transfer panel, and a graduate panel. In addition, students were provided tours of various STEM research labs on campus as well as workshops that helped them to develop professionally, such as training on how to develop a research poster and abstract, using techniques of writing the scientific paper. They presented their posters at a program-end symposium to other students, New Mexico AMP staff, and NMSU faculty and dignitaries. They will also present their posters at the New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference on Sept. 30, 2011.