Our second NM SMART Grid Center 2020 extern, Mara Yarbrough, just completed her 10-week externship with the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) researching practical policies state governments can implement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She shared her thoughts with us on the experience in this brief reflection. Enjoy!
Event Category: Sustainability
New Mexico EPSCoR is excited to launch its Certificate Training in Entrepreneurship in partnership with the University of New Mexico (UNM) Rainforest Innovations and Innovation Academy. The primary goal of the Certificate program is to introduce participants to intellectual property (IP) generation and management, commercialization, and entrepreneurship and highlight additional resources and training opportunities leveraging the existing programs offered at New Mexico’s research universities. The Certificate program consists of 8 webinar training sessions.
Like most things, our annual summer undergraduate research program, STEM Advancement Program (STEMAP) shifted due to COVID-19 for summer 2020. Instead of placing students on campus to gain in-person research experience, STEMAP moved online and focused on professional development in addition to an online research experience. The 8-week program paired students with a SMART Grid mentor and another student.
“Sustainability” is complex and the term has many different definitions, particularly when it applies to a large National Science Foundation (NSF) project like the NM SMART Grid Center. One common definition relates to environmental sustainability and the perceived need to avoid depletion of the natural resources upon which we depend.
All of our lives have changed in response to the latest pandemic. With respect to EPSCoR, most of us are working from home and are learning how to social-distance, video-conference with colleagues, and use Slack and other tools to maintain some semblance of normality in our workday. Upcoming EPSCoR meetings such as the All Hands Meeting, NSF Reverse Site Visit and, most likely, the New Mexico EPSCoR State Committee Meeting will become virtual—i.e., Zoom conference calls. In short, our way of life has changed, seemingly overnight and we do not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Clean and sustainable energy was a hot topic at the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session. At least four bills and two memorials that passed are relevant to the NM SMART Grid Center research and associated education and workforce development components.
Eshani Hettiarachchi, New Mexico Tech graduate student and Uranium component team member for the Energize New Mexico grant, recently published her research on uranium-contaminated dust and its health implications in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal, Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
Four research scientists, all of whom have been part of New Mexico EPSCoR projects in the past, penned an open letter to the next governor of New Mexico. Laura Crossey, Dan Cadol, Sam Fernald, and Cliff Dahm wrote about the importance of higher education research for the NM Political Report. The letter was published before the 2018 Midterm Elections on November 2nd.