November 07, 2018

Another Successful NMAS Research Symposium in the Books!

NMAS 2018 Research Symposium Recap

Dr. Doug Olson begins his luncheon keynote at the NMAS 2018 Research Symposium.

Natalie Rogers

By Natalie Rogers

Continuing a tradition of collaboration and research excellence, our 6th Annual Research Symposium was a success! Sponsored by the New Mexico Academy of Science (NMAS), NM EPSCoR, the American Chemical Society, UNM Center for Water and the Environment, and the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (NM AMP), the Symposium took place at the Sheraton Airport in Albuquerque on Saturday, October 28th. With over 110 attendees, 40 posters, and 25 presentations, the day was filled with networking and topics spanning several STEM fields.

Attendees represented walks of life from all over New Mexico; in fact, 17 institutions from across the state, plus the University of Denver and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, were represented at the Symposium. At lunch, we were treated with a fascinating Keynote by Dr. Doug Olson of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Olson is the Chief of the Office of Weights and Measures at NIST, and he has served as a bench scientist, technical project leader, and leader of a research group prior to his current position. His talk was titled, "Ruminations on a career in measurement standards: metrology, the history of the US weights and measures system, and the new SI."

NMAS and the American Chemical Society also recognized two New Mexico science teachers with their Outstanding Science Teacher of the Year award: Nate Raynor of Mescalero Apache Schools, and Julianna Matz-Esquibel of Taos High School. Mr. Raynor is a teacher that students remember and respect for a lifetime. He truly makes a difference and goes way beyond expectations to engage his students by working tirelessly with students both in and out of the classroom. Ms. Matz-Esquibel advocates for and instructs her students in multiple other ways – she knows her students and their lives. They know they can count on her and if they have difficulties in their lives she will be supportive and act as a sound role model – something that some of our students have never experienced before from an adult with authority over them. These teachers are truly the best of the best, and we applaud them for their hard work! 

At the end of the day, we announced the undergraduate and graduate winners of the poster session. First place in the undergraduate category went to Andres Romero of Northern New Mexico College for his poster, "Characterizing vibration frequency sensitivity and neural activity in escaping earthworms." Jesse Dirmeyer of Western New Mexico University took second place, and third place went to Samantha Ascoli of UNM. For the graduate category, Thanchira Suriyamongkol of Eastern New Mexico University took first place for her poster, "Feasibility of using computer-assisted software for recognizing individual Rio Grande Cooter." Second place went to Kristin Sabbi of UNM, and Vance Miller of ENMU took third place.

Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make this such a successful event. All poster and oral presentation abstracts can be viewed online on our Symposium website: Be sure to watch for the publication of all abstracts in the 2019 New Mexico Journal of Science in January 2019!