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Highlands lands $275K 4-year grant

Highlands geology professor Jennifer Lindline stands in front of the Pecos River, where she conducts water quality research. More Highlands students will study this and other New Mexico watersheds thanks to a new USDA grant. (Source: New Mexico Highlands University)

New Mexico Highlands University received a $275,000 grant aimed at preparing underrepresented minority students for water resources science and management careers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Highlands the four-year grant with an Aug. 1 start date.

“This grant is exciting because it will allow us to recruit, retain and graduate students who are practiced and proficient in water resources science,” said geology professor Jennifer Lindline. “A lot of New Mexico youth value water as part of their cultural identity and community values, but they don’t know what college degree is needed to address water quality and scarcity issues.”

“Our Highlands students will become leaders in water resources science with both the technical skills they’ll learn as well as cooperation and collaboration abilities they’ll master,” Lindline said.

Lindline wrote the USDA grant and is the principal investigator, or lead researcher, for the grant. It will be implemented within the Natural Resources Management Department at Highlands.

“There are many opportunities for water quality scientist positions in New Mexico, the region and nation. Our students will be prepared to help protect our precious water resources in these wide geographic areas,” Lindline said.

Lindline said the grant project taps into students’ intellectual and recreational domains because they will become more strongly connected to the natural world.

The USDA grant includes funding for portable and laboratory instruments for state-of-the-art water quality analysis.

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