A New Mexico State University student has been awarded a fellowship to study dust storms on Mars.
Robert Edmonds is the second graduate student in the school's Department of Astronomy to receive NASA's Earth and Space Science Fellowship. The $30,000 NASA fellowship can be renewed for up to three years.
Edmonds will study connections between atmospheric gravity waves and dust storms. The waves convey momentum from low to high altitudes on Earth, causing shifts in wind speed and atmospheric turbulence.
By The Santa Fe New Mexican & The Associated Press
A judge has ordered Governor Susana Martinez's administration to remove the names of classified employees from an online database.
The Monday ruling from District Court Judge Valerie Huling came after members of a state employees' union challenged the practice. An attorney for the union had argued that posting the names of classified employees is prohibited by state law and raises security concerns.
Martinez had ordered the information to be put online last year as a way to increase government transparency.
In northern New Mexico, a sacred site has been returned to its indigenous community.
On July 14, the Taos Land Trust officially transferred the Ponce de León Hot Springs to the Pueblo of Taos.
Now, the springs will be protected from any future development and also remain open to the general public. “This kind of partnership is very rare in the conservation community,” says Patricia Quintana, executive director of Taos Land Trust.
The land trust had purchased the 44-acre parcel in 1997 to save the springs from private development and create a public park.
A study by the federal government shows that New Mexico is expected to see its population that uses the Colorado River Basin for water grow from nearly 1.5 million people today to between 2 million and 3 million by 2060.
That's according to the latest data from a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation study.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/OhHnQI) that New Mexico and the other states that depend on the Colorado River Basin for water face a growing gap between how much water nature provides and how much people want to use.
Civil right groups and an immigrant advocacy organization have released a report that faults most law enforcement agencies in New Mexico on racial profiling. The report unveiled Thursday says less than a quarter of agencies surveyed are in compliance with a 2009 state law banning bias policing.
The report also says around 20 percent of agencies have no written policies against bias policing and about 24 percent refused to provide their policies, a violation of state law.
More than 50 organizations are urging Governor Susana Martinez to support expanding Medicaid to cover more uninsured New Mexicans.
The groups sent a letter this week to the Republican governor, saying the expansion of Medicaid under a federal health care law is a "win-win for New Mexico." Among those signing the letter are health care groups such as the New Mexico Pediatric Society and religious organizations including the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Environmentalists call the decades-old fuel spill in Albuquerque the largest threat to a city's drinking water supply in history. As much as 24 million gallons of jet fuel, seeping into an underground aquifer and steadily toward the city's largest and most pristine water wells.
But more than 12 years after the toxin-laden plume from an underground pipe leak was discovered at Kirtland Air Force Base, less than half a million gallons have been pumped out of the ground and the Air Force is two years away from finalizing a cleanup plan.
Hundreds of Educators and Parents gathered at the States Public Education building in Santa Fe on Wednesday to submit testimony to Secretary of Education Designate Hannah Skandera regarding her proposed Teacher Evaluation System.
After classmates found out that Zack Frankel is Jewish, the name-calling and teasing began. By the time Zack got to high school, he says it was part of his normal school experience to hear offensive jokes, names, and comments referring to his faith.
One student was sending "text bombs" or hundreds of pre-programmed texts to Zack's cell phone. Finally the 14 year old told his mom, she called the school, and the other student was suspended.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added a New Mexico county to its list of primary natural disaster areas due to drought and excessive heat.
Cibola County joins 39 counties in eight states in the latest designation Wednesday.
In all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared nearly 1,300 counties in 29 states as disaster areas during the current crop year. Much of New Mexico and the Southwest is already on the list.
The monsoon rains arrived this month, but it’s still hot and dry in New Mexico.
The ongoing drought is placing stress on the state’s rivers and streams, including the Rio Grande. And while cities and farmers still receive their shares of water, each summer, one user gets left out—the Rio Grande itself. Like it has every summer for the past decade, the Rio Grande downstream of Albuquerque is drying.
On July 6, law enforcement officials from Arizona Game and Fish Department recovered the body of Mexican Gray Wolf. The carcass was found near Big Lake in the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests.
The carcass is that of AM806, an adult male wolf that was released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in 2006. The recovery area includes 4.4 million acres in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico and Arizona’s Apache National Forest.
This is the third wolf death documented within the recovery area this year.
Rangina's family fled Afghanistan when she was a young child during the Soviet invasion, and for decades there was never any reason to return home. But after September 11th, 2001, Rangina was overcome by a calling much bigger then herself, to go back and serve her people.
About an hour north of Albuquerque, the Jemez Mountains are popular with hikers, fly fishermen, and pretty much anyone else looking for a mountain escape. The mountains have also been grazed, logged, and recently, hit hard by wildfire—Cerro Grande in 2000 and Las Conchas in 2011.
In 2005 Gayle Lemmon headed to Afghanistan for three weeks on a writing assignment for the Financial Times. She hoped to find a meaningful story about entrepreneurs who were really making a difference. Contacts of contacts put her in touch with a very young woman who had started a dressmaking business that supported her entire community under the rule of the Taliban. Lemmon was struck most with the realization of just how much work woman were actually doing inside their homes during the years when they could not go outside.
Audubon New Mexico released a report on the heels of a visit here by Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. The study argues that restoring natural streamflows will bring environmental and economic benefits.
Dams, reservoirs, and levees are all tools used to alter the natural flow of a river for crop irrigation, drinking water and industrial use. The benefits are substantial. But they also create major changes to the natural flow pattern of New Mexico’s rivers and streams.
As the natural gas boom has spread to the eastern United States, the term “fracking” has become common in news reports coming out of Pennsylvania and New York. But fracking has been a part of New Mexico’s history for decades.
After all, fracking is not a new technology. Halliburton pioneered hydraulic fracturing, as it’s officially known, in the 1940s. And it has been used around New Mexico for decades.
New Mexico's largest electricity provider has agreed to issue credits to more than 200 customers who were affected by a series of what state regulators call bad meter readings.
The Public Regulation Commission says its consumer relations and utilities divisions worked for the past two months to help recover more than $18,000 in overcharges.
The agency says recently filed complaints indicated a series of incorrect estimated meter readings were taken. That resulted in higher than average utility bills for some customers living on Santa Fe's west side.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he's definitely a candidate for the state's top office.
The paperwork has been filed for his gubernatorial campaign committee and he says he's starting to organize even though the race for the Democratic nomination is more than two years away. King says the magnitude of the race demands an early start.
Pointing to jobs, poverty and rural issues, he says there's plenty to be done in New Mexico.
New technology will soon be used in New Mexico to verify information documents presented by people seeking driver's licenses.
The state is grappling with recurring incidents of fraud, as critics claim New Mexico has become a go-to place nationally for illegal immigrants — or preying criminals representing them — wanting to obtain real driver's licenses.
Critics attribute most of the problem to the 2003 state law that allows foreign nationals to obtain New Mexico licenses, regardless of whether they are in the country legally.
A new state rating system gives most of New Mexico's schools passing grades, although the bulk of those are Cs and Ds.
Governor Susana Martinez on Monday unveiled the first report card under a new grading system that allows officials to consider more than just annual student test scores. The grades were developed after the state won a waiver from the federal government to include others factors, like past test scores, academic growth, attendance and college preparedness.
Immigrant activists and San Juan County residents say they are filing racial-profiling complaints against San Juan County and the Farmington Police Department.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a Santa Fe-based immigrant advocacy group, is set to announce Wednesday the detailed of six bias complaints against Farmington police and the San Juan County Sheriff's Department. According to the group, the law enforcement agencies in New Mexico's Four Corners are misusing federal agents at the San Juan County Adult Detention Facility and allege civil rights abuses at checkpoints.
The recent rains brought some relief to New Mexico’s parched forests, but they also brought a rash of lightning-caused fires.
Firefighters are responding to several smoke reports in the Questa Ranger District, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. They expect no problems. However, more smoke reports are anticipated as temperatures increase and humidity decreases.
Corrales officials say a fire that burned more than 350 acres of the wooded area along the Rio Grande last month was most likely sparked by an electronic cigarette.
Village Administrator John Avila says an employee apparently dropped the device while patrolling on June 20. The employee realized the device was gone after ducking under a tree limb. The fire started soon after.
Navajo lawmakers have rejected a settlement that recognizes the tribe's rights to water from the Little Colorado River basin.
The Tribal Council voted 15-6 against the settlement Thursday during a special session in Window Rock.
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl had introduced legislation to approve the settlement, but it needed the blessing of the Navajo and Hopi tribes to move forward. Kyl has said the settlement would address water needs on the reservations and provide certainty of the water supply for off-reservation communities.
The water utility in Albuquerque inadvertently diverted farmers' irrigation water from the Rio Grande for more than a week in late June and used it for the city's drinking water supplies.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/MXVOs1) that John Stomp, chief operating officer of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility, acknowledged the improper diversions and agreed to pay back the farmers.