2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to (1) describe ecological processes that characterize the functioning of the Chihuahuan Desert, (2) identify, evaluate and describe methods for monitoring rangeland conditions, (3) develop techniques for remediation of degraded rangeland, and (4) design new technologies for management of grazing livestock in arid landscapes.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Approach emphasizes interdisciplinary research funded by several extramural sources. Objective 1 is shared by the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research project at the Jornada. We have well established this environment. Objective 2 is shared by the Department of Defense and we are identifying indicators of rangeland health for rapid monitoring of resource conditions. Objective 3 is shared by the Bureau of Land Management where we are evaluating the use of prescribed burning as a management tool for maintaining desert grasslands. Objective 4 is shared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service where we are developing new technologies to control livestock movement on open ranges and rapidly identify botanical composition of grazing animal diets.
This agreement addresses direct collaborations among ARS scientists and NMSU faculty and staff. In 2011 there were over 3 dozen active research sites shared between ARS and NMSU on the 250,000 acres of the ARS's Jornada Experimental Range and NMSU's adjacent Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center. ADODR coordinated numerous meeting, symposia, workshops, and seminars with University cooperators during FY11.
Most collaborations involved long-term research projects, some dating to early in the 20th Century. In particular, progress in 2011 has resulted in accessible long-term data sets for use by the larger scientific community. Cooperator also facilitated development of facility infrastructure at the Jornada Experimental Range through purchases of a building for scientists and staff use through funding from the National Science Foundation. This building is being installed in summer 2011. This on-site 2000 sq. ft. facility will be used for outreach activities and planning of field research campaigns.