How To Help

Like many departments, FWCE could extend its ability to train students and address important questions if more resources were available. As such, the department is working with the Development Office of NMSU’s College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to identify fund-raising goals. No contribution is too small!

Parties interested in helping us reach these goals should feel free to contact Ms. Cindy Nicholson or Ms. Kassie Ckodre of the College’s Department of Development or the FWCE Department Head, Dr. Matthew Gompper. A goal for the department is to build endowments in the following areas to facilitate FWCE’s mission of preparing students and applying knowledge to enhance the conservation and management of fish and wildlife:

FWCE Undergraduate Scholarships (goal: 10 endowments of $25,000 each)

Financial constraints are an unfortunate predictor of a student’s ability to enroll in a university and to graduate in a timely fashion. We seek to increase the number of scholarships available to FWCE students, with an endowment of $25,000 or more per scholarship, thereby providing approximately $1250 per year to 10 additional students.

FWCE Undergraduate Travel Awards (goal: $40,000 endowment)

Undergraduate students are excited to travel to professional meetings where they can meet future colleagues, identify potential future employers, and present the results of their first research projects. An endowment of $40,000 would provide approximately $2000 per year to offset the costs of groups of students travelling to important regional meetings.

FWCE Graduate Student Fellowship (goal: 1 endowments of $200,000)

There are many more wonderful applicants for each existing graduate research assistantship than FWCE can possibly accept. This is not because FWCE faculty do not have the interest in mentoring these potential students. Rather, it is because the resources are typically not available to cover the cost of the graduate student. An endowment of $200,000 would provide approximately $10,000 per year to cover the cost of a graduate student enrolling at NMSU, and would be a resource to leverage additional support from other sources within and beyond NMSU.

FWCE Graduate Student Teaching Assistantships (goal: Three endowments of $100,000 each)

Becoming a teaching assistant is often a formative experience for graduate students. Teaching assistantships are the primary mechanism for students to learn to communicate about complex scientific or management topics with diverse audiences. The preparation necessary to be a teaching assistant also results in a drastic improvement of knowledge about the topics the student is charged with teaching. Finally, for many students this is the first time they are challenged by being in a position of authority. Thus, independent of whether graduate students foresee a teaching role in their future, FWCE encourages all students to teach. However, often we have more students who wish to teach than we have positions available for them. Thus we seek three endowment of $100,000 to support 2-3 semester-long teaching assistantships per year, with each assistantship providing students with approximately $5,000-$10,000 (the variance being a function of the type of course being taught) of stipend support.

FWCE Graduate Student Travel Awards (goal: $40,000 endowment)

A critical hurdle for graduate students is finding the resources to attend national meetings or workshops where the results of their research may be presented to the scientific community. Such travel often catalyzes new research avenues and new employment opportunities. Unfortunately, resources to support graduate student travel are limited. An endowment of $40,000 would provide approximately $2000 per year to offset the costs of students traveling to these meetings.

Supporting and Naming the NSMU Wildlife Museum (goal 1: $60,000 for three undergraduate internships; goal 2: $60,000 for a graduate student assistantship; goal 3: $600,000 endowment for operations and curator support

The NMSU Wildlife Museum is a well-known fixture on campus. Housing over 6,000 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, the museum is a vibrant resource used by students, researchers, local resource agencies, and the public, acting as a veritable library of past and current biodiversity. With some extremely valuable specimens dating to the early 1900s, this collection is a testament to the origin and historical distribution of wildlife in southern New Mexico and elsewhere in the American Southwest. The museum is regularly visited by K-12 school groups, scouting groups, 4-H groups, and members of the public visiting NMSU. The museum also serves as a training ground for students with an interest in museum curation. Unfortunately, the museum has yet to reach its full potential, as the resources available for managing the collection are limited. Thus we seek to enhance the support for the NMSU Wildlife Museum by providing the resources to support three undergraduates per year (an endowment of $60,000 providing approximately three $1000 internships per year), one graduate student per year (an endowment of $60,000 providing an assistantship of $3000 per year), and the curator and operations of the museum (a named endowment of $600,000 for the museum, providing approximately $30,000 per year in support of the curator and the necessary supplies and equipment needed to maintain and expand the museum.

FWCE Lectures and Speaker Series (goal: $10,000-20,000 or $80,000-160,000)

The ability of a department to invite speakers from outside the NMSU community is critical to exposing students and the broader community to novel and exciting ideas. While faculty or the department are sometimes able to invite speakers and cover the expenses, the ability of existing funds to do this is limited. Thus, ideally, 8 speakers per year would be invited to campus, at a cost of approximately $500-1000 per speaker. An annual endowed speaker would thus require an endowment of approximately $10,000-20,000. An endowed annual speaker series (total cost, $4000-$8000 per year) would require an endowment of approximately $80,000 - $160,000.

FWCE Faculty Line Research Endowments (goal: Six endowments of $100,000 each)

A long-term FWCE goal is to build a research endowment for each of the departments 6 existing faculty lines. These funds would allow faculty the flexibility to commence new projects, address additional aspects of existing projects, leverage new research funding, and support additional students. A $100,000 target for each endowment would allow for approximately $5000 per year of funds per faculty line New Endowed, Named Faculty Position(s) (goal: Three endowments of $2,000,000 each) Faculty are the life-blood of any department. At NMSU, the department of FWCE has always been prominent, and has had a strong and positive effect on the management of the state’s natural resources, and on our understanding of how ecological systems function around the world. However, FWCE is limited in its ability to teach more students and conduct more research by the size of the faculty. Unfortunately, a fundamental reality is that the numerous conflicting needs at NMSU limit the possibility of dedicating the necessary resources to dramatically expand the size of the faculty. Thus the department is seeking endowments for three position, one in each of its core areas: Wildlife Ecology and Management, Aquatic Ecology and Management, and Conservation Ecology.