About Us (back to E-MRGE HomePage)

Fox Ecohydrogeology in the Middle Rio Grande Environment (E-MRGE) at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM is a project that is part of the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Graduate Education (DGE). For more information about the GK-12 program, click here to visit the national GK-12 website. E-MRGE is a joint venture between the Departments of Biology and Earth & Planetary Sciences (E&PS) at the University of New Mexico, and is overseen by the project's principal investigators (PI's), Dr. Scott Collins, Professor, Biology, and Dr. Laura Crossey, Professor, E&PS. E-MRGE provides a unique funding opportunity for graduate student fellows in Biology and E&PS by pairing fellows with middle school (6th-8th grade) science teachers in the communities of Belen, Laguna Pueblo, and Socorro, New Mexico. Participating schools include Belen Middle School, Laguna Middle School, and Sarracino Middle School.

The goal of E-MRGE is to facilitate a partnership that is mutually beneficial for our graduate student fellows, teachers, and schools. Graduate student fellows partner with middle school science teachers and work with middle school students both inside and outside of the classroom to develop inquiry-based and hands-on learning lessons, with themes generally (though not exclusively) centered on the ecology, hyrdology, and/or geology of the Middle Rio Grande Valley, but which also cover a broad range of topics in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, physics, etc.). At the same time, fellows acquire valuable knowledge and teaching skills both through interaction and conversations with middle school teachers and through the practical application of science education theory and techniques in an actual classroom and/or field setting.

E-MRGE was approved by NSF in early 2006 and began operating in its current form in August, 2006. In its first year, E-MRGE had seven participating fellow-teacher pairs and two participating schools, Belen Middle School and Sarracino Middle School (Socorro). The program was successful in its first year. The 2006 school year kicked off with a summit conducted by Drs. Collins and Crossey at the University of New Mexico Field Research Station located at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge north of Socorro, NM. This "meet and greet" workshop brought together fellows, teachers, program assessors hired by NSF, and other guest scientists and speakers. Click here to see pictures from that meeting. Mtn Lion

Two fellow teacher pairs represented the E-MRGE program at the National GK-12 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in March 2007, presenting case studies of successful fellow-teacher interactions, from Belen and Socorro. In the 2007-08 school year, E-MRGE expanded to include three more fellow-teacher pairs, bringing the total to 10, and one additional participating school, Laguna Middle School (Laguna Pueblo).

The E-MRGE program will continue for at least through the 2008-09 academic year, although we hope to extend the program into 2010. GK-12 Fellows may supported for up to two years, and new fellows will be recruited for the 2008-09 academic year. If you are interested in learning more about our program, or how to become involved with it please click here.

Sevilleta LTER gallery provided the beautiful photos for this site.

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