Water Resources Professional Project Reports

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



In 2004, a study by S.S. Papadopoulos determined that riparian evapotranspiration (ET) along the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) accounts for 37% of the total water budget in this stretch of the river. Transferring important findings such as this to middle school age students presents both a challenge and an opportunity to provide authentic research based information to tomorrows water managers and inspire their curiosity regarding water issues in New Mexico. This Professional Project presents two activities that incorporate selected aspects of the ET research funded by New Mexico's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) along the Middle Rio Grande. The first activity is entitled Plant Transpiration and the second one is Remote Sensing. The two activities were developed as part of the Water Module of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico and have been aligned to meet New Mexico Science Content Standards for 5th through 8th grade. Currently, the activities were tested in Albuquerque classrooms, and will soon be presented in a teacher workshop in Las Cruces. The Plant Transpiration activity transfers the core question of the current ET research of whether non-native plants lose more water due to ET processes than native plants. The Remote Sensing activity presents Landsat 7 images as a valuable tool for studying the environment from a new perspective. A number of researchers and educators from across New Mexico provided valuable input in developing the two activities.

Language (ISO)



New Mexico Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM EPSCoR), New Mexico Science Content Standards, Remote sensing activity, Plant transpiration activity, Invasive species, Evapotranspiration


A Professional Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.