New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources
The NMBGMR is the official agency in charge of investigating and disseminating information on the geology and mineral resources of the state. In recent years, it has conducted a number of environmental studies as well. The presence of the NMBGMR more than doubles the number of geologists on campus. Many of these geologists teach classes on an adjunct basis and advise graduate students, increasing the range of available specialties. The 29 geoscientists at the NMBGMR include specialists in petroleum, coal, and mineral geology; hydrogeology; geophysics;engineering; metallurgy; and other areas.
The NMBGMR has many reference and resource materials which are available to the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Some of the most important of these are: a library of subsurface data, including driller's logs and geophysical logs; a library of core samples from around the state; an aerial photography collection; and a reference collection of minerals.
Many graduate students are employed as research assistants on applied research projects of NMBGMR; often their study is part of the research project. From 35 to 50 undergraduate students work part-time with NMBGMR personnel in projects and laboratories, giving the students technical experience.
New Mexico Geophysical Research Center
The NM Geophysical Research Center is a state-funded research organization, part of New Mexico Tech's Research and Economic Development Division. Hydrology and geophysics faculty members in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science are each partly funded by the GRC, allowing them to devote large portions of their time to research. The GRC is also a partner in the operation of the New Mexico Tech IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center, a principal facility of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.
NSF Science and Technology Center for SAHRA
SAHRA, short for Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas, is funded under the National Science Foundation's Science and Technology Center Program. SAHRA's mission is to promote sustainable management of water resources in semi-arid regions through stakeholder-driven interdisciplinary research, aggressive public outreach, and strong education initiatives leading to rapid dissemination and application of cutting-edge scientific knowledge. Many hydrology program faculty and students participate in this multi-institutional research effort.
Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC)
The Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC) is dedicated to researching ways to enhance the recovery of New Mexico's oil and gas resources. This research involves many scientific, technical, and mathematical disciplines - from chemistry, physics, and geology through classical petroleum engineering and the new field of geostatistics. The staff at the PRRC includes scientists and technologists with wide experience and competence in all of these fields. Particular projects are designed to improve the fluid displacement processes by which oil is recovered, including determining the role of wettability in waterflooding and diffusion in miscible flooding, and finding additives such as foam or thickeners by which to improve the efficiency of oil displacement by carbon dioxide and other high-pressure gases. In addition, the development of means to better characterize reservoir rock has become an important research topic.