CNM’s ‘Water in the Desert Series’ Offers Activities and Lectures

September 29, 2016 -- CNM will be hosting a “Water in the Desert” educational series for four weeks in October as part of its Campus as a Living Lab and Sustainability initiatives.
September 29, 2016

“We have lined up a great lecture and event series that center around the important topic of water in our region,” said Molly Blumhoefer, CNM’s Campus as a Living Lab and Sustainability Project Manager. “We’re in a stressed region with growing water shortage problems.”

There are also associated activities for students to complete for credit, as directed by their instructors or for a CNM Sustainability Certificate as per individual interest. Details are below.

The Water in the Desert series will run from Oct. 3 through Oct. 29. Dates, speakers and topics include:

Week One: Water Quantity and Supply, Oct. 3-7

 Lecture: Can you Swim? – Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2 p.m., Montoya Campus, H Building, Room 128 and Wednesday, Oct. 5, 3 p.m. Main Campus, Student Resource Center, Room 204.
Don Helfrich, CNM geography faculty, will speak about water quantity from a watershed perspective that is specific to the American Southwest. His presentation will touch on the varying uses of water resources and how they are managed under both the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation and the Endangered Species Act.

Lecture: Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority 100-Year Water Supply Plan – Thursday, Oct. 6, 4 p.m. Main Campus, Student Resource Center, Room 204.
John Stomp, chief operating engineer at Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), will discuss the ABCWUA’s municipal water plan for the next 100 years. Topics to be discussed are climate change, population growth and several other factors that affect citizens and the environment.

Activity: Alameda Diversion – Tuesday Oct. 4, 8:30-10 a.m.; Directions -- Google “Alameda Open Space Parking”
Steve Glass, CNM biology faculty, will lead a field trip at the San Juan-Chama Diversion at Alameda Open Space. Here you will learn about how and why the Rio Grande receives water from the Colorado River through a series of tributaries and diversions.

Activity: Colorado River Documentary Project : Asa Stone, CNM psychology faculty, offers an online activity based on a documentary on the Colorado River called Remains of a River. You will a) watch a 47-minute documentary of people who hiked, paddled and slogged their way down the Green and Colorado Rivers to the sea and b) take an action to share what you learned with others. This online activity will become available on October 5. * Just for fun and learning! Or as directed by instructor. Students, if completing for CNM Sustainability Certificate, send the link to your infographic (worth 2 hours) or your outreach tweet (worth 1 hour) to Molly Blumhoefer at

Week Two: Water Conservation, Oct. 10-14

Lecture: Biomimicry in the Desert – Monday, Oct. 10, 10-11 a.m., Main Campus, Student Resource Center, Room 204.                                                                                    

Kris Callori, architect, LEED Fellow and biomimicry specialist, will present a design-thinking methodology to identify strategies for water conservation in the desert. Through the lens of biomimicry, students will learn how to read our local landscape, identify species adaptations and elicit design ideas inspired by nature. This is great for individuals with general interest in this topic, as well as for students enrolled in Architecture, Engineering, Sustainability, Environmental Planning and more.

Lecture: Water Conservation – Monday Oct. 10, 2 p.m., Main Campus, Student Resource Center 204 and Monday, Oct. 10, 5 p.m., Montoya Campus, H Building, Room 126.
Leslie Kryder, local water conservation expert and business owner, will speak about why outdoor water conservation is so important and will share ideas on how to improve irrigation efficiency. Come and learn how to be a Water Miser.

Activity: CNM Garden-Bed Irrigation Demo – Monday, Oct. 10, 3:30 p.m., Main Campus between Student Services Center and Max Salazar Hall.
Immediately after Leslie Kryder’s presentation, Gregory Dugay, CNM student employee, will walk interested attendees to the CNM garden beds nearby for a  to discuss a real-drip irrigation system. He will spend approximately 30 minutes describing components, cost and how to irrigate a home garden efficiently.

Activity: Identify Climate Appropriate Plants on Campus – Students can inventory plants for a future project to display signage about the plants. Students can do this on their own or as directed by instructors for class credit.

Lecture: Backyard Chickens, Wednesday, Oct.12. 12-1 p.m., Montoya Campus, H Building, Room 126.

Sandra Rourke, English faculty and raiser of chickens, presents a workshop on “Raising Backyard Chickens.”  She will shed light on how our food systems and food choices tie into water conservation.

Film: Taste the Waste – Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1-3 p.m., Montoya Campus, H Building, Room 126.
Stay after the “Backyard Chickens” lecture for a film.

Workshop: Home Composting Basics – Thursday, Oct. 13, 1-2:30 p.m., Montoya Campus, H Building, Room 126.