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Collecting a ground water sample in a saltcedar Tamarix
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Collecting a ground water sample in a saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) stand at

June 11, 2010
Collecting a ground water sample in a saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) stand at the Bosque del Apache field site in New Mexico.

The Bosque del Apache site is one of several field sites used for research by Ph.D. students enrolled in the Freshwater Sciences Interdisciplinary Doctoral program, a collaborative effort between the University of Alabama and the University of New Mexico. The program is funded by NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program (award DGE 99-72810). [One of three related images. See Next Image.]

More about this Image NSF's IGERT program supports activities like the Freshwater Sciences Interdisciplinary Doctoral program, the purpose of which is to provide Ph.D. students with the opportunity to prepare for careers that will effectively address the issue of how to maintain high-quality freshwater in the 21st century. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary areas of aquatic ecology, environmental geology and hydrology.

Each participating university has a designated field site where students can take samples and perform field research. The sites are located at similar latitudes, but with contrasting humid/wet and semi-arid climates. Students are able to broaden their perspectives by designing components of their dissertation research that are cross-regional and that allow them to explore similarities and differences in approaches and questions in geographic regions with distinctly different climates.

The students investigate ecological, hydrological and geochemical attributes of streams, rivers and ground waters of the Mobile River and Middle Rio Grande basins. They form links with organizations like the South Florida Water Management District, Everglades National Park, the Nature Conservancy and the Bosque Improvement Group, which are involved in large-scale management and restoration of major Southeastern and Southwestern freshwater ecosystems. Students and faculty from both universities confer and meet regularly, share research results, and compare field research. (Year of image: 1998)