The purpose of the CEHMM projects is to work toward practical solutions to issues that affect both human health and the environment. The projects serve the community, the region, and the state through educational outreach, job creation, and research leading to the resolution of important technical and environmental challenges.
ALGAL BI0MASS PROJECT
A research and development project investigating production processes and the propagation, harvesting, and oil extraction from both brine and freshwater algae. The business of algal production and the impact of the future use of algae and algal oil as a feedstock for animal and human nutrition in addition to renewable fuel were researched. Since southeastern New Mexico has been identified as an ideal area for algae propagation, discoveries related to harvesting and extraction of oil from algae have the potential to create a strong new industry for the region.
From 2007 through 2009, CEHMM conducted a three-year avian biomonitoring project directed toward detecting the H5N1 (avian flu) virus, the West Nile virus, banned pesticides, and heavy metals. The project monitored a species, the Chihuahuan Raven, that is considered aprime in west Texas, southern New Mexico, and the adjacent U.S. – Mexico border areas. The arrival of the H5N1 virus in the United States is a matter of national security and nationwide importance. Early detection is key to deterring the virus's spread and protecting human health from possible communicable mutations of the virus. The project established baseline information in the target area and obtained statistical power to detect trends and characterize the distribution and effects of heavy metals, toxins, and viruses.