Dr. Lopez and Dr. Pedro Ortega Romero

[Right: New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López and Pedro Ortega Romero, the director of the University of Sonora]

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., Oct. 25, 2006 – New Mexico Tech is collaborating with the University of Sonora in Mexico on the North American Monsoon Study (NAMS), an ongoing international research project that will collect more scientific data on the intense summer rainstorms that often occur throughout the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López recently traveled to the university campus in Sonora, Mexico to officially enter the research university in Socorro, New Mexico into a collaborative research agreement for the study that may one day make it easier for scientists to accurately predict the occurrence, duration, and intensity of summer monsoons.

Pedro Ortega Romero, the director of the University of Sonora (Unison), welcomed Tech President López to the signing ceremony and expressed his pleasure in signing the agreement which will combine the resources and expertise at both universities in better understanding monsoons. An exchange program for visiting researchers and students enrolled at both universities is also part of the collaborative agreement.

At the signing ceremony, New Mexico Tech President López said the newly established collaboration will strengthen associated research programs at both institutions and will allow a wider range of comparative studies made available through NAMS, including additional hydrologic studies related to monsoons.

According to the terms outlined in the recently signed agreement, collaborative research at New Mexico Tech and Unison will initially focus on the following areas of interest: field studies conducted on hydrologic processes; associated climatological data; studies on vegetation and rainfall in affected areas; and development of hydrologic and atmospheric models that can be used to better predict the occurrence of intense rainstorms during the monsoon season.

The collaborative research study, which is sanctioned by the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization, is focused on the scientific observation and understanding of the principal components of monsoon systems in North America and the variables inherent in the annual cycles of atmospheric, oceanic, and geologic processes.

-NMT-