By Thomas Guengerich
SOCORRO, N.M., July 24, 2008 – New Mexico Tech announced that Dr. Fred Yarger of Socorro has been named the first director and senior scientist of the recently-formed New Mexico Center for Energy Policy in Hobbs.
"We are pleased that the center will be lead by a highly skilled experienced scientist and manager,” said Dr. Michael Hensley, director of special projects at New Mexico Tech. “Dr. Yarger's experience in managing large scale projects will help the center focus on research projects that will contribute significantly to the growth and diversification of the regional economy."
The newly formed Center will be located at New Mexico Junior College, where Yarger will direct the fledgling center’s mission.
“It’s a brand new organization and it’s an opportunity to really be involved in establishing an organization,” Yarger said. “The Center will serve as a liaison between New Mexico Tech and the region of southeast New Mexico and West Texas.”
New Mexico Tech aims to take a leadership role in molding the policies about energy in the state, including research and implementation of nuclear energy and renewable energy sources, as well as continued development of the state’s fossil fuel resources.
The Center was created with a $250,000 appropriation from the state legislature in 2007, sponsored by Sen. Carroll Leavell of Lea County.
"Dr. Yarger will be involved in many local projects to include leading development of a major conference on renewable and alternative energies," Hensley said.
The Center hosted its first conference – focused on fossil fuels – in May. The next conference in the fall will focus on renewables and nuclear energy.
A Naval Academy graduate, Yarger retired in 1994 from the U.S. Navy, where he was a trained nuclear submarine officer. He earned a doctorate in atmospheric physics from New Mexico Tech in 2003. He worked for White Sands Missile Range for Lincoln Labs until 2006.
He and his wife, Kathy, will be relocating to Hobbs, along with their 15-month-old twin daughters.