Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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New Mexico Technical Assistance

  • Colleen CaldwellNatal origin of Largemouth Bass in Elephant Butte Reservoir. Colleen assists NMDGF in the capture of LMB. She removes and prepares otoliths for retrospective chemistry using strontium to determine origin. (September 2019 - Present)
  • Colleen CaldwellChair, Peer-review Panel for White Sands Pupfish status and listing coordinated by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (February 2018 - Present)
  • James CainHabitat Assessment for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep--At the request of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, I conducted a preliminary habitat assessment for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in an area impacted by wildfires. The tribe wanted to determine if the area was suitable for an introduction of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. (July 2016 - January 2017)
  • Scott CarletonDevelopment of a burn plan on the Weaver Ranch in eastern New Mexico to benefit lesser prairie-chickens (March 2015 - Present)
  • Scott CarletonReintroduction of Fire as a tool to improve lesser prairie-chicken habitat in eastern New Mexico on BLM managed lands (January 2015 - Present)
  • Scott CarletonDevelopment of a wildlife certification program for Mexican Biologists (January 2015 - Present)
  • Colleen CaldwellCharacterizing strontium stable isotopes of otoliths to reconstruct natal origin and movement patterns of walleye throughout New Mexico reservoirs. (October 2014 - October 2014)
  • Scott CarletonDetermining the source of non-native pike in Wyoming Reservoirs (October 2014 - October 2014)
  • Kenneth BoykinEvaluating the current habitat conditions of a large urban arroyo in the context of a proposed flood control project for the Army Corp of Engineers. (July 2014 - June 2015)
  • Scott CarletonReconstructing the life history movement patterns of an invasive fish species, northern pike, in the Little Snake River drainage, Wyoming (July 2014 - Present)
  • Scott CarletonTracing the source of illegal pike introductions in Wyoming Reservoirs (July 2014 - Present)
  • James CainRedevelopment of aerial survey methodology for mule deer and pronghorn populations in New Mexico. (April 2014 - Present)
  • James CainTechnical Advisory Team member for the BLM's Chihuahuan Desert Rapid Ecoregion Assessment. (June 2013 - July 2015)
  • Scott CarletonDifferentiating tributaries of the Kootenai River Watershed and linking adult red band rainbow trout to their natal origins to support conservation and management. (March 2013 - Present)
  • Scott CarletonDifferentiating tributaries of the Pend O’Reille river watershed to determine important areas of recruitment for west slope cutthroat trout (March 2013 - Present)
  • Scott CarletonState Delisting of the Peregrine Falcon in New Mexico (October 2012 - Present)
  • Colleen CaldwellThe Las Conchas Fire of 2011 is the largest fire in New Mexico history. In less than a week, one-third of the Valles Caldera National Preserve was burned. I am evaluating the recovery of the aqutic ecosystem through seasonal surveys of the streams. (August 2011 - Present)
  • Colleen CaldwellRestoration of Agua Chiquita Creek, Lincoln National Forest, represents a multi-agency effort (June 2011 - April 2013)
  • James CainBLM steering committee for the development of a study to assess the potential impacts of winter gas drilling on mule deer in northwestern New Mexico.
    (May 2011 - May 2012)
  • Colleen CaldwellReview of rotenone and its toxicity effects on target and non-target organisms (May 2011 - January 2014)
  • Colleen CaldwellProduction of Pacific white shrimp using glandless (gossypol-free) cottonseed meal to assess the efficacy of feeding glandless cottonseed meal in the production of shrimp as a value-added product for the cotton growers in southern New Mexico. (May 2011 - January 2013)
  • James CainEvaluated trapping techniques to reduce potential for injury to Mexican wolves. (October 2010 - August 2011)
  • James CainReviewed delisting proposal for removal of desert bighorn sheep from the New Mexico State Threatened and Endangered Species List. (August 2010 - August 2010)
  • Mike AndersonSouthwest Tribal Hatchery and USGS are working together to restore Rio Grande cutthroat trout to Mescalero Apache Reservation lands (April 2009 - August 2014)
  • Colleen CaldwellLiving fishes exhibit at the at the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History is supported through Dr. Caldwell's efforts and loan of fish. (October 2008 - Present)
  • Colleen CaldwellProvided review of fish contaminant data to assess potential effects in fish-eating mammals within the upper Middle Rio Grande basin. (October 2007 - October 2007)
  • Colleen CaldwellProvide technical assistance to the living fish exhibit at the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History (~30 hours) (October 2007 - October 2007)
  • Louis BenderConducted composition surveys for New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in GMUs 34 and 36. Also provided training for NMDGF biologists on composition surveying. (September 2007 - September 2007)
  • Louis BenderConducted elk, mule deer, and oryx composition surveys for White Sands Missile Range. (September 2007 - September 2007)
  • Louis BenderElk capture, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM. Recaptured bull elk initially captured for Santa Clara Pueblo in November 2004 to retrieve movement data from GPS collars. Also captured and radio-collared adult cow elk for Pueblo biologists to aid their ongoing research on elk movements. (June 2007 - June 2007)
  • Louis BenderElk population estimation and predation impacts of wolves, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Assisted NMDGF staff with developing accurate and corroborated estimates of elk population size and productivity in the Gila Mountains, and modeling the potential effects of predation by the endangered Mexican wolf on trends in elk populations. (May 2007 - May 2007)
  • Louis BenderAssisted District Biologists of Wyoming Department of Game and Fish in developing demographic survey protocols for elk and interpreting survey data. (March 2007 - March 2007)
  • Louis BenderReviewed Environmental Impact Statement for Harvesting Oryx on San Andres National Wildlife Refuge. Reviewed and provided biological expertise in the drafting of SANWRs EIS for harvesting oryx, an exotic antelope that interferes with the Refuge?s primary mission of fostering the state-endangered desert bighorn sheep. (March 2007 - March 2007)
  • Colleen CaldwellProvided technical assistance to the NMDGF with River Otter Restoration (October 2006 - October 2006)
  • Louis BenderDevelopment of deer productivity survey protocols, New Hampshire Department of Fish and Wildlife. Worked with NH?s Deer Biologist in developing a protocol to collect productivity data on NH?s white-tailed deer herd. (October 2006 - October 2006)
  • Louis BenderElk condition assessment, Valles Calderra National Preserve, NM. Captured and assessed for body condition and pregnancy ~30 adult cow elk for VCNP. (April 2006 - April 2006)
  • Louis BenderCaptured and radio-collared ~30 coyotes for management staff of VCNP. This technical assistance supported research to determine movements of coyotes among VCNP, Los Alamos National Lab, and Bandelier National Monunment, as well as potential impacts on elk calves. (February 2006 - February 2006)
  • Louis BenderCaptured and radio-collared elk for Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. Captured and radio-collared bull elk for Pueblo biologists with the Santa Clara Pueblo, NM. (November 2004 - November 2004)
  • Louis BenderDeveloped habitat management plans for San Andres National Wildlife Refuge with goal of enhancing habitat for the state-endangered desert bighorn sheep and desert mule deer, a Species of Concern in NM. (July 2004 - July 2004)
  • Louis BenderAssisted in development of harvest strategies and harvest data collection programs for the Fee Hunting operation on Corona Rangeland and Livestock Research Center, New Mexico State University. Also developed and conduct all population monitoring programs and harvest permit levels for mule deer and pronghorn on CRLRC. (May 2004 - May 2004)
  • Colleen CaldwellProvided native fishes to the Museum of Natural History in Las Cruces. Provided assistance with the design and set-up of the exhibit as well as periodic evaluation of diet and water quality. (March 2004 - March 2004)
  • Louis BenderAnalysis of prey items in mountain lion scats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Andres National Wildlife Refuge. This technical assistance involved identification of puma prey items from scats collected by USFWS biologists from San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, during a period when both desert bighorn sheep and desert mule deer both achieved historic low population densities on SANWR. (January 2004 - February 2004)
  • Louis BenderCaptured, radio-collared, and assessed for condition and pregnancy elk on Ft. Riley, KS for U.S. Department of Defense and Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit biologists. (October 2003 - October 2003)
  • Louis BenderEvaluated of long-term population trends of the state-endangered desert bighorn sheep, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Andres National Wildlife Refuge. This technical assistance was requested by USFWS to determine which factors (density dependence, precipitation, predation) were most important in determining long-term population dynamics of desert bighorn sheep on SANWR. (January 2003 - January 2003)
  • Louis BenderEvaluation of population estimation methods (aerial sightability models), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. This resulted in the identification of weaknesses in survey strategies and estimators used by NMDGF, and the initiation of research to develop locally applicable population estimators for New Mexico?s varied habitats. (November 2002 - November 2002)
  • Louis BenderAided New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Biologists in development of mitigation recommendations for areas burned by extensive wildfires. (August 2002 - August 2002)
  • Louis BenderAdvised state biologist on design for population estimation studies of elk. (June 2002 - June 2002)
  • Louis BenderDeveloped protocol for analysis of body condition of mountain lions collected during predator removal programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Andres National Wildlife Refuge. (May 2002 - May 2002)
  • Bruce ThompsonAdvised state biologists on understanding design and applications of GIS for habitat modeling. (April 2002 - April 2002)
  • Colleen CaldwellAdvised state Environment Department staff on mercury deposition assessment and interpretation. (March 2002 - March 2002)
  • Colleen CaldwellCoordinated Rio Grande Silvery Minnow propagation and augmentation workshop, New Mexico State University. (January 2002 - January 2002)
  • Louis BenderDeveloped Bayesian elk habitat model and provided instructions on model application, Pacific Power and Light. (December 2000 - December 2000)

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 9

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 29

Scientific Publications: 50

Presentations: 138


Contact Us

New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003 Phone: (575) 646 - 6053 Fax: (575) 646 - 1281 Our University Web Site


  1. New Mexico Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS)
  2. Early Detection of Invasive Species in Big Bend National

New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey