The Sevilleta Field Station, operated by the University of New Mexico in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, serves as the home base for the UNM Sevilleta Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. It also supports research and educational programs in biology, ecology, geology and anthropology, and it serves as a meeting facility for conferences, workshops, retreats, and class field trips.
Environment. Researchers at the Sevilleta Field Station have access to a broad diversity of habitats and potential research sites. The Sevilleta Refuge is 100,000 hectares and spans the Rio Grande/I-25 corridor as well as mountain habitats west and east of the Rio Grande valley. Vegetation types range from Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and shrublands, Colorado Plateau shrub-steppe, the riparian Rio Grande corridor, juniper savanna, and piñon-juniper woodlands. Most portions of the Sevilleta refuge are closed to the public (behind locked gates) and are quite remote, providing security for research sites, experiments and equipment. A portion of the Refuge near the Sevilleta Field Station is open to the public year round. The Refuge staff in conjunction with the Field Station and Sevilleta LTER host monthly refuge tours and talks for the public. In addition, adjacent to the Field Station portion of the refuge are public lands in the Rio Grande bosque that are accessible for wildlife viewing, hiking and recreational activities.
History and ownership. The Sevilleta Field Station once served solely as a support facility for the UNM Sevilleta LTER Program, which began in 1988. Over the past two decades, the Field Station mission has expanded dramatically and now includes small conferences, courses and training workshops, and it hosts visiting scientists. Facilities at the Field Station are owned and managed by UNM. UNM biologists in the early 1990s developed the Sevilleta Field Station with funding from UNM, NSF, the Nature Conservancy and the USFWS. By 1995, those efforts had produced a modern field station with laboratories, computer facilities, a library, a conference and classroom facility, and housing for up to 48 resident researchers. In the past decade, the Field Station has undergone a final wave of major change. This included construction of the Sevilleta Education and Research Facility (SERF), a 20,000 square foot facility with modern laboratories for research and training, conference rooms and offices. In addition, residence space has nearly doubled as a result of construction of two new houses and the conversion of the old laboratory building to dorm space. These improvements brought to fruition our long-term goals for housing and major infrastructure.