Sandia Labs News Releases

New Mexico group wins money to educate public on climate science

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With interest in climate change heating up, a New Mexico group has won a $3,000 American Chemical Society Presidential Climate Science Challenge Grant to help educate the public on climate science issues.

The award to the Central New Mexico section of the ACS will help the group begin to tackle a longstanding problem, said Sandia National Laboratories researcher Bernadette Hernandez-Sanchez, the group’s leader and co-author of the grant application.

“Although New Mexico has one of the largest Ph.D.-per-capita ratios (in the U.S.), a large discrepancy still remains in education level between many of our state’s citizens and our technical community,” said Hernandez-Sanchez.

The difference is compounded by distances and economic and cultural differences.

To overcome the disparities, the group will teach volunteers about climate science and about speaking to the public at communication workshops. They will develop hands-on kits that illustrate basic chemistry concepts. And they will hold regular public seminars, called ACS NM Climate Science Saturdays, featuring climate science experts.

Similar grants were awarded by ACS to other local sections, including Dallas-Fort Worth; Illinois Heartland; Iowa; Kalamazoo, Mich.; New York; Northern West Virginia; Portland, Ore.; Puerto Rico; Puget Sound; and Wakarusa Valley in Kansas.

In addition to Hernandez-Sanchez, the ACS Central New Mexico Section grant authors were Sandia’s Jeffery Greathouse, Michael Heagy from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Donivan Porterfield of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Neal Singer,, (505) 845-7078