April 7, 2008

Albuquerque to host regional AAAS meeting April 10-12

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Can biofuels be made cheaply enough to lower the cost of driving a car? Are green roofs worth the cost? Can nanotechnology lead to better vaccines? And what is extreme ball lightning?

These are a few of the topics researchers will address April 10-12 in Albuquerque during the 83rd annual meeting of the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain (SWARM) region of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), hosted by the University of New Mexico. This is the first time the meeting has been held in Albuquerque. Sandia National Laboratories is the title sponsor.

Researchers, business people, teachers, students, and anyone interested in the use of science, technology, and engineering to solve today’s challenges are encouraged to attend. You do not need to be a current member of AAAS to participate.

The conference’s theme – Meeting Today’s Challenges through Collaborative Science, Engineering, and Technology – emphasizes the importance of collaboration across disciplinary boundaries and recognizes the broad influence of science and technology on society.

Research themes include energy, sustainability, health, nanotechnology, collaboration, and science education. A detailed program is available at

Members of the news media are welcome to attend all conference sessions. Please check in at the registration desk in UNM’s Student Union Building, upper level, just outside the Cherry/Silver Room.

Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. and author of Rising Above the Gathering Storm, will give a keynote address on Friday, April 11, beginning at 7 p.m. at UNM’s Student Union Building, Ballroom B. The lecture is free and open to the public. It will focus on barriers to innovation in America, particularly in science and engineering. A summary of the lecture is available at

The SWARM region of AAAS includes New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana, as well as Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada; and Sonora, Chihuahua, and Couahuilla, Mexico.

Registration information is available at

The University of New Mexico is the state’s largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state’s only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico’s only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a 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: John German, (505) 844-5199,
UNM news media contact: Karen Wentworth, (505) 220-0313,