Pueblo youth study Valles watershed

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By Roger Snodgrass

Some 65 students from Northern New Mexico Pueblos came out to get some hands-on experience and wrap their minds around the teeming environment of Vales Caldera National Preserve.

“It’s a beautiful outdoor classroom,” said the preserve’s Chief Scientist Bob Parmenter, greeting the middle and high school students, who participated in the special summer program along with coordinators from tribal educational and environmental departments. “We do a lot of science up here, involving millions of dollars, and involving hundreds of scientists,” he said.

The deer flies were vicious, but the grass was high and full of life. That life and the health of the soil, wetlands and streams that sustained them was what the day was all about.

“The preserve is in great shape,” said Parmenter. “We’ve had a storm a week in May and June that’s kept everything well watered.”

Counting the students, interns and scientists from the preserve and Los Alamos National Laboratory, sponsors of the event, there were more than 100 people.

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