Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Technical Assistance Activities

Stonefly from the Valles Caldera National Preserve

As part of our mission, each of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit scientists and affiliated staff routinely provide technical assistance that includes data analysis, in-service training, GIS mapping, technical reviews of agency reports and management plans, captive breeding of imperiled fishes, to consultations of issues of state and regional importance to our cooperators. When Cooperator needs are beyond our area of expertise, we work to engage faculty and staff at NMSU.

New Mexico Unit scientists and affiliated staff serve as advisors to the Committee for Recovery of Rio Grande Silvery Minnow, Work Group for Conservation and Recovery of White Sands Pupfish, Workgroup for Recovery and Restoration of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, and the New Mexico Rocky Mountain Foundation Project Advisory Committee just to name a few. The Unit spearheaded the information development and writing of New Mexico’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The data used to develop the working document is currently housed at the Unit where it undergoes periodic revision to update the State’s most important strategic plan for conservation and planning of species at risk in New Mexico.

Description and Agency Provider(s) Date
Tracing the source of illegal pike introductions in Wyoming Reservoirs
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Carleton 2014-07-01
The 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.
Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico
Zeigler 2011-08-15
Technical Advisory Team member for the BLM's Chihuahuan Desert Rapid Ecoregion Assessment.
Bureau of Land Management
Cain 2013-06-10
State Delisting of the Peregrine Falcon in New Mexico
Carleton 2012-10-01
Southwest Tribal Hatchery and USGS are working together to restore Rio Grande cutthroat trout to Mescalero Apache Reservation lands
Southwest Tribal Hatchery
Anderson, Zeigler, Galindo, Caldwell 2009-04-24
Reviewed delisting proposal for removal of desert bighorn sheep from the New Mexico State Threatened and Endangered Species List.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Cain 2010-08-07
Reviewed 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.
Bender 2007-03-01
Review of rotenone and its toxicity effects on target and non-target organisms
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Caldwell 2011-05-15
Restoration of Agua Chiquita Creek, Lincoln National Forest, represents a multi-agency effort
Mesilla Valley Fly Fishers
Caldwell, Zeigler, Kalb 2011-06-15
Reintroduction of Fire as a tool to improve lesser prairie-chicken habitat in eastern New Mexico on BLM managed lands
Bureau of Land Management
Carleton 2015-01-23
Redevelopment of aerial survey methodology for mule deer and pronghorn populations in New Mexico.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Cain 2014-04-01
Reconstructing the life history movement patterns of an invasive fish species, northern pike, in the Little Snake River drainage, Wyoming
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Carleton 2014-07-01
Provided technical assistance to the NMDGF with River Otter Restoration
Caldwell 2006-10-15
Provided review of fish contaminant data to assess potential effects in fish-eating mammals within the upper Middle Rio Grande basin.
Caldwell 2007-10-01
Provided 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.
Caldwell 2004-03-01
Provide technical assistance to the living fish exhibit at the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History (~30 hours)
Caldwell 2007-10-01
Production 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.
Texas A&M University
Caldwell 2011-05-15
Natal 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.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Caldwell 2019-09-15
Living fishes exhibit at the at the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History is supported through Dr. Caldwell's efforts and loan of fish.
Las Cruces Museum of Natural History
Caldwell 2008-10-01
La Macha is a local wetland owned by the City of Las Cruces, but under the control of private citizens. I advised and assisted with water quality collection and analysis of the wetland before and after river water was diverted through the wetland. My students assisted with fish species identification.
Las Cruces City
Caldwell, Armstrong 2019-08-25
Habitat 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.
Jicarilla Apache Tribe
Cain 2016-07-04
Evaluation 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.
Bender 2002-11-01
Evaluating the current habitat conditions of a large urban arroyo in the context of a proposed flood control project for the Army Corp of Engineers.
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Boykin, Harings 2014-07-01
Evaluated trapping techniques to reduce potential for injury to Mexican wolves.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Cain 2010-10-26
Evaluated 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.
Bender 2003-01-15
Elk 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.
Bender 2007-05-15
Elk condition assessment, Valles Calderra National Preserve, NM. Captured and assessed for body condition and pregnancy ~30 adult cow elk for VCNP.
Bender 2006-04-15
Elk 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.
Bender 2007-06-25
Differentiating tributaries of the Pend O’Reille river watershed to determine important areas of recruitment for west slope cutthroat trout
Idaho Game and Fish Department
Carleton, Quist 2013-03-01
Differentiating tributaries of the Kootenai River Watershed and linking adult red band rainbow trout to their natal origins to support conservation and management.
Montana Game Fish and Parks
Carleton, Quist 2013-03-01
Development 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.
Bender 2006-10-01
Development of a wildlife certification program for Mexican Biologists
Carleton 2015-01-15
Development of a burn plan on the Weaver Ranch in eastern New Mexico to benefit lesser prairie-chickens
Graslans Charitable Trust
Carleton 2015-03-20
Developed 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.
Bender 2002-05-15
Developed 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.
Bender 2004-07-15
Developed Bayesian elk habitat model and provided instructions on model application, Pacific Power and Light.
Bender 2000-12-01
Determining the source of non-native pike in Wyoming Reservoirs
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Carleton 2014-10-01
Coordinated Rio Grande Silvery Minnow propagation and augmentation workshop, New Mexico State University.
Caldwell 2002-01-01
Conducted elk, mule deer, and oryx composition surveys for White Sands Missile Range.
Bender 2007-09-20
Conducted composition surveys for New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in GMUs 34 and 36. Also provided training for NMDGF biologists on composition surveying.
Bender 2007-09-22
Characterizing strontium stable isotopes of otoliths to reconstruct natal origin and movement patterns of walleye throughout New Mexico reservoirs.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Carleton 2014-10-26
Chair, Peer-review Panel for White Sands Pupfish status and listing coordinated by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Caldwell 2018-02-01
Captured, 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.
Bender 2003-10-15
Captured 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.
Bender 2006-02-15
Captured 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.
Bender 2004-11-15
BLM steering committee for the development of a study to assess the potential impacts of winter gas drilling on mule deer in northwestern New Mexico.
Bureau of Land Management-Farmington, New Mexico
Cain 2011-05-20
Assisted 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.
Bender 2004-05-15
Assisted District Biologists of Wyoming Department of Game and Fish in developing demographic survey protocols for elk and interpreting survey data.
Bender 2007-03-15
Analysis 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.
Bender 2004-01-31
Aided New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Biologists in development of mitigation recommendations for areas burned by extensive wildfires.
Bender 2002-08-15
Advised state biologist on design for population estimation studies of elk.
Bender 2002-06-01
Advised state Environment Department staff on mercury deposition assessment and interpretation.
Caldwell 2002-03-01
Role - Description Provider         Start Date        End Date       
Member, Space and Facilities Committee, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences Caldwell 2004-07-01 2005-06-30
Interdepartmental Committee to develop PhD program in Applied Ecology - Participating in the interdepartmental development of a PhD in Applied Ecology. Caldwell 2015-07-01 Present
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, member - As a committee member of New Mexico State University IACUC, I review 30-40 applications from NMSU faculty and staff to perform work with vertebrates. Caldwell 2014-01-01 Present
Graduate Program Committee Chair, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University Cain 2011-08-01 Present
FWCE Department Head Search Committee - Representing the Coop Unit on the Department Head search committee for Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology (Host Department for Unit) Caldwell 2018-08-01 2019-03-31
Departmental Vehicles Committee - Assist Department Head with identifying vehicle needs and processing vehicle requests. Caldwell 2014-08-01 2019-12-31
Departmental Facility and Space Committee - Convened committee monthly to address space needs within the Department. Completed renovation of Departmental Conference room which included computing and teleconferencing technology. Caldwell 2012-08-01 Present
Departmental Committee to review applicants for the Assistant Professor in Fisheries - Assisted with describing qualifications, writing advertisement, questions for candidates, interviewing candidates and selecting final candidate. Developed a short video of the fisheries research laboratories, offices, and storage spaces. Caldwell 2020-06-01 2020-07-31
Department Promotion and Tenure Committee - I served on the P&T committee to revise the protocol to address limitations of evaluating promotion for Unit Scientists. The document was accepted by the College. Caldwell 2014-07-01 2015-06-30
Committee - Scholarship and student recruitment committee, Chair Carleton 2014-06-01 Present
Chair, Space and Facilities Commmittee, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences Caldwell 2006-07-01 2007-06-30
Chair, Space and Facilities Committee, Dept. Fish and Wildlife Sciences, New Mexico State University Caldwell 2007-07-01 2008-06-30
Chair, Space and Facilities Committee, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences Caldwell 2005-07-01 2006-06-30
Chair, Quantitative Ecologist Hiring Committee Cain 2015-08-01 2016-05-31
Chair, Departmental Facilities and Space Committee - Convened committee monthly to address space needs within the Department. Completed renovation of Departmental Conference room which included computing and teleconferencing technology. Caldwell 2010-08-01 2011-08-31
Ad Hoc Committee for Department Head Search - Worked with faculty in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology to write position description of reaserch and teaching expertise needed for the Department Head position. Distributed to faculty for reivew and comment. Disseminated to College Administration for review. Caldwell 2012-05-01 2012-06-30
Role and Organization Individual         Start Date        End Date       
White Sands Pupfish Working Group Caldwell 2011-01-01 2018-01-31
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Lesser Prairie-Chicken Technical Science Committee Carleton 2014-07-01 Present
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Support Task Force Carleton 2012-01-01 Present
Rio Grande cutthroat trout Working Group Caldwell 2010-01-01 Present
Reviewed Promotion Packet - Montana State University Caldwell 2011-11-01 2011-12-31
Primary Reviewer for Promotion to Full Professor Caldwell 2019-08-01 2019-09-30
Primary Reviewer RGE Panel Caldwell 2017-09-01 2017-11-30
Playa Lakes Joint Venter Working Group Carleton 2012-03-01 Present
Peer Review Panel, Chair, White Sands Pupfish Listing Investigation via Wildlife Conservation Act Caldwell 2018-02-01 2018-08-31
Mesilla Valley Fly Fishers Caldwell 2010-01-01 Present
Member, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Projects Advisory Committee Bender 2002-03-01 2007-09-30
Member, Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Propagation and Genetics Workgroup Caldwell 2001-01-01 2016-12-31
Member, Research Grade Evaluation Panel, U.S. Geological Survey Caldwell 2011-10-01 2011-11-30
Member, Research Grade Evaluation Panel, U.S. Geological Survey Caldwell 2005-10-01 2005-10-31
Member, Pecos Ecosystem Ecoteam Caldwell 2003-08-01 2004-08-31
Gila / Rio Grande Trout Unlimited Caldwell 2010-10-01 Present
Faculty Advisor, Student Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Caldwell 2007-07-01 Present
Faculty Advisor New Mexico State University Bass Fishing Club Caldwell 2011-08-01 Present
FSP Reviewer: TX CFWRU (Influence of temperature on swimming performance of wild Blue Sucker) Caldwell 2019-09-01 2019-09-30
Board Member: NMSU Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee Caldwell 2014-08-01 Present
Outreach Activity Provider(s)        Date       
Talk on the birds of New Mexico Carleton 2014-03-15
Research was highlighted via public broadcasting network: "Raising Fish in the Desert" Aggie Almanac Program #91 (aired 11/13/2008, 11/15/2008, and 11/16/2008) on KRWG-TV Weekly Magazine Show). Caldwell 2008-11-13
Provided a one hour presentation to the inhabitants of the Good Samaritan (retired and assisted living) of Las Cruces. The presentation was titled: "Fish population diversity in New Mexico: Management, conflict, and compromise". Caldwell 2004-09-01
Presented research findings of the effects of whirling disease on Rio Grande cutthroat trout to the Mesilla Valley Fly Fishers Association. Caldwell 2005-05-09
Presented research describing the effects of whirling disease in Rio Grande cutthroat trout to the New Mexico Wildlife Federation Caldwell 2005-05-22
News release from New Mexico State University highlighting my research on whirling disease in Rio Grande cutthroat trout was picked up by Associated Press and published in two New Mexico newspapers (Las Cruces Sun News and Albuquerque Journal) Caldwell 2005-01-17
Eye on Research at NMSU and newspapers around New Mexico on lesser prairie-chicken research Carleton 2014-11-01
Cameo appearence in a film that describes the Valles Caldera National Preserve. I describe the effects of a wildfire on the aquatic system within the preserve. Caldwell 2012-09-30
CUTLINE: Colleen Caldwell, an adjunct associate professor in NMSU's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology and the New Mexico unit leader for the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Resources Division, uses a conductivity meter to check water salinity levels in a shrimp cultivation tank. She directs a research project that will assess shrimp cultivation in a closed-water system using a glandless cottonseed meal feed. (NMSU photo by Jay A. Rodman) Caldwell 2011-08-08