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Mesalands Community College

At Mesalands Community College, students learn in a hands-on environment. From working with livestock in the Animal Sciences programs, to climbing to the top of the College’s General Electric 1.5 megawatt ESS wind turbine as part of our Wind Energy Technology program, students find a place in higher education. Our many certificate and degree programs lead students to an exciting new career, personal improvement, or the foundation to achieve a higher-level degree. At Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory, many of the genuine fossils on display were collected by students enrolled in the Paleontology option of our Natural Sciences program. The Museum is also home to the world's largest collection of life-size bronze dinosaur skeletons created by students enrolled in the Fine Arts/Bronze program. Students enrolled in the Geology option of our Natural Sciences program currently conduct water research in conjunction with the Albuquerque Region Army Corps of Engineers at Conchas Dam, New Mexico. Through participation in our unique programs, Mesalands students engage in a educational experience that can help move toward professional and personal success.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Students enrolled in the Natural Sciences program may select the Paleontology option. This program option provides primary education in biological science with an emphasis on paleontology. Program students engage in classroom lectures, laboratory work, and field research. Support from CCURI has generated opportunities for Mesalands students to present research. (Pictured) Mesalands student Donald Price met with Senator Martin Heinrich in the Hart Senate Building to discuss Donny's research on Triassic fossils.

Students enrolled in the Natural Sciences program may select the Geology option. This program option provides primary education in earth science. Field research projects include plankton collection at Conchas Dam Reservoir in cooperation with the Albuquerque District of the Army Corps of Engineers. (Pictured) Mesalands student, Nikki Vazquez, works with Army Corps of Engineers Michael Vollmer and Valerie Mavis.

Paleontology Field Discovery Classes

Mesalands Community College offers field classes in paleontology during the summer. Officially listed by the College as GEOL 120 Paleontology Field Discovery (4 credit hours), the class provides a week-long experience of excavating fossils and processing them in the Mesalands Community College's Natural Sciences Laboratory. For more information, contact Dr. Hungerbuehler

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Vision and Change Implementation


Integrate Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum

  • Introduce the scientific process to students early, and integrate it into all undergraduate biology courses

  • Stimulate the curiosity students have for learning about the natural world

  • Demonstrate both the passion scientists have for their discipline and their delight in sharing their understanding of the world with students


Focus on Student ­Centered Learning

  • Engage students as active participants, not passive recipients, in all undergraduate biology courses

  • Introduce research experiences as an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of their major

Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change

  • Ensure that all undergraduates have authentic opportunities to experience the processes, nature, and limits of science

  • Provide all biology faculty with access to the teaching and learning research referenced throughout this report, and encourage its application when developing courses 

  • Create active ­learning environments for all students, even those in first ­year biology courses

High Impact Practices Implementation

First-Year Seminars and Experiences

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

Undergraduate Research

Capstone Courses and Projects

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