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Sue Andra (Sandra) White

Research Interests

As a student coming from an engineering field to biology, my interests are broad. Currently, I am working on soil respiration research, which feeds back to carbon cycling and global warming. Growing up in the desert made me acutely aware of the importance of water, and I am still interested in how water helps create, decimate, and sustain ecosystems. The soil respiration research, which is also driven by water availability, is taking place as part of a much larger ecosystem drought project in the pinon-juniper woodlands on the Sevilleta National Refuge in central New Mexico. It is great to see all the different components of research all in one location coming together to look at the bigger picture.


  • sawhite at unm.edu


  • 2006-2009 University of New MexicoAlbuquerque, NM
      M.S., Biology (BIOL) Expected Graduation: May 2006
      Research: Soil Respiration on spatial and temporal scales for Pinon/Juniper woodland
  • 2001-2006 New Mexico Tech Socorro, NM
      B.S., Environmental Engineering (ENVE) Graduated May 2006 (GPA: 3.6)
      NM Tech Engineering Student of the Year 2005
      Tao Beta Pi treasurer (2005-2006); ENVE club president (2004-2006); ENVE club student advisor 2007
      Honor Role Fall 2001-Spring 2006 & Tech Scholar 2003-2006
      Student Exchange Fall 2003: North Carolina State U., Raleigh, NC.
      Grant Recipient (2005), WRRI(Water Resources Research Institute):evergreen transpiration research
      AWWA scholarship recipient (Fall 2005); WERC scholarship recipient (Fall 2005)
      Co-Founder: NM Tech Student Chapter of the RMWEA/AWWA (Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association/American Water Works Association)


Independent-Study Summer Internships

LosAlamos National Labs, Ecology Group, 2001, Aerial Photo Editor & Fire Model Analyst

Sandia National Labs, Yucca Mountain Project, 2002, Colloidal radionuclide transport researcher (Org. 6851)

Washington State University, Hydraulics Laboratory, NSF sponsored REU, 2003, Streambed Cluster shear stress & flow velocity modeling & mapping via aerial photos

University of New Mexico, Civil Engineering Dept., REU, 2004, Designed Floating Booms for surface debris removal in Bernalillo County Arroyos.

Los Alamos National Labs, Earth & Environmental Sciences Division, 2005, Installed, maintained, & analyzed transpirational water loss through sap flow in evergreen trees

Student Research/Employment

  • Air Chemistry Lab Technician (Chemistry Dept., New Mexico Tech (NMT, 2002)
  • Remote Sensing: vegetation cover classification (Dr. Eric Small, Hydrology Dept., NMT, 2003)
  • Nanoparticle Synthesis Research (Dr. Frank Huang, ENVE Dept., NMT, 2004)
  • Fieldwork Assistant (Dr. Fred Philips, Hydrology Dept., NMT, 2005)
  • Other Work Experience:
  • Analyzed 50-band satellite images for Perdue University at the Earth Data Analysis Center (2001)
  • Estimated Change in Vegetation Cover During the Past 60 Years Using Remote Sensing for Edgewood
  • Soil and Water Conservation District (ESWCD) (2000)

Individual Scientific Accomplishments

  • American Geophysical Union Annual Conference, 2006; Poster presented on transpiration summer work
  • Participant: International Science Fair 2001. Project: Vegetation Change with Remote Sensing
  • Presentation & people skills: Received 20 awards for Science Fair Project; including 1st place at the Regional S.F. & a Patent Award at the International S.F


  • Programs - Arc Info., ERDAS Imagine,Matlab, Cadkey, Adobe Photoshop, BioplumeIII Models
  • Biology/Hydrology Fieldwork & Lab experience
  • Dance instructor since 2003


  • Mountain biking, running, climbing, social dancing (swing and ballroom), soccer, & reading.


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