NMT Signs Agreement with Honors Center of Italian Universities, May 12, 2005

by Enrique R. Vivoni, assistant professor of hydrology

ROME, ITALY, May 12, 2005 – In a recent visit to Rome, New Mexico Tech President Dr. Daniel López signed an agreement with the Honors Center of Italian Universities (H2CU) for research and educational exchanges. The agreement opens the door for enhanced collaborations between New Mexico Tech faculty and students and counterparts in a number of Italian research entities. In total, H2CU represents activities in 15 universities and 3 research institutes in the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

A signing ceremony for the international exchange program was held on April 22, 2005 in the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, founded in 1303. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions was officially established by signatures from Dr. Daniel López, New Mexico Tech President, Professor Lucio Ubertini, H2CU Director and Professor in University of Rome, Dr. Salvatore Grimaldi, H2CU Secretary and CNR Research Scientist, and Assistant Professor Enrique Vivoni in New Mexico Tech’s Earth and Environmental Science (EES) Department.

The initial three-year collaboration will focus on research and education in the field of hydrological sciences due to the strong and complementary programs at New Mexico Tech and within the H2CU institutions. Focusing on the theme of “Hydrological Predictions Across Climate Regimes”, the collaboration will sponsor student exchanges between the institutions (3-6 months), one-week short courses on advanced topics, and the promotion of collaborative research among participants. Specific topics of interest include remote sensing, modeling and observations in hydrological systems.

Due to mutual interests, an expansion of the current scope of the agreement is already being contemplated into areas such as geophysics, geology, civil and environmental engineering and physics, among others. All together, this effort will increase the international visibility of various top-notch programs at New Mexico Tech and also attract talented students to participate in the cultural, educational and research exchange.

The new international program will provide opportunities to interact with Italian universities known for hydrological science and to host to Italian researchers interested in our research and educational programs. In the longer term, the organizers hope to increase ties between New Mexico and Italy in a number of research fields.