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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Carol Campbell
Associate Professor
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
NMSU Researcher Introduces Drought-resistant Maple

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Next fall you may see trees in New Mexico with more colorful leaves. Specifically, you may see Mesa Glow maples with bright crimson leaves. Its scientific name is Acer grandidentatum “JFS-NuMex 3,” and New Mexico State University has recently been awarded a patent on the plant. Rolston St. Hilaire, along with other researchers at NMSU, developed a drought-resistant maple. This particular plant was selected for stressful moisture-limited environments, i.e., drought-impacted areas. The input (water) into the landscape is less when using this particular species of tree.

This was especially innovative because this particular maple tree only had a one percent survival rate when reproduced by cuttings. So, St. Hilaire and his research team began working on tissue culture methods to propagate the plant from the parent stock. The tree has been tested in both dry environments and in high-salinity soil and it does well in both. It’s also not prone to disease.

The NMSU researchers began a process of testing materials for resilience to a variety of environmental stresses including how well it lived with limited water and whether it tolerated salt in the root zone and high light. The planting of trees in the region will provide measurable outcomes to landowners seeking beauty and function in this arid environment.

Dr. St. Hilaire was in the ideal situation for the model of the Arrowhead Center Tech Transfer office. A large portion of the licensing that happens comes through the relationships that researchers develop. NMSU Arrowhead Center helped him take action to get his goals filled quickly, meet the goals of the licensee and protect the intellectual property.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Investment & Finance

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.