Students and Sustainability

CNM students have engaged in a variety of sustainability efforts that make a positive impact on our community.

Sustainability Curriculum

Sustainability curriculum gives students the tools they need to address issues of energy production, environmental health, economic development, culture, and society. Such curriculum encourages interdisciplinary learning and problem-solving. 

Sustainability Courses

The Sustainability Committee regularly compiles a list of sustainability-focused or sustainability-related courses and programs. Download the PDF today. 

CNM is proud to feature:

  • Sustainability course, concentration, and UNM transfer agreements
  • Sustainability-related and focused courses identified in the CNM course catalog 
  • Sustainability classroom supplies budget 
  • Increased student participation in sustainability-related assignments
  • Sustainability-related Service Learning opportunities, including Water in the Desert and Campus Race to Zero Waste
  • Vermicomposting bins used in biology, anthropology, geography, and culinary arts classes

Water in the Desert 

 Water in the Desert Logo

Water in the Desert is a hands-on learning project centered on water resources management. It consists of service learning opportunities directed by the Sustainability Committee and the Physical Plant Department. Students may earn a Sustainability Certificate by providing at least 8 hours of water resources-related service to CNM in two different ways:

  1. Through service learning that is a part of the existing course curriculum (instructor must give permission in advance), or 
  2. on their own as an individual project (not related to a course).

The Water in the Desert project is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation, DUE #1257496. If you are interested in implementing Water in the Desert in your curriculum, contact Bridget O'Leary-Storer at for more information.

Student Creations

Idea Flow

Fine Arts instructor Lea Anderson charged her 2015 Art Practices I students with creating an installation about water issues on earth. They created “Idea Flow”, a river-like installation of individual writings collected from hundreds of people. Students asked participants of all ages and walks of life to write down their concerns about water issues or to describe what water symbolizes to them. Submissions were collected both in person and through social media and originate not only from New Mexico but nationally and internationally as well. This project is inspired by the artist Christine Destrempes, who has created several similar installation projects under the title of “Art for Water.” 

Lea Anderson WiTD Project 1

Student Artists: Cynthia Bohannon, Madelaine Griesel, Ben Hernandez, Janelle Lebron, Elora Madewell, Michael Marin Rodriguez, Phillip Martinez Aguilar, Crystal Montanez, Clifton Pierce, Raymond Quintero, Claire Rand, Miriam Scholl, Jennifer Stephens, Kym Thurman, Robert Vanderburg, and Melinda Williams.

Sustainability Photo Contest

The CNM Sustainability Committee periodically holds a photo contest. Most recently, Siv Limary won the 2021 photo contest for her image of the natural beauty in New Mexico.

Siv says, "This colorful and graceful sunflower rising above the Sandia Mountains illustrates the grandeur and wonder of nature and our broader, precious environment."

Siv_Limary First Place.jpg

Student Project: What's Your Water Footprint? 

Student Project: Storm Water