A Mesa Community College faculty member has received a $50,000 grant from the Coronado National Forest for the study of a threatened species of rattlesnake.
Andrew Holycross of the Red Mountain Campus will use the grant money to study the New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake in its Peloncillo Mountain and Aminmas Mountain habitats in Arizona, New Mexico and the Sierra de San Luis in Mexico.
Holycross’s research has included leading expeditions that have investigated the range of the rare species of snake.
“This offers our students a valuable opportunity to work on a government grant, see the elements of a project that was successfully funded, learn how to manage data, create graphs and compile the required reports,” Holycross said in a statement. “For those looking toward a career in wildlife resources, contact with members from all the involved government agencies is great for future networking.”
Holycross has been doing his research on the rare New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake since the early 1990s and has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the species.
He has been a Mesa Community College faculty member for 12 years and holds a bachelor of science and a master of arts in biology as well as a doctorate in zoology.