A Message from the Dean of Graduate Studies

the dean

Welcome to graduate education, the University of New Mexico, and the Land of Enchantment! For those of you that are new to the area, I hope you will find it enchanting – that you will take time to visit the pueblos, hike the mountains, stroll in the bosque, meet new people. The university offers a lot to the community. Take advantage of campus museums, performing arts, and spirited athletic events. Graduate education is about thinking big – bigger than yourself -- get involved!

Whether you’re solving social, technological, or environmental problems, you must learn to think big. You are the ones that will be tackling the world’s great challenges. See, appreciate, and understand both the forest and the trees. Continually learn and work with others. Finally, you came to graduate school with a very specific goal in mind – finish a degree. We are here to make sure you achieve that goal. But I encourage you to enjoy the journey, take it all in along the way.

Dean of Graduate Studies

About Dean Coonrod

An Albuquerque native, Dr. Coonrod has BE, MS, and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University, University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas at Austin (respectively). She consulted for a local civil engineering firm in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for 5 years prior to her PhD work.

Dr. Coonrod has been with UNM for 26 years, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses related to water resources engineering. She teaches a graduate level course that emphasizes the modeling capabilities of geographic information systems to students seeking a variety of degrees. She has actively participated in interdisciplinary programs including the Water Resources Program and the IGERT Freshwater Sciences Program. Additionally, she co-taught "Women, Water, & Work" with American Studies, History, and Earth & Planetary Sciences.

Dr. Coonrod’s research has focused on issues relating to the Middle Rio Grande, including bosque evapotranspiration estimates, climate change impacts on stream flow, and the intersection of restoration & flood control goals. She frequently collaborates with faculty in Biology, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Economics. She directed the Hydraulics Lab for 12 years where physical models of storm water structures for the local flood control authority are continuously built. She has directly supervised over 30 graduate students and served on 100 graduate committees. Dr. Coonrod is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Water Resources Association.

As Dean of Graduate Studies since 2013, Dr. Coonrod has improved processes so that graduate student progression is better documented in Banner, electronic forms are streamlined, and funding opportunities are made to as may graduate students as possible. Under her leadership, the Shared Knowledge Conference has become a hallmark event featuring the work from graduate students across campus and communicating that work to community judges and participants. Dr. Coonrod is an active participant in the Council of Graduate Schools, has served on their Board for 3 years, and is the 2022 Chair. Dr. Coonrod is also a past President of the Western Association of Graduate Schools (2019-2020). Their annual conference was held in Albuquerque and hosted by UNM just under the "covid wire" in March 2020. 

A big Lobo fan, Dr. Coonrod frequents basketball and soccer games.

Images from the 2020 WAGS Conference Hosted by UNM