The Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, N.M., now in its 90th year, recently dedicated an $8.2 million, 29,000-square-foot building on the campus of New Mexico State University.

The new research complex is part of the Agricultural Research Service's largest and oldest field station, a 193,000-acre facility established in 1912 within the northern section of the vast Chihuahuan Desert, which stretches into Mexico.

The desert site is a living laboratory for the study of desert rangelands. The research ranch, about one-fourth the size of Rhode Island, has developed new technologies for remediating deserts and monitoring and managing rangeland.

The building will provide office, laboratory and conference space for 55 staff, including from New Mexico State University, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.