Why is it important for prairie dogs to be restored to their native habitat? Biologist Ana Davidson and Petunia, a prairie dog, share insights about the ecology of New Mexico's grasslands and the importance of re-establishing this keystone species.

Connect airs Thursday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. on New Mexico PBS 5.1. Each month, New Mexico PBS connects audiences to the great people and inspired thinking found at the University of New Mexico.

Can human bone and heart valves be grown in the laboratory? Elizabeth Dirk explains how medicine is being reinvented through research into self-renewing stem cells that act as a repair system for the human body.

And for this month's Viewer Question, John Russell and his students answer the question, "How does building a racecar help UNM engineering students achieve their career goals?" 

• Ana D. Davidson, postdoctoral researcher, UNM Department of Biology, UNM
• Elizabeth H. Dirk, assistant professor, UNM Centennial Engineering Center, Biomaterials Research, Stem Cell Research
• John Russell, professor, UNM School of Engineering

• Augusta Meyers

Watch again online at Connect. Additionally, get updates, watch and follow New Mexico PBS Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & more.  

"Connect" is produced by Brad Stoddard and executive producer Michael Kamins. Production support provided by UNM.

Media Contact: Evy Todd, (505) 277-1218; email: etodd@newmexicopbs.org