News and events
7th Annual Freeport-McMoRan Lecture Series
from the Conservation Frontline
Dr. Niall McCann
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Cline Library Assembly Hall
Adventurer-biologist, Dr. Niall
McCann will take his audience on an amazing journey as he shares his
experiences working with endangered species in remote and challenging
environments. With stories like catching 18 foot long anacondas in the Amazon
and working with gun-wielding cowboys in Honduras, “Notes from the Conservation
Frontline” is a rip-roaring tale of adventure; but it’s also an homage to the
importance of conservation and a testament to how much a young scientist can
Please join us and bring a guest to this free event which is open to
the public. Also, please encourage your students to attend.
(Doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Free Admission - Open to the public
essay topic for 2014-2015 was:
Rights and Responsibilities”
See details below under "Scholarships and Prizes"
ENTRY DEADLINE: 5:00 p.m., JANUARY 30,
Watch for winner announcement in March!
Congratulations 2014 Winners!
1st place (tie)
Marcus Custodio (not pictured)
Mentor: Nick Koressel and Avi Henn, Green NAU Energy Initiative
Campus Sustainability with Power Down Program in SBS Castro
Mentor: Nick Koressel, Avi Henn, Kevin Ordean, Green NAU Energy
Marketing and Media: What Are Energy Behaviors
Mentor: Rob Kellar, Biology
The Optimization of an Osmotic Decellularization Method in Murine Integument
Elizabeth Gehret and Jacob Wachtler
Mentor: David Koerner, P&A
Debris Disk Detection around Nearby Stars
Lauren Pristo and Karen Hernandez
Mentors: Jinhee Yi, Joe Busch, Paul Keim, MGGEN/Biology
Characterization of the Antibody Response in Goats Experimentally Infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei
Mentor: Jeff Foster, MGGEN/Biology
Phylogenetic Analysis of Avian Cholera Outbreaks in North America
Gregory Hahn, Jonathan Bruce, Steven Jones, John Nussmeier
Mentors: Michael Shaffer and Srinivas Kosaraju, ME
Aquatic Energy Harvester
Alexa Kearns, Ze Chen, Tyler Faulkner, Yaqoub Molany, Thomas Penner
Mentor: Tom Acker, ME
Solar Charging Station
PHI KAPPA PHI AWARD:
Andrew Carter (not
pictured), Eric Ghazal, Jason Hedlund (not pictured), Terence Luther
Mentor: James Palmer, EE/CS
USGS DEM Blender Add on
CEFNS Spring 2015 Pre-Commencement Family Reception & Award Ceremony
Friday, May 8, 2015 5:00-6:30 p.m.
High Country Conference Center
Light refreshments will be served
CEFNS Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 9, 2015 1:00 p.m. in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome
Please be in your seats by 12:00 noon
Congratulations Fall 2014 CEFNS Outstanding Seniors!
The CEFNS Outstanding Seniors received plaques and recognition at the CEFNS Pre-Commencement Reception in Du Bois Ballroom on Thursday, December 11, 2014.
Standard Bearer: Fahad Aloqaili-Civil Engineering Major
Outstanding Senior: Joseph Landavaso-Biomedical Sciences Major/Chemistry Major
Distinguished Senior: Sheridan Martini-Chemistry-Certified by the American Chemical Society-Extended
Nominees: Justin Crum-Mathematics Major/Physics Minor
Ryan Hogan-Biology Major/Chemistry Minor
Chelsea Madsen-Exercise Science Major/Chemistry-Health Preprofessional
Emphasis Major/Mechanical Engineering Minor
Zachary Smith-Computer Science Major/Mathematics Minor
CEFNS students attend
the Grace Hopper GHC Attendees
from left to right: David Miller, Hannah Caldwell-Meurer, Luke Sanchez, Ashley
Celebration of Women in Computing
Veronica Alves, Zachary Smith, Sarah Kehoe, Erin Bailey and Danielle De
Computer Science and Applied Computer Science students were selected to receive
the CEFNS scholarship to attended the three day Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC)
of Women in Computing Conference in Phoenix, Arizona last week. Three
additional CEFNS students, Nancy McCollough and Emily Bartman, were selected to
receive the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology scholarship and Alec
Everett-Roy Davidson also attended the conference. Known as the “World’s
Largest Gathering of Women Technologists”, the GHC boasts Keynote Speakers and
Presenters who are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry,
academia and government. Top researchers presented their work while special
sessions focused on the role of women in today’s technology fields to 8,000
attendees. Ashley Green, President of the Society of Women Engineers, reported
upon her return from the conference, “I am now hopeful that I can
be that person who paves a way for future generations of young girls who want
to pursue a career in any STEM field. Thanks to the Grace Hopper Conference, I
no longer feel anonymous and instead feel empowered to do great things in the
future.” These students will give presentations of their experiences in the
weeks to follow.
CEFNS Career Fair
*Watch for upcoming events*
Scholarships and Prizes
the 9th Annual Louis Agassiz Prize for Excellence in
Writing scholarship essay competition,
open to all NAU students currently enrolled in their first undergraduate degree.
competition is intended to encourage and reward students for writing about
topics related to science and technology.
Founded by three NAU Alumni and one Friend of NAU, the First Place
Scholarship pays $2,000, Second Place Scholarship $1,250 and Third Place
The essay topic for 2014-2015 is:
Rights and Responsibilities”
From standards-oriented elementary curricula to university-level teaching seeking to respond to changes in technology and economics,
the world of education is in rapid flux. How educators should interact with government, employers, and students has never been more in
question than today. In this context, we pose these linked questions about education today:
Who is responsible for educating citizens in a democracy? Is it the job of government to provide educational opportunities, or is that
role better left to communities, businesses, or other organizations? Who should pay for education? Once educational opportunities are
available, how much of an obligation should citizens feel to take advantage of them?
Essays do not need to answer all these questions specifically; rather, they should explore the terrain of education and how it interacts
with government and society in general. We strongly encourage the use of specific examples and real-world data to clarify and support
your position, as well as creative approaches to this fertile issue.
.pdf, .doc or .docx essay to Denise.Walters@nau.edu
by 5:00 p.m. on
Friday, January 30, 2015
the official Louis Agassiz Prize for Excellence
in Writing webpage for:
essay formatting requirements
rules & regulations
Congratulations 2014 Winners!
Thank you all for your participation. The 2015 competition will be announced in October 2014.
Please see the
office Louis Agassiz Prize for Excellence in Writing website for complete
Biological Sciences seminars
Date: Thursdays during the academic year
Time: 2:45 p.m.
Location: Liberal Arts, Room 125
Event details: Presentations from faculty and other experts on research and more.
School of Forestry seminars
Date: Most Wednesdays during the academic year
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Forestry (Building 82), Room 017
Event details: Presentations by individuals from a variety of research and management backgrounds.
Date: Tuesdays during the academic year
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Geology (Building 12), Room 103
Event details: Presentations from faculty and other experts on research and more.
Congratulations Dr. Tad Theimer!
CEFNS 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year
Exceptional employees recognized with 2014 President’s
Several CEFNS employees were honored
this week for excelling in their professional roles, promoting a positive sense
of community in the workplace and actively supporting the mission of Northern
Ten NAU employees were
selected for the 2014 President’s Achievement Award, considered the highest
staff recognition from the university. Classified staff and service
professionals are eligible to be nominated by peers or supervisors. The
recipients, pictured below, each received a $1,000 award and were honored at a
luncheon this week hosted by President John Haeger.
The award winners were:
Lisa Cantor Ganey Mansel
Nelson Rosemary Rudy
Business Manager Senior Program
Dr. Diana Elder chosen as new CEFNS
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Dr. Elder is also an Associate Professor,
Geomorphology at the School of Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability.
- BS Geology, Northern Arizona University,
Physical Sciences with an emphasis in Atmospheric Science: Magna Cum
Laude, Northern Arizona University, 1990
Quaternary Studies, Northern Arizona University, 1991
Geological Sciences, University of California—Riverside, 1998
Geomorphology, Meteorology, Paleoclimatology, Desertification, Watershed
Landscape Evolution, Sediment Flux, and Climate Change in Drylands of the
southwestern Colorado Plateau
Fluvial Geomorphology in Forested Ecosystems of Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona Mesonet
Congratulations Dr. Bruce Fox-President's Award for Faculty & Academic Professionals
Fox, professor in the School of Forestry, and Kathee Rose, librarian
for Cline Library, received the President’s Award for Faculty and Academic
Professionals from NAU President John
Haeger. They were singled out to receive the award for their
exemplary contributions to the NAU mission in at least three categories:
creativity in teaching, creative use of technology, advising, assessment,
recruitment/retention, collaborative research, diversity and service.
(American Society of Mechanical Engineers) did an amazing job at this
years 2014 ASME HPV Competition. Out of
29 universities, they placed 2nd Overall, 2nd in Innovation, 2nd in Design, 3rd
in Endurance, and 1st in the Women's Sprint. Congratulations Heather Kutz, Phillip Kinsley,
Kevin Montoya, Erik Nelson, Alex Hawley, Matt Gerlich, and Perry Wood.
Research uncovers historical rise, fall and
re-emergence of plague strains
The CEFNS Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics (MGGen) published a very high-profile paper this week that is bringing a lot of positive attention to NAU. The paper was published in Lancet Infectious Diseases and describes the analysis of plague samples from 6th century victims of the first great plague pandemic. Read the press release: http://news.nau.edu/research-uncovers-historical-rise-fall-re-emergence-plague-strains/ and see link to article here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(13)70323-2/abstract.
The story was picked up by a huge number of media
outlets, including NPR, the BBC, the LA Times, the New York Times, and many
more. Please see this link for a sense of how far reaching the media coverage
was: https://www.google.com/#q=ancient+plague&tbm=nws. Paul Keim, Ph.D. and David W. Wagner, Ph.D. did an interview with NPR, which
was featured nationally on Morning Edition. You can listen to the
story here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/29/267598868/ancient-plagues-dna-revived-from-a-1-500-year-old-tooth.
New Partnership with Lowell Observatory Discovery Channel Telescope
Seated (left to right):
Lowell Director: Jeff Hall; Lowell Trustee: Lowell Putnam; NAU President: John Haeger
Standing (left to right):
NAU Dean of CEFNS: Paul Jagodzinski; Lowell Advisory Board Membe:r Mike Kitt; NAU Chair of Physics & Astronomy: Steve Tegler; Lowell Astronomer and Deputy Director for Science: Deidre
Hunter; Lowell Advisory Board Member: Mike Beckage; NAU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: Laura
Northern Arizona University’s (NAU’s) partnership with Lowell
Observatory in the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) provides NAU astronomers
with local access to a large state-of-the art telescope for astronomical
research. NAU astronomers will be able to work on even more cutting-edge
problems in astronomy and be in an even better position to compete for research
grants. This local partnership means students can much more easily apprentice
under NAU and Lowell astronomers and become astronomers in their own right or
secure jobs on technical staff of observatories or high-tech companies. Access
to the DCT will enable the Department of Physics and Astronomy to recruit even
better undergraduate students, graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
members. The partnership between NAU and Lowell Observatory will not only
strengthen the research, teaching, and public outreach collaborations between
astronomers of both institutions, but it has the potential to build new
collaborations between the two institutions in such areas as engineering,
science education, and science journalism.
Wyss Scholars Collin Haffey and
Audrey Kruse will build on their existing research and pursue conservation
leadership roles in the intermountain West.
Two Northern Arizona University
graduate students are getting a boost that will help them launch their
professional careers as leaders in land conservation. Collin Haffey and Audrey Kruse were named Wyss
Scholars by the Wyss Foundation, which provides scholarships for
graduate students who are pursuing careers in land conservation and management
in the U.S. intermountain West.
The students will receive partial
tuition payments while they complete their master’s degrees in environmental
sciences and policy at NAU and a $5,000 summer stipend. Haffey and Kruse also
are eligible for support after graduation in the form of post-graduation payments
for up to three years while they are launching their careers.
The scholarships are valued at more
than $30,000 apiece and are awarded to select students committed to
conservation at five universities across the nation.
Two CEFNS students have received prestigious
$10,000 Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship awards:
Benally (CM) is going to evaluate the recent geologic landsliding that
occurred on Highway 89 near Page and propose a rerouting construction
plan. The result of his research will be served as an example for future
excavation on highways within or near the Navajo Reservation that need
improvements or rehabilitation. Dr. Ho is his faculty advisor.
- Alejandra Quesada (CE) will be
conducting research related to the service-life of concrete bridges.
Usually built to last 50 years, the average bridge in our country is 43
years old. Given projected funding shortfalls, “business as usual” is
economically unsustainable and demands an infrastructure constructed for –
not only safety – but longevity. In response to this need, Alejandra’s
research project includes the experimental testing of reinforced concrete
beams with the goal of improving upon current design provisions and
construction details related to their serviceability behavior. Dr. Tuchscherer
is her faculty advisor.
NAU is a designated university by the FHWA to operate a Dwight
D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program on the Mountain campus. The
Fellowship Program provides funding for NAU Native American students and
Hispanic students in the pursuit of a degree (BS, MS/MEng, PhD) in transportation-related
fields at NAU. NAU students who receive a fellowship will conduct a research
project under the supervision of their adviser.
Recent NAU environmental engineering graduate Marilla Lamb, with
students from the computer sciences and engineering programs and with help from
a local school teacher, helped spearhead a program to design bicycle generators
that could do things like power a blender by harnessing the power of a bicycle
and turning pedal power into real electricity.
NAU’s Green Fund gave the students a $2,900 grant to build a
handful of the generators, which were then taken to classrooms. In the
engineering building, Lamb and the other students also designed a permanent
bike by making use of a donated bicycle from the school’s yellow bike program.
Electrical and mechanical engineering students designed and built the enhanced
bike and students working in the machine shop welded up the necessary
The permanent bike has a charging station where students can
plug in cell phones and other small electronics to get some exercise and a
little electrical juice during the school day. The catch: They have to do the
pedaling themselves. The group hopes to
cycle the bike around campus through various buildings to help show students
how much electricity they use.
Congratulations 2013 WERC Environmental Engineering Teams!
Landfill Team Award Ceremony: WERC official, John Jowers, Nathaniel Lail, Gabriel Murray, Annalise O’Toole, Daniel Hamill, Amy Anderson
Solar Distillation Team: Yiguo Chen, Yang Yang, Chaz Enbody, Banning Burt, Ben Shields
The International Environmental Design Contest sponsored by the Institute for Energy & the Environment – WERC (Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development) was held at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM on April 7-11, 2013. 22 teams from universities around the country and Canada competed in several design task divisions.
The NAU Environmental Engineering program sent two of our senior Capstone project teams. The two projects from NAU were the design of a solar-powered water distillation unit, and the other was a composite landfill cap design using paper sludge waste material. The landfill team won the Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Award for Innovation in Sustainability for their design. All students are environmental engineering majors, except for Annalise O’Toole who is a chemistry major.
NAU Car Team-Electrical Engineering
Left to right: Michael Young, Aniza Brown, Stephen Aranda, Derek Benallie, Brendan George, and Justin Cummings with the battery-powered vehicle they entered in the Shell Eco Marathon in Houston 4/4/13
A group of NAU Electrical Engineering students put the pedal to the metal at the Shell Eco-Marathon in Houston, Texas where students were tested on their ability to create an electrical car with a sustainable design and energy efficiency. With the assistance of faculty and local engineering businesses, these six EE majors were given a unique opportunity to compete with students around the world and size up the competition in their field. After several years of helping students create competitive cars, John Tester, the students’ NAU Faculty advisor, saw the opportunity in attending competitions as a great way for student to marry theory and experimentation. “The advantage of going to a competition is that you get to go to an event where you realize you’re not just from NAU-you’re part of engineering…it really matures you in your profession better than isolating yourself on campus with your design project.” As the second year entered in this competition, the NAU team had great improvements from the previous year, in which the team was unfortunately unable to race. Using the same body from last year, and refitting it with a touchscreen system built and programmed from scratch by the students, the team placed 18th out of 31 teams.Nina
Mechanical Engineering goes to China (a) Mechanical Engineering students Megan Cawley and Kristin Coady and Mechanical Engineering manager/instructor Petty Wood with faculty and students from Xi’an University of Science and Technology located in central China-see (c) map picture for location, and (b) a photo of Megan and Kristin with their interpreter, Jade, while visiting city sites. What a great spring break trip!
Megan and Kristin worked with Perry on a research project to implement Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing into ME 180, introduction to engineering graphics. They presented this work in China and will also present their work at the National Council of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) meeting in April.
Forestry goes to India
NAU has provided relief services to Tibetan refugees living in India since 2010. Executive Dean Leslie Schultz (College of Health & Human Services) invited the School of Forestry to participate in 2012 to assess forest resources and wood use in the Tibetan communities. 24 NAU faculty and students went to India from December 15-29, 2012, representing Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Public Health, Journalism, and Forestry.
The School of Forestry team, supported by the College of Engineering, Forestry & Natural Sciences, included student Amanda Knauf, professor, Pete Fulé, and volunteer Emily Fulé.
Top left: Amanda Knauf and translator Dechen Sangmo interviewing a resident of Camp 6 about fuelwood harvesting and use.
Top right: Measuring a native Sarai tree-the dominant forest species with strong dense wood (but no tree rings in this tropical forest!).
Bottom: Environmental education activity with the young monks: they drew pictures of scenes from nature, discussed why trees are good and how to care for planted trees.