News and events


CEFNS Spring Commencement will be Friday, May 13, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.  No tickets required.

CEFNS Pre-Commencement Reception will be Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the High Country Conference Center.  Please RSVP to Denise Walters 


      UGRAD Symp 2016 
See CEFNS UGRADS page for more information.

2016 UGRADS will be held April 29, 2016

Presenters, Faculty Mentors and Judges
please join us at the 11:30 a.m. luncheon.

The speaker will be Paul C. Begovac, Ph.D.,

Business Technology Leader at W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

"Chasing The Discovery Lightbulb"

    Paul Begovac 150x225
The registration period is February 8, 2016 - March 14, 2016.

Congratulations 2015 Winners!
 2015 UGRADS 600

1st place 
Traci Swift, Niki Ortega, Ansley Roberts
Mentor:  Noelle Fletcher, Colorado Plateau Research Station
Northern Mexican Garter Snake Public Outreach Project

1st place (Tie)
Justin Wilgus
Mentor:  David Brumbaugh, SESES
Seismicity and Tectonics of the West Kaibab Fault Zone, AZ

1st place (Tie)
Bradley Marsh and Joshua Ellsworth (not pictured)
Mentor:  Cindy Brower, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Oxime Preparation for the Production of Isoxazoline Derived Bacterial Growth Inhibitors

2nd place (Tie)
Cara Alboucq
Mentors:  David Wagner, Joseph Busch, Nathan Stone, Biological Sciences
A Survey of the Prevalence and Diversity of Clostridium difficile in Flagstaff Dogs

2nd place (Tie)
Kristina Galbreath
Mentor:  Rob Kellar, Aaron Tabor, Biological Sciences
Development of an In Vitro (Bench-top) Assay to Evaluate the Effects of Reactive Oxygen Species on Fibroblast Cultures

1st place
Kyle Carpentier, Josh DeBenedetto (not pictured), Joey Annolino, Greg Dowske, Joseph Andaya (not pictured), Wilson January
Mentors:  John Tester, Sarah Oman, Mechanical Engineering
NASA Human Exploration Rover

2nd place
Kyle Granchelli, Duke Ayers, Ryan Dooley (not pictured), Kristopher Bullins, Jarrin Oishi
Mentors: Omar Badreddin, Computer Science
Flexible Maintenance Calendar

Zachary Parker, Jordan Hunt
Mentor: Jeff Rushall, Mathematics & Statistics
Eisenstein Amicable Pairs



Maxwell-Lutz Community Impact Award

Puzzle team 260x150 

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) announce that the Maxwell-Lutz Community Impact Award is open for student teams to submit proposals for consideration of approximately $5000 funding for Academic Year 2016-2017. This award is to fund a project that:
  • Improves the health and well-being of local and/or global communities
  • Improves the vitality of community or cultural systems or
  • Improves environmental sustainability
  • Shows collaboration between the colleges of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Engineering, Forestry And Natural Sciences
Proposals will be judged on comprehensiveness of project, identification of measurable goals/impact and benefit to NAU student learning experiences.
Please visit the webpage for submission instructions:


   Congratulations Dr. Ching Huang!
  CEFNS 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year

Photo to follow soon




                                        Science and Health Building is open

The five-level, 118,000-square-foot Science and Health Building is being moved into and will house classrooms, lecture halls, offices, research modules and teaching labs to support NAU’s Chemistry programs and the Center for Science Teaching and Learning.  An Open House will be planned and the CEFNS Fall College Meeting will be held in Rm 211 on August 26, 2015.



 Extra time means more flying as NAU researcher awaits one-of-a-kind octocopter

 Teki Sankey
Teki Sankey is logging flight time while awaiting a custom-made octocopter.  (Photo courtesy IDEA Lab)

For Northern Arizona University ecologist and remote sensing scientist Teki Sankey, conducting research has usually meant interpreting coarse pixels from satellite images to draw conclusions about the vegetation covering landscapes worldwide.

Now, by flying a custom-engineered octocopter packing two powerful sensors, Sankey will reap exquisite detail from forests, sand dunes and other natural features in Arizona.  The unmanned aerial vehicle to be flown by Sankey and her graduate students will gather data.

In the meantime, Sankey has acquired a fixed-wing drone. She and graduate students Jonathon Donald, Dan Solazzo, and Jason McVay have been flying it to study forest restoration effects in the Centennial Forest area outside of Flagstaff. What they see there has implications for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, at this point underway on a small scale.

“We’re studying that area as an example of what will happen when 4FRI begins operations over large acreages,” Sankey said. “The idea is to see if thinning will improve the ground water budget because of the additional snow cover that will result from fewer trees.”

That work along with satellite image analysis, funded by a Bureau of Reclamation grant, will become more fine-tuned once the octocopter arrives with its unique array of equipment.



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 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:  and see link to article here:

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:  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:


Partnership with Lowell Observatory Discovery Channel Telescope
DCT 450x300

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 Huenneke

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.




CEFNS Spring Commencement will be Friday, May 13, 2016 4:00 p.m.
in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.  No tickets required.

CEFNS Pre-Commencement Reception will be Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
at the High Country Conference Center.  Please RSVP to Denise Walters.


Congratulations Fall 2015 CEFNS Outstanding Seniors!

 2015 Outstanding Srs 600 

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:           Ricardo Peterson, Electrical Engineering & Modern Languages-French Majors
                                        Presented by: Dr. Sheryl Howard
Outstanding Senior:      Cedar Mitchell, Microbiology Major/Chemistry & Spanish Minors
                                        Presented by Dr. David Wagner
Distinguished Senior:    Sheridan Martini-Chemistry-Certified by the American Chemical Society-Extended
                                         Presented by Jeff Rushall, Mathematics & Statistics
Lowell Prize:                 James Brand, Exercise Science Major, Chemistry Major
                                         Presented by Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Lowell Observatory
Nominees:                     Jeremy Degeyter, Civil Engineering Major, Mechanical Engineering Minor
                                      Todd Gonzales (not pictured), Mechanical Engineering Major
                                      Benjamin Luginbuhl (not pictured), Chemistry Major, Physics, Mathematics & Biology Minors
                                      Nancy McCollough, Applied Computer Science Major
                                      Jacob McLane, Physics and Astronomy Merged Major, Mathematics Minor
                                      Kyle Niederer (not pictured), Forestry Major with A Wildlife Ecology & Management Certificate





CEFNS Career Fair  
*Watch for upcoming events*

Career Fair Information

.A Paradigm Shift: Indigenous Peoples in the New Millennium

Scholarships and Prizes 

CEFNS Scholarships
Link to the NAU Office of Scholarships and  Financial Aid

10th annual Louis Agassiz Prize for Excellence in Writing scholarship essay competition

Kaitlyn Haskie is the $4,000 winner of the 10th Annual Louis Agassiz Prize for Excellence in Writing scholarship essay competition. 

2016 1st place $4,000 - Kaitlyn Haskie "A Paradigm Shift: Indigenous Peoples in the New Millennium"


The essay topic for 2015-2016 was:

     Contemporary Communication Tools

Technology has radically changed the way we interact socially. Everything from dating to voicing political opinions, from ordering food to sharing a ride or a home with someone unknown, can now be done in cyberspace. We have a plethora of ways to learn, spend free time, conduct business, and remain connected to others—whether family, friends, or people half a world away.

Are there costs associated with this unprecedented connectivity and reliance on particular forms of technology? In your opinion, what are the most significant changes—on a personal or social level—that result from contemporary communication tools? Evaluate the personal and social impacts of these changes.

Thank you all for your participation.  The 2017 competition will be announced in October 2016.

Please see the office Louis Agassiz Prize for Excellence in Writing website for complete competition details.



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.

Geology seminars
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.