News and events



CEFNS Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremony will be Saturday, May 13, 2017 3:00 p.m. in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.  No tickets required.

CEFNS Pre-Commencement Reception at the High Country Conference Center will be Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.  

Come early for the reception and beat the parking rush.  The reception ends by 1:00 p.m. (giving you time to by seated in the Dome by 2:00).


* NAU Skydome * DuBois Center 

      UGRAD Symp 2016 
See CEFNS UGRADS page for more information.
Registration is open February 1 - March 13, 2017


                      This year's luncheon speaker:

                             Martin Casado, PhD 
                 General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

“Creating a Tech Startup, What I Wish They Would have Told Me”

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Congratulations 2016 UGRADS Poster Winners!
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1st place
$400-Madison Corey, Kaeli Frechette, Kelsey Morris, Gregory Samaniego-Morris
Mentor:  Dr. Angie Moline
School of Earth Sciences & Environmental Studies
Produce Production and Community Development through The Flagstaff EcoRanch” 

1st place tie
$400-Etude O'Neel-Judy
Mentor:  Dr. Timothy Titus, USGS
Department of Physics and Astronomy
“Characterizing the Evolution of Mars South Polar Jets and Fans Using CRIS-THEMIS Observations” 

1st place tie
$400-Stephan Ramos & Jonathan Grunwald
Mentors:  Dr. Catherine Propper, Dr. Rob Kellar, Bronson Pinto
Department of Biological Sciences
“Integration of the Scratch Wound Healing Assay and Molecular Techniques to Elucidate the Effects of Arsenic and Estrogen on Wound Healing” 

2nd place
$200-April Rodriguez
Mentors:  Dr.Kiisa Nishikawa, Uzma Tahir
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
“Effects of activation on force-velocity properties of muscles during cyclical length changes” 

3rd place
$100-Heather Mead
Mentor:  Dr.Bridget Barker
Department ofBiological Sciences
Culturing Coccidioides: Optimizing In Vitro Culture Media to Reflect Nutrient Availability In Vivo” 

1st place
$400-Ryan Marshall, Christopher Young, Christopher Yazzie, My Hoang
Mentors:  Dr. Jeff Heiderscheidt, Lar Reiboldt
Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management & Environmental Engineering
RV Wastewater Treatment” 

$100-Lauren Pristo
Mentors:  Dr. Jinhee Yi, Becky Beresic-Perrins
Department of Biological Sciences
Development of antibody reactive markers to rapidly diagnose patients infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei” 




Congratulations 2016 Spring Outstanding Senior award winners
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                                              and Nominees
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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold STEM Speaker Series

       Wednesday, March 1, 2017
               6:30 – 7:30 pm
     Cline Library Assembly Hall 
           Emily Calandrelli
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CEFNS presents our 9th annual Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold STEM speaker series with Emily Calandrelli on Wednesday 3/1/17 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm in the Cline Library Assembly Hall. Ms. Calandrelli is a correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World and a producer and host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. She is also a guest science writer and host for Discovery News and covers the space industry as a writer for TechCrunch.

Emily received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University and later went on to receive a Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as Technology and Policy from MIT. She is wildly passionate about space exploration and believes that the space industry is more exciting today than ever before in history. By explaining science-related topics in an easily digestible and entertaining way, she hopes to increase the level of scientific literacy among the general public.  

Lastly, Emily wants to inspire more females to pursue STEM careers. She believes most young students, especially women and minorities, don't realize how many amazing, creative, and often free opportunities exist for students who pursue STEM majors.

Wednesday’s event is free and open to the public.

Maxwell-Lutz Community Impact Award

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Applications for 2017/2018 will close on March 13. 2017. 
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) announce  the Maxwell-Lutz Community Impact Award for student teams to submit proposals for consideration of up to $5000 funding. 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 2016 Winners!
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The 2016 Award was presented to students Christopher Frank, Annalee Boyle, Jeff Morrison, and Dr. Sara Jarvis from CEFNS and Ashley Averett, Anna Harris and Dr. Melissa Birkett from SBS, pictured above,for their proposal titled “PICES Project – Pilot Intervention of Culturally-Responsive Exercise System.” They were awarded $5,000 to be used to fund their project.


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

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Congratulations Christopher Forgach (EE) and Michael Gilbert (CS), recipients of the 2016 Cobham Scholarship
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Photo, from left to right: Bob Heidinger, Cobham Avionics Director of Engineering, Michael Gilbert, CS and Christopher Forgach, EE.  Each will receive a $3800 scholarship from Cobham Avionics. 



                                        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
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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 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 soon.


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.