Tuesday, October 14, 2008 * Volume 26, Number 4

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Jay Austin, assistant professor, Department of Physics and Large Lakes Observatory (LLO), was awarded a National Science Foundation grant entitled: Collaborative Research: The role of Ice in the response of Large Lakes to a Changing Climate with co-PIs Katsumi Matsumoto (UMTC) and Erik Brown, professor, Department of Geological Sciences and LLO. The grant is for $1.1M over the next three years and will include funds to UMD, funds to UMTC, and ship time.

Donald Fosnacht, center director at the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute, was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in September to the 15-member Clean Energy Technology Collaborative. The goal of the collaborative is to identify the most promising research and development relating to clean energy technology that may be beneficial to Minnesota. As the leader of research for NRRI’s new energy-related technologies, Fosnacht is moving a team of researchers toward innovative development in biomass production and pretreatment, gasification, wind energy, alternative biofuels development, efficient ethanol production, energy conservation and material reuse and carbon dioxide conversion and sequestration. He is also leading work on the production of ultra clean coal that can be used in both power generation and metallurgical applications.

Pam Griffin, coordinator, Disability Resources, is a co-author of Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice published by the Harvard Education Press and edited by Sheryl Burgstahler and Rebecca Cory from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Robert Hecky, professor, Department of Biology and LLO, was recently elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The RSC is Canada’s most prestigious scholarly organization and is equivalent to the US National Academy of Sciences. He inducted in Ottawa, Canada on Nov. 15. The citation for the award reads: Robert Hecky is world-renowned for his work on African great lakes and northern reservoirs. For over thirty years, he has led international groups investigating the hydrology, chemistry, biology and paleoecology of these ecosystems, including the effects of land-use change, nutrient dynamics, alien species, human population growth, climate change and mercury pollution. His research has led to the development of an excellent research laboratory in Uganda, and to the understanding of how climate, land-use and air quality have affected the great lakes of east Africa. His comparative studies have also greatly increased our understanding of the environmental impacts of northern reservoirs.

Tom Johnson, professor, Department of Geological Sciences and LLO is serving on a National Academy of Sciences/ National Research Council Committee on the Earth System Context of Hominid Evolution. The committee will have its final meeting in mid October at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and will publish a report of their deliberations in early 2009 in response to a request from the National Science Foundation. Johnson is also presenting a paper entitled "The Response of the East African Tropics to the Younger Dryas" at the Global Monsoon Workshop sponsored by the International Geosphere Biosphere Program at Tongji University in Shanghai in late October. Johnson is also an invited participant to a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in late November, entitled "Scientific Drilling for Human Origins: Exploring the Application of Drill Core Records to Understanding Hominin Evolution," where he is a co-leader of an international team that is planning a drilling campaign on the hominid sites of Lake Turkana, Kenya.

Jim Klueg, professor and interim department head, Department of Art & Design has an image of his vase, Décor, in the October issue of Ceramics Monthly.

Ron Marchese, professor of Humanities and Classics, presented a paper at the international symposium – 11th Biennial meeting of the Textile Society of America – on his research in Turkey. The paper, entitled “Social Cohesion and Cultural Expressions: A Case study of the Sacred Textiles from the Armenian Orthodox Churches of Istanbul,” was presented in Hawaii. The paper dealt with social identity of minority populations under Islamic rule in the Ottoman Empire. Marchese will also be presenting an invited paper on his archaeological research in Greece at Virginia Military Institute in November.

Dan Martin, assistant professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, presented the paper “The (Class) Structure of Bad News: Police, Families, and News of the Dead,” in the refereed session, Mediation of Media and Finance Within Contemporary Capitalism, at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Boston in August.

Ted Pedersen, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, Serguei Pakhomov and Brian Isetts (UMTC) have been awarded a three-year $935,000 research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their project on “Semantic Relatedness for Active Medication Safety and Outcomes Surveillance” will develop new Natural Language Understanding methods that automatically detect adverse drug reactions in written clinical medical records to improve patient safety.


Amy Kireta gave a presentation on “Diatoms in America’s Great Rivers: Periphyton Versus Phytoplankton Indicators,” co-authored by E.D. Reavie and G.V. Sgro (John Carroll University) at the International Diatom Symposium (IDS) in Dubrovnik Croatia, held in Sept.

Brady J. Mattsson and Gerald J. Niemi published, “Causes and consequences of distribution patterns in a migratory songbird across its geographic range,” in the March, 2008 Canadian Journal of Zoology, 86, 314-328.


Dale Bergeron, maritime educator, was featured in a Duluth News Tribune article during August for capturing a neighborhood burglar along the shore of Lake Superior while Bergeron was wearing a wet suit. His neighbors proclaimed him “a bloody hero.”

Steve Bortone, director, Minnesota Sea Grant and professor, Department of Biology, was appointed to the Research and Monitoring Advisory Committee of the St. Louis River/Estuary National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Bortone presented “Establishing Fish as in situ Bioindicators of Extreme Events and Natural Hazards” at the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists meeting in Montreal, Canada, during July.
Bortone won the Duluth News Tribune’s “Six Ingredients or Less” recipe contest with his salmon loaf. More than 1,100 recipes were submitted for the contest.
Bortone published two papers recently: Bortone, S.A. 2008. An approach to establishing fish and fisheries as in situ environmental indicators of natural hazards. Pages 345-355. in K.D. McLaughlin, editor. Mitigating Impacts of Natural Hazards on Fishery Ecosystems. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 64, Bethesda, Maryland; and Bortone, S.A. 2008. Coupling fisheries with ecology through marine artificial reef deployments. Pages 917-924. In: J. Nielsen, J.J. Dodson, K. Friedland, T.R. Hamon, J. Musick, and E. Verspoor (eds.). Reconciling Fisheries with Conservation: Proceedings of the Fourth World Fisheries Congress. 1,946 pages/2 volumes, Symposium 49. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, Maryland.

Barbara Liukkonen, water resources education coordinator, moderated a panel, “Regional, State, Tribal, and Local Policymakers and Managers” at the “Impact of Climate Change on the Great Lakes Ecosystem” meeting during July in Ann Arbor, MI.


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