Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Volume 26, Number 14| PDF

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A major volume on the results of a long term research project on Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho was recently published by the Geological Society of America. Steve Colman, director, Large Lakes Observatory, once leader of this project while with the USGS, contributed to three of the papers, including: Colman, S.M., Rosenbaum, J.G., Kaufman, D.S., Dean, W.E., and McGeehin, J.P., 2009, “Radiocarbon ages and age models for the last 30,000 years in Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho”, in Rosenbaum, J.G., and Kaufman, D.S., eds., Paleoenvironments of Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho, and Its Catchment, Geological Society of America, Special Paper 450, p. 133-144.

Julie Etterson, associate professor, Department of Biology, is a co-PI on a new grant: 2009-2012, J. Cavender-Bares (PI), J.R. Etterson and J.D. Sparks (Co-PIs), from the National Science Foundation. The Collaborative Research grant: “Adaptive differentiation, selection and water use of a seasonally dry tropical oak: implications for global change” received $565,529. (funded 12/4/08).

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, delivered an invited lecture “Recent advances in Rosa-type labelings of graphs” in January at the fifth International Workshop on Graph Labelings 2009 at Kalasalingam University in Tamil Nadu, India.

Joe Gallian, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was the keynote speaker at a conference featuring research by undergraduates at St. John’s University in April.

The research papers of two students of M. Imran Hayee, associate professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, were presented at the Conference on Design of Medical Devices held in Minneapolis in April. Both research papers are a result of collaboration between the ECE department and the University of Minnesota Medical School. The papers are: Z. Tridane, X. Yu, M. I. Hayee, G. Nordehn, J. Fitzakerley, “Development of an Animal Model to Test an Active Noise Cancellation System for Infant Incubators”, DMD Conference 2009, and W. Ahmad, M. I. Hayee, J. Fitzakerley, S. Burns, and G. Nordehn, “Variable Self-Optimizing Cochlear Model for Heart Murmur Detection/Classification.”

Last fall, research being conducted in the lab of Randall Hicks, director, UMD Center for Freshwater Research and Policy, and professor, Department of Biology, received attention from the local and national press. The lab identified the cause of severe corrosion of steel port structures in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. In October, a short notice about this work appeared in USA Today, after an article was published in the Duluth News Tribune. This research has been supported by the UM Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute, Minnesota Sea Grant, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Dennis Hansen, recent Biology MS graduate, Hicks, and colleagues at the UM-St. Paul recently had a research article published: D. L. Hansen, S. Ishii, M. J. Sadowsky, and R. E. Hicks, “Escherichia coli Populations in Great Lakes Waterfowl Exhibit Spatial Stability and Temporal Shifting”, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. March 2009 75: 1546-1551.

John Hiller, professor, Department of Physics, gave invited talks on “Proton Structure -- A Computational Challenge” at Eastern Kentucky University in February and at the College of New Jersey in March and an invited talk on “A Hamiltonian Approach to Bound-State Problems in Quantum Field Theories” at New Mexico State University in April.

Tom Hrabik, associate professor, Department of Biology, served on a “Blue Ribbon Research Panel” for the Department of Interior’s National Park Service last summer that included the following participants: William H. Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY (Chair), Viney Aneja, Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, F.S. Chapin, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Nicholas Comerford, Department of Soil Science, University of Florida, Gainesville., James P. Gibbs, Environmental Sciences and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, Patrick Megonigal, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, Maryland, and Monica Turner, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Service on this panel included a site review of the NPS research program on Isle Royal and a substantial writing assignment that produced a report describing the recommended future directions of the science program on Isle Royale.

Hrabik also served on a review panel for the United States Geological Survey- Lake Superior Biological Station’s lake wide integrated sampling plan. He participated in an external review of their proposed sampling plan for Lake Superior that included presenting new information to be used in the development of their plan.

Zhuangyi Liu, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was appointed as a member of the scientific committee of the Third International Congress on Applied Mathematics, which was held in Lima, Peru, March 30-April 3. Liu was also invited to visit the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Spain in March.

Jim Miller, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Carlos Caranza-Torres, associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Richard Davis, professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, gave a joint presentation at the 2009 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) meeting held April 14-15 in Duluth. This was the 82nd annual meeting of the Minnesota section of SME. Their presentation was entitled: “Educational Initiatives at the University of Minnesota Duluth: Preparing Students for Future Jobs in the Mining and Minerals Exploration Industries.”

The lab of Elizabeth Minor, associate professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has recently had two papers published: B.J. Dalzell, E.C. Minor and K.M. Mopper, 2009. “Photodegradation of estuarine organic matter: A multi-method assessment of DOM transformation”, Organic Geochemistry, 40, 243-257, and H.A.N. Abdulla, R.F. Dias, and E.C. Minor, “Understanding the enhanced aqueous solubility of styrene by terrestrial dissolved organic matter using stable isotope mass balance and FTIR”, Organic Geochemistry, in press.

Minor presented an invited talk in Vienna, Austria at the April 19-24, 2009 European Geophysical Union session: Biogeochemistry of dissolved organic matter: Characterization, distribution, and ecosystem roles. Minor, E.C. and Stephens, B. presented “DOM along the continuum from river to reservoir: a comparison of freshwater and saline transects.” A poster co-authored by Minor, grad student Prosper Zigah and S.L. McCallister was also presented: “Insights into the Lake Superior carbon cycle from preliminary radiocarbon analyses or water column carbon pools”. The presentation and poster are included in Geophysical Research Abstracts, v. 11, EGU2009-0, 2009. EGU General Assembly 2009.

Ted Pedersen, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, presented his paper “Improved Unsupervised Name Discrimination with Very Wide Bigrams and Automatic Cluster Stopping” at the Tenth International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics in March in Mexico City.

Susana Pelayo-Woodward, director of the UMD Office of Cultural Diversity has been named the 2009 winner of the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award for the University of Minnesota system. Pelayo-Woodward has worked at UMD since 1992. She is the recipient of the City of Duluth, Peace Maker Award (1998), UMD Outstanding Service Award (1999), University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service (2002), UMD College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award (2004), and the UMD Commission on Women Linda M. Larson Women of the Year Award (2004). In 2007, she received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

Andrea Schokker, professor and head, Department of Civil Engineering, was named a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) at their spring convention in San Antonio, Texas. Schokker serves on the ACI board of directors and is new chair of the Sustainability of Concrete Structures committee.

Hua Tang, assistant professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, presented a paper: P. Li, H. Tang, Q. Lian, “Low Power Embedded Speech Recognition System Based on a MCU and a Co-processor”, Proc. of 34th IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP09), Taipei, Taiwan, April 19-24, 2009.


Don Fosnacht
gave a presentation entitled “Clean Energy Technology Research and Development at UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute” to state industrial, academic and governmental representatives at the 3M Innovation Center in April.


Dale Bergeron, Maritime Extension Educator, initiated and facilitated meetings between Captain Zdenka Willis, Director of NOAA’s Integrated Oceans Observing Systems (IOOS), and maritime-related researchers, agencies, and industries in the Duluth/Superior area on April 7 and 8. Other Minnesota Sea Grant staff participated during Willis’s Twin Ports visit. She traveled from Silver Springs, Maryland, to ascertain how IOOS can best meet the needs of Great Lakes researchers and shippers. The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) involves 11 regional systems providing data from US coasts (including the Great Lakes Observing System), and the Global Ocean Observing System.

Bergeron, and Doug Jensen, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator, delivered multiple presentations and served as session chairs at the 16th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species, which was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18-23.

Jeff Gunderson, associate director, presented “the mystery of the missing smelt” to the Two Harbors Rotary Club on April 21.

A dedication ceremony for the Medical Legends and Leaders Wall of Honor will be held on June 5.

Faculty and students connected to UMD received top awards from the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians at the organization’s annual Spring Refresher held in Minneapolis in April. Nicholas Vidor and Marie Lange received the Medical Student Award for Contributions to Family Medicine, Ruth Westra, DO, MPH received the Teacher of the Year Award, and Raymond G. Christensen, MD received the President’s Award.

The University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement has named Daniel Schlies the recipient of an Honorable Mention Award and $500 in the Outstanding Community Service Award Staff Category. Schlies, a photographer and educational resources staff person for 23 years, was among eight people receiving recognition.

Two medical students who started their education on the Duluth Campus have been elected leaders of the Medical School Executive Student Council. Thomas Maust, a third-year student, was elected president and Erik Scharrer, a second year student, was elected vice president. Both Maust and Scharrer were presidents of their respective classes when they were on the Duluth campus.

Students and faculty spoke to 5404 elementary school students in 65 schools in communities throughout the state during this year’s Brain Awareness outreach event. The presentations were organized by Janet Fitzakerley, Ph.D. and Luanne Petcoff.

Alaina Heltemes, a UMD pre-pharmacy student, has been named a 2009 Undergraduate Research Fellow by the American Physiological Society (APS) and will work with APS member Jeffrey S. Gilbert, Ph.D. this summer. Heltemes will be involved in a research project that aims to improve women’s cardiovascular health during and after pregnancy.


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