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The next issue of Currents will be sent out and posted on Tues., June 10, 2014 (Deadline: Wed., June 4, 2014). Send updates and announcements to:

View past issues of Currents.

Please note that
Currents no longer includes events. Its focus is on Campus News and Faculty/Staff News. Events, which are open to the public, need to be listed on the UMD Events Calendar.

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Campus News

Academic News


The Commencement Committee is looking for volunteers for UMD’s commencement ceremonies. The undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be combined this year on Sat., May 17. A mandatory meeting to review volunteer responsibilities is scheduled on Tues., May 13 at 2 pm in the Administrative Conference Room, 520 Darland Administration Building.

Doctorate, Masters, and Bachelor’s Degree Program Morning Ceremony: CEHSP, CLA, SFA
10 am, Amsoil Arena, Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center

12 noon–2 pm, Lunch provided for volunteers at the DECC. Specific room—Harborside

Doctorate, Masters, and Bachelor’s Degree Program Afternoon Ceremony: LSBE, SCSE
3 pm, Amsoil Arena, Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center

Volunteers are needed for two time periods. Volunteers who can help at both ceremonies are welcomed and encouraged.
10 am–12 noon
1:30 pm–4:30 pm

Activities for volunteers include helping students line up, handing out programs, answering guest questions, and helping guests find their way around the arena. To sign up or for more information, contact Christiana Kapsner, 218-726-7748.


Recreational Sports Outdoor Program is again offering their popular Freshmen Outdoor Trips, and they need faculty and staff to participate. The trips are Aug. 25–28 and include canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, sea kayaking and mountain biking. Visit the Freshmen Trips website for general itineraries/equipment lists and photos from past trips.

These trips are an opportunity for first year students get a better understanding of college life, become a part of the University community, meet faculty/staff, and discover wonderful outdoor opportunities. Also, studies have shown that these types of trips increase retention of students. The trips are free to faculty and staff. No prior experience is necessary. For more information or to sign up, contact Tim Bates, 218-726-8743, Rec Sports.


Nominations are sought for the following system-wide awards that honor the contributions, research, and/or leadership of University women, grants that further equity for women, or scholarships that support women students:

The Sharon L. Doherty Student Leadership Award is given to a University of Minnesota student who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service concerning women's issues on campus or in the broader community.

The Carol E. Macpherson Memorial Scholarship was established to assist “non-traditional” women in completing their education at the University.

The Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barceló Scholarship assists University of Minnesota women students with financial need in completing their education at the University, with a special focus on women of color, new immigrants, and first generation college students.

Women's Center Institutional Change Grants seek to support a more inclusive, diverse University community with an enhanced campus climate for women faculty, staff, and students. Institutional Change Grants are intended to foster and support increased awareness, improved understanding, and institutional change. (Includes grant funding for projects specifically focused on changing the climate for P & A and CS/BU women).

The nomination deadline for these awards and grants is Fri., June 6 at 4:30 pm. For more information, criteria, guidelines, and nomination forms, visit the Women's Center website.


Updates about Academic Affairs are posted on the Academic Affairs homepage. Past postings are listed in the archive section. Questions may be directed to the office of the vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.


Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit information about events via the easy-to-use Bulldog Update form. The Bulldog Update is a weekly digest of campus activities and news that is sent to all students in the form of an email with links to more detailed information on the Bulldog Update website.

Administration News


The April issue of the ITSS News is available online. Archived ITSS News articles are also available online. For more information, contact the ITSS Help Desk, 218-726-8847.


Spring Membership Drive Success
exceeded their goal for the Spring Membership Drive and wish to thank everyone who listened and supported Duluth Public Radio.

KUMD Green Visions on Northland Morning
UMD wraps up a month-long series on UMD sustainability with their final UMD guest: Chancellor Lendley Black. What is the State of Sustainability at UMD? How are we working to advance sustainability in education and research, campus finance and operations, and student life?  Listen to the Chancellor here and find the entire UMD Sustainability series here.

2014 KUMD Outstanding Student of the Year | Cameron Flanke
Cameron has been a web assistant for years at KUMD and has proven to be a very valuable member of the station. He will graduate this spring with a finance major and Spanish minor. Cameron will continue his education in Barcelona, Spain, to pursue a masters in science of management degree.


Textbook Buyback for spring semester begins May 9 and continues until May 16 in UMD Stores Express. Rented textbooks may also be returned during Buyback. Hours are 8 am–4 pm. May 9, 12 & 14; 8 am–6 pm. May 13 & 15; and 8 am–3 pm. May 16.

UMD Stores will hold its final sale of the year May 12–15 in Kirby Student Center across from the Lower Level Store. Items will be discounted up to 70%. Choose from UMD wear and gifts; office, school, and art supplies; Computer Corner items; food and books. Sale hours will be 8 am–6 pm, May 12–13 and 8 am–4 pm, May 14–15.

Bag Free has been extended. Due to popularity, the Bag Free promotion will continue until May 18. Don't forget to use reusable bags when shopping at UMD Stores. UMD Stores is also collecting #2 and #4 plastic bags. Look for the collection boxes at the entrances of all UMD Stores. Recycled plastic bags can become park benches, playground equipment, or even backyard decking.

Shop UMD Stores. Get rewards. Every dollar spent at UMD Stores equals one point. Reach 1,000 points and earn a $10 UMD Stores Gift Card. Sign-up for UMD Stores Rewards and receive a sign-up bonus of 100 points.

Jefferson Lines offers daily bus service, year round, from the UMD Campus to the Twin Cities. Purchase tickets at UMD Stores Street Level.

UMD Stores offers special events and promotions all year long. Check the website often. UMD Stores is also on facebook and Twitter.

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Praveen Aggarwal, professor, Department of Marketing, has accepted the position of associate dean in LSBE, effective June 1, 2014. He has been serving as LSBE’s associate dean in an interim capacity since 2012. Before this, he served as the chair of the Department of Marketing and the Department of Management Studies for a total of seven years. Among the initiatives that he has championed over the years are the new majors in marketing analytics and marketing & graphic design, the fully-online certificate in business administration program, LSBE course clusters, school-wide adoption of the Passport-to-Professional-Success Program, and LSBE Curriculum Internationalization Initiative. Additionally, he has more than a hundred scholarly and trade publications to his credit and has won several teaching, service, and research awards. Aggarwal joined UMD in the fall of 1998. He earned his Ph.D. in marketing from Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y.

Arianna Austin, student personnel coordinator, International Education Office, presented “Creating High-Impact Instructor-led Study Abroad Experiences" at the recent Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum Conference. The conference, which is held every other year on the Twin Cities campus and seeks to engages the university community in internationally-based activities throughout the UM system.

Geoffrey C. Bell, associate professor, Department of Management Studies, had his paper, “Beyond clusters: How regional geographic signature affects firm value and risk,” recently nominated for the 2013 Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences Best Paper Award. This year, one winning paper and one honorable mention were awarded. Bell’s study, co-authored with Saiying Deng, received the honorable mention.

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, has work included in the 2014 Rockford Midwestern Biennial, a nine-state exhibition at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Ill., opening May 16 and running through Sept. 28, 2014. Her work was selected by William Lieberman, owner and director of the Zolla/Liberman Gallery, a contemporary art space in the River North area of Chicago.

Clay Carter, associate professor, Department of Biology, along with Winnie Lin, Davide Sosso, Li-Qing Chen, Klaud Gase, Sang-Gyu Kim, Danny Kessler, Peter M. Klinkenberg, Molly K. Gorder, Bi-Huei Hou, Xiao-Qing Qu, Ian T. Baldwin, and Wolf B. Frommer, had a letter “Nectar secretion requires sucrose phosphate synthases and the sugar transporter, SWEET9” published in the journal, Nature (2014) 16 March 2014.

Derek Donlevy, coordinator of Sport Clubs, Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, has been named chairperson of the 2015 National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Sport Club Institute. Offered biennially, the NIRSA Collegiate Sport Club Institute is a multi-day educational session and networking opportunity for collegiate sport club leaders. Class sessions and roundtable discussions led by experts in the field deliver ideas and insights into how to develop, manage, and revitalize collegiate sport clubs. Serving an estimated 5.5 million students who regularly participate in campus recreational sports programs, NIRSA supports leaders in collegiate recreation. 

Jason Ford, associate professor, Department of Philosophy, presented the poster “How I Took Phantoms to India and Brought Some Panpsychism Back” at the recent Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum Conference. The conference, which is held every other year on the Twin Cities campus and seeks to engages the university community in internationally-based activities throughout the UM system. He presented one paper and one poster at the 20th anniversary meeting of the Towards a Science of Consciousness Conference, held in Tucson, Ariz., in April.  The paper, "Panpsychism's Quantum Burden," was presented in the East-West Forum. The poster was "Teleosemantics and Generation Zero.”

Briana L. Gross
, assistant professor, Department of Biology, along with Zhijun Zhao, will have an article, "Archaeological and genetic insights into the origin(s) of domesticated rice,” appear in the special feature "The Modern View of Domestication," edited by Greger Larson and Dolores R. Piperno, in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. The special feature resulted from a catalysis meeting entitled “Domestication as an Evolutionary Phenomenon: Expanding the Synthesis,” held in April 2011, that was awarded and hosted by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Centre (National Science Foundation EF-0905606) in 2011.

Charlene Harkins, assistant professor, Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation, received the highest recognition, the Medallion Award, at the recent meeting of the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND). This award honors a MAND member who has demonstrated leadership above and beyond job requirements and has made outstanding contributions to the dietetics profession. She was nominated and selected by her peers for this recognition. She has served MAND as a delegate for Minnesota, media representative, and editor of the quarterly newsletter. Currently, she is an evidence analyst for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library and has taught at UMD for 27 years.

Nik R. Hassan, associate professor, Department of Finance and Management Information Sciences, had his article, “Value of IS Research: Is there a Crisis?,” published in Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Volume 34, Article 41.

Randall E Hicks, professor and associate director of graduate studies, Water Resources Science Graduate Program, Department of Biology; Jessica J. Eichmiller, former Water Resources Science graduate student; Andrew J Borchert; and Michael J Sadowsky, recently had a manuscript entitled, "Decay of genetic markers for fecal bacterial indicators and pathogens in sand from Lake Superior" accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal, Water Research.

Jill D. Jenson, associate professor, Department of Writing Studies, and faculty liaison for Writing and Learning, and Paul Treuer, associate professor and interim director of the Supportive Services Program, recently had their article, “Defining the ePortfolio: What It Is and Why It Matters,” published in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 2014 March/April issue, Volume 46, Number 2. Change is widely read by those responsible for learning both inside and outside of institutions of higher education.

Jim Klueg, professor and department head, Department of Art and Design, will have work in the “Fifth Contemporary Clay Biennial 2014” at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO, May 16–June 21. The exhibition's juror was ceramist Jim Romberg.  

Olaf Kuhlke, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts, and Michael Mullins, program director, Cultural Entrepreneurship Program, recently presented to participants at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus about their work in the UMD Cultural Entrepreneurship Program. The title of their presentation was "Languages, Cultures, and the Creative Economy: Crafting the Bridge." Earlier in April, they presented at the Internationalization of the Campus and Curriculum Conference on the Twin Cities campus about the on-going development of the UMD Cultural Entrepreneurship Program. The title of their presentation was "Building an Internationalized BA Program from the Ground Up: Cultural Entrepreneurship as Globalized Education."

Carmen Latterell, professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, and Janelle Wilson, professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, had their article, “What is Mathematics and Why Does it Matter?” published in the journal ETC:  A Review of General Semantics (Volume Seventy, Number Four, pp. 387-394).

Rachel MaKarrall, instructor, Department of Biology, was recognized as the 2014 Inspirational Teacher of the Life Sciences. She will present a seminar entitled "Engaging Nature through Drawing" to the Biology department on Fri., May 9 at 3:15 pm in 185 LSci.

Dan Martin, associate professor, and Janelle Wilson, professor, both from the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, collaborated on the paper, “Protests, Puppets and Collective Memory:  Political Contests in the Creation of Global Mnemonics.” Martin presented the paper in March at the annual Pacific Sociological Association meeting in Portland, Ore.

David McCarthy, professor, Department of Education, recently spoke at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) National Conference in St. Louis, Mo. He conducted a 3-hour preconference technology workshop and then gave two additional conference presentations focusing on technology in 21st century classrooms. He was also invited and participated in the ATE National Leadership Academy. The academy focused on viewing exemplary K-12 school systems in inner city St. Louis and on initiatives to renovate residential areas that these schools serve. He was asked to speak at the National Association for Alternative Certification (NAAC) Conference in Orlando, Fla. He again focused on 21st century technology tools for teaching in face-to-face classrooms or in on-line teaching environments.

Elias Mokole, instructor, Department of Music, visited San Antonio, Tex., in March and was the featured soloist for a fundraising concert for “Grow with the Arts”, a nonprofit organization in which he is a collaborative founder and executive board member. He performed a program of opera, art songs, and classic Americana pieces in a private event hosted by the Maria Hernandez Ferrier, president of Texas A&M San Antonio University. While in San Antonio, Mokole educated students at Longs Creek Elementary School about vocal techniques, opera and languages. He also conducted an “Opera Workshop” for all 5th graders to prepare them for an upcoming concert with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. In April, Mokole along with Dana Lindaman, assistant professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, were the keynote presenters in the UMD OTEL Unconference (Online Technology Enhanced Learning) based on the “Humanities and Technology Camp” model. This summer, Mokole will return to Paris, France, to continue work on a cross-collaborative project entitled "Jardins de Paris" (Parks of Paris) for which he and Lindaman received a U of M Imagine Fund Award and a UMD Strategic Plan Small Seed Research Grant. The Jardins de Paris project, is a creative collaborative experience connecting educators, creative professionals and students from music, art and design, history, foreign languages, and the sciences.

Howard Mooers, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, along with Alec Habig, professor, Department of Physics, and William Wiethoff from the SOLO Observatory in Port Wing, Wis., had a paper, “125-Day Spectral Record of the Bright Nova 2013 Delphini (V339 Del)” accepted for publication in the Journal of American Association of Variable Star Observers. This study was also presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C., in January.

Susan Mulholland, adjunct assistant professor, Department of Sociology-Anthropology, along with D. Wendt, had their article “Geoarchaeology of the Knife Lake Siltstone Quarry District, BWCAW/SNF, Lake County, Minnesota: 2012 Exploration of the U.S. Quarries” published in The Minnesota Archaeologist 72:158-186.

Leigh Neys, director, International Education Office, and Denny Falk, professor, Department of Social Work, presented a concurrent session on “Internationalizing a Campus: A case study of UMD's participation in the American Council on Education's Internationalization Laboratory,” at the Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum Conference on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota in April. Falk also presented an “Ignite!” session on “Significant Learning Activities for Educating Globally Competent Citizens” at this conference.

Angie Nichols, program director, GLBT Services, conducted a staff training at Northwoods Children's Services in March entitled "GLBT Children and Families," offering best practices in child welfare.

Paula Pedersen, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, presented “The Nexus and the Neverland: U.S. Domestic Diversity, Public Engagement, and International Education” at the recent Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum Conference. The conference, which is held every other year on the Twin Cities campus and seeks to engages the university community in internationally-based activities throughout the UM system.

Deborah Petersen-Perlman, associate professor, Department of Communication, presented the poster “Best Laid Plans: The Challenges and Opportunities at the Intersection of Globalization and Technologyat the Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum Conference. The conference, which is held every other year on the Twin Cities campus and seeks to engages the university community in internationally-based activities throughout the UM system.

Jon L. Pierce, professor, Department of Management Studies, and his coauthors, Graham Brown and Craig Crossley, had their article, “Toward an Understanding of the Development of Ownership Feelings,” published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Volume 35, pp. 318-338.

Shelley Smith
, associate professor, Instructional Development Service, presented “The Human Side of Internationalizing: Supporting International Faculty” at the recent Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum Conference. The conference, which is held every other year on the Twin Cities campus, seeks to engages the university community in internationally-based activities throughout the UM system.

Stacey Stark, director, Geospatial Analysis Center, was the UMD finalist for the 2014 President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award. This award recognizes one faculty or P&A individual annually within the University of Minnesota system for exemplary engaged scholarship in his/her field of inquiry. The faculty or P&A award recipients have demonstrated a longstanding academic career that embodies the University of Minnesota’s definition of public engagement. She is a community-engaged scholar. In her words: "My research involves geographic information analysis in regional sustainability applications; including land-use and transit planning, rural community sustainability, hazard mitigation, and foodshed assessment and analysis. Under my direction, the Geospatial Analysis Center conducts both internal and external sales support projects that provide the GIS professionals of tomorrow with meaningful hands-on GIS experience while serving community geospatial analysis needs."

Rebecca Teasley, assistant professor, Department of Civil Engineering, traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand, as part of the NSF funded GEER (Geo Extreme Events Reconnaissance) team to collect information about the March 4–5, 2014 flood and how large earthquakes that started in 2010 had exacerbated flooding in the city. The team consisted of John M. Allen, TRI/Environmental; Nina Stark, Virginia Tech; William Siembieda, Cal Poly San Luis Obsipo; Craig Davis, City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power; and Laurie Johnson, Laurie Johnson Consulting. 

Special Recognition

UMD’s Center for Economic Development (CED) and Northeast regional office of the Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has been named the Minnesota SBDC of Excellence of the Year by the U. S. Small Business Administration. The Northeast regional center provides a myriad of economic development tools, programs, and innovations that far exceed the offerings of a typical SBDC regional service center. CED Director Elaine Hansen will accept the award at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 6 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

Large Lakes Observatory News

See Next Issue

Medical School-Duluth News

Mustafa al’Absi, professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences, has been elected as the next president-elect of the American Psychosomatic Society, an organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the scientific understanding and integration of biological, psychological, and social factors in medicine.

The Aufderheide Memorial Lecture and Student Research Symposium was held in April at the Medical School Duluth. Keynote remarks were made by Dr. Tom Aufderheide, a nationally and internationally recognized researcher in cardiac resuscitation and emergency cardiac care. A guest speaking appearance was made by Larry Wittmers, Professor Emeritus, with expertise in respiratory function and specific interest in temperature regulation.

Sarah Beehler
, assistant professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences, has received a Driven to Discover Community Health Research Grant from the U's Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She and four other faculty investigators will enroll and collect data from State Fair attendees at the U of M's new Driven to Discover building. Her project is called "Assessing Supportive Resources of Veterans and Their Families in Greater Minnesota" which she'll research in partnership with the Medical School Department of Psychiatry and the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Janet Fitzakerley, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, has had her work “Neuroscientists’ Classroom Visits Positively Impact Student Attitudes” published in the December issue of PLOS One. 

Jane Hovland, associate professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences, appeared on the Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio discussing rural mental health in Minnesota.

Kendra K. Nordgren, assistant professor, and Ken B. Wallace, associate dean of faculty affairs, both from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, have had their work “Keap1 Redox-Dependent Regulation of Doxorubicin-Induced Oxidative Stress Response in Cardiac Myoblasts” published in the January edition of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

Amy Prunuske, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, recently wrote about her evaluation of Neurology Independent Learning Modules (NILMOs) for the Cultivating Change Series.

Arlen R. Severson, professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, attended the Experimental Biology 2014 meetings in San Diego, Calif., in April, where he made two presentations related to neuroscience laboratory teaching in the UMD Medical Neuroscience course. One presentation was a poster entitled "Neuroscience Laboratory Instruction Using a Computer-based Neuroanatomical Learning Tool" for an American Association of Anatomy Education Session, and the other was a demonstration of the computer program NeuroTime at an Experimental Biology session on Computers in Research and Teaching.

Larry Wittmers retired in February from the Medical School Duluth after 40 years of service. He served as an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, director of graduate studies in Physiology, interim director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health, graduate school advisor for Ph.D. students, held the Edwin Eddy Endowed Professorship, and has been published in numerous books and journals.

Minnesota Sea Grant News

Dale Bergeron, maritime extension educator, helped coordinate a visit of a Turkmenistan delegation to Duluth, Minn. The delegation was interested in binational water policies and maritime commerce. The April visit involved the US State Dept. and the Minn. International Center. Presenters included Bergeron, staff from the University of Minnesota's Large Lakes Observatory, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council and the Harbor Technical Advisory Committee.

Doug Jensen, Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program coordinator, was interviewed during DayBreak in April. The show aired on WTIP-Radio, Grand Marias, Minn., and concerned how to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! He also gave a guest lecture, Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes and Threats to Inland Waters, to an undergraduate honors class (Our Common Waters: Making Sense of the Great Lakes), University of Minnesota Twin Cities, in April.

Marte Kitson, AIS specialist, co-hosted a Habitattitude booth during the 2014 Arrowhead Home and Builders Show, Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, Duluth, Minn., in April. Representatives from the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, Minnesota DNR Law Enforcement, Minnesota Master Naturalists, and Douglas County AIS Program also helped to raise awareness about preventing the spread of unwanted pets and plants from aquariums and water gardens. Over 1,750 visitors were interested in the bottled rogue’s gallery of Lima shovelnose catfish, water chestnut, and other non-native species.

Hilarie Sorenson, climate change extension educator, Jesse Schomberg, program leader and Brent Schleck, coastal storms outreach coordinator (Twin Cities campus) coordinated a meeting between National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center (CSC) personnel and City of Duluth officials to discuss the results of a CSC study regarding the benefits of adding green infrastructure to the Chester Creek watershed. The technical debriefing meeting was held at the EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division in Duluth, Minn., in April

Schomberg and Valerie Brady, research associate, Natural Resources Research Institute, hosted a workshop in April  at UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth, Minn., to introduce the drafted "Field Guide to Gravel Roadside Ditch Maintenance" to 30 county, township, and other entities responsible for maintaining rural roadways in NE Minn. The final guide will be available this summer. 

Schomberg hosted a meeting of City of Duluth stormwater, engineering, and planning staff to discuss urban trees and stormwater management in April. He also facilitated the first session of a Knife River Educational Series for the Advocates for the Knife River Watershed. The workshop focused on the new Great Lakes computer technology "Tipping Points and Indicators," which uses interactive maps and simulators to evaluate local watersheds, and helps participants identify action strategies for protecting water resources. The first workshop was held in April at the Duluth Township Hall.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Matt Aro, research fellow, received a travel grant from the University of Minnesota's Global Programs and Strategy Alliance to partially fund a week-long trip to Finland to work with industry collaborator Stora Enso Oy on wood thermal modification topics.

Valerie Brady, research associate, and Jesse Schomberg, program leader, Minnesota Sea Grant, held the first in a series of workshops that accompany the Field Guide for Roadside Ditch Maintenance to be published this summer. The field guide and workshops help road maintenance workers maintain ditches to reduce impacts on downstream aquatic ecosystems. About 30 people attended the workshop, held at NRRI in April.

NRRI was a co-sponsor of the Minnesota's Renewable Energy Roundtable held at the Sawmill Inn of Grand Rapids in April:
Brian Brashaw, program director, Wood Materials & Engineering, served as co-host with Dan Skogen and Michael Sparby of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.
Bill Berguson, program director, Forestry, served as moderator of a panel discussion of Forestry and Wood Biomass Availability.
Don Fosnacht, program director, Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, gave a presentation titled "Pretreatment of Biomass to Facilitate its Use in Industrial Processes."

The following staff presented research at the 48th North American Moose Conference and Workshop, held April 28-May 1, in Girdwood, Alaska:
Tim Cyr, teaching assistant, and Ron Moen, senior research associate, presented "Spatial and temporal abundance of gastropod intermediate hosts in Northern Minnesota with implications for Parelaphostrongylus Tenuis risk in moose."
Brian Kot, scientist, Minnesota Zoo/NRRI; Steve Windels, Voyageurs National Park; Moen; and Bryce Olson, Voyageurs National Park, presented "Comparative movement patterns of moose (Alces Alces) and gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Voyageurs National Park: A predation risk assessment."
Amanda McGraw, research assistant, and Moen presented "Moose visitation rates and space use of foraging habitats in Northern Minnesota."
Moen also presented "Using a simulation model to help understand causes of the moose decline in Minnesota."
Juliann Terry, teaching assistant, and Moen presented "Habitat of the winter tick in the moose range of Northeast Minnesota."
Kimberly VanderWaal, scientist; Steve Windels, Voyageurs National Park; Bryce Olson, Voyageurs National Park; and Moen presented "Patterns in white-tailed deer density and parasite prevalence in Voyageurs National park: Implications for disease transmission to moose."

Patrick Donahue, program director, Market Oriented Wood Technology, presented a paper and poster, co-authored by Aro, titled "Performance Properties of Engineered Wood Composite Products Created with Thermally Modified Wood Technologies" at the 7th European Conference on Wood Modification in Lisbon, Portugal, held in March.

NRRI staff participated in the 75th Annual University of Minnesota Mining Symposium and 87th Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Section of the Society for Mining. Metallurgy & Exploration held in April at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center:
Steven Hauck
, deputy director, Minerals and Peat Division, served as chair for the Mining Technical Sessions.
Jim Miller
, administrative director, Precambrian Research Center, served as chair for the Education Technical Sessions and also gave a talk titled "Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop.”
Matt Mlinar, research coordinator, Mineral Processing & Hydrometallurgy, served as chair for the Processing Technical Sessions.
Patrick Schoff, research associate, served as chair for the Environmental Technical Sessions
Larry Zanko, senior research fellow, Engineering Materials & By-products, served as chair for the Industrial Minerals Sessions and also gave a talk titled "Overview of Taconite Mining By-Products and Dredged Material Reuse Efforts.”

Steve Johnson, building supervisor, was named the 2014 Staff Sustainability Inspiration Award recipient by the UMD Office of Sustainability for his dedicated service and numerous innovative solutions to save time, money, energy and waste in NRRI's safety, chemical hygiene and hazardous waste programs.

Pharmacy Department News

P. M. Haeg, L. J. Anderson, and Kerry Fierke, assistant professor, presented "Bringing a world of pharmacy practice to the classroom" at the 4th Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference held at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus in April.

Fierke, Margarette L. Kading, teaching assistant, and D. R. Scott published “Case study: Developing, implementing, and evaluating a one-day leadership conference to foster women's leadership in healthcare” in INNOVATIONS in Pharmacy 2014;5(1):7 pgs.

Fierke, K. W. Lui, Gardner A. Lepp, education specialist, and A. J. Baldwin published “Teaching inclusive leadership through student-centered practices” in Journal of the Academy of Business Education 2014;15(1):51-65.

Michelle Johnson-Jennings, assistant professor, gave a keynote titled "The state of the science on drug misuse in Indian country" at the IHART/ISMART annual research training held in New Orleans, La., in September 2013.

Johnson-Jennings, W. Tarraf, and H. Gonzalez presented "United States colorectal screening practices among AIAN/Alaska Native, black, and white populations in the new millennium (2001 to 2010)" at the Mayo Clinic Spirit of Eagles, Changing Patterns of Cancer in Native Communities: Strength Through Tradition and Science Conference held in Albuquerque, N.M., in October 2013.

Johnson-Jennings, K. Walters, and S. Stroud gave a keynote titled "Yappalli Choctaw revitalization, reclamation and reinvention" to the Choctaw Nation Health and Human Services in Oklahoma in February.

Johnson-Jennings was selected for the Harvard Graduate School of Education Women in Education Leadership program held in March in Cambridge, Mass. She gave a keynote titled "Chronic pain and implications for practice" at the Indian Health Seminar Series held in Duluth in March.

T. M. Eitle, D. Eitle, and Johnson-Jennings published “General strain theory and substance use among American Indian adolescents” in Race Justice 2013 Jan;3(1):3-30.

H. M. Gonzalez, W. Tarraf, M. E. Bowen, Johnson-Jennings, and G. G. Fisher published “What do parents have to do with my cognitive reserve? Life course perspectives on twelve-year cognitive decline” in Neuroepidemiology 2013;41(2):101-9.

T. M. Eitle, Johnson-Jennings, and D. J. Eitle published “Family structure and adolescent alcohol use problems: Extending popular explanations to American Indians” in Soc Sci Res 2013 Nov; 42(6):1467-1479.

Sarah Schweiss, assistant professor, and Sarah Westberg presented a two-day conference titled "Diabetes Medication Management Training Series" for the Cigna Medical Group in Phoenix, Ariz., in April.

Dan Tomaszewski, assistant professor, presented "Pharmacists Role in the Health Care System Post ACA & How to Engage Individual Pharmacists in Political Advocacy" at the California Pharmacists Association Annual meeting held in Palm Springs in April.

Tomaszewski was elected chair and Reid Smith, research assistant, was elected vice chair/chair-elect of the Duluth Area Pharmacists (DAP) for a one-year term.

Melissa L. Walls, assistant professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health and Population Sciences, Ben D. Aronson, research assistant, Garrett V. Soper, community program specialist, Department of Biobehavioral Health and Population Sciences, and Johnson-Jennings published “The prevalence and correlates of mental and emotional health among American Indian adults with type 2 diabetes” in Diabetes Educ 2014 Feb 21 [epub ahead of print].

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