March 6, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 9

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meets March 7-8.
  • 2019 State of the University Address.
  • Features: “Atlas” maps Minnesota's natural resources; Increasing and sustaining the benefits of early education.
  • People: Recipients of 2018-19 Distinguished Teaching Awards; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meets March 7-8

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will meet to focus on the enrollment plans for the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses. Regents approved a five-year enrollment plan for the Twin Cities campus in March 2016 and directed University administrators to develop similar plans for the system campuses. Additionally, the Board will hear the annual report of student representatives and discuss the report of the Task Force on Building Names and Institutional History and President Kaler’s preliminary recommendations regarding four building names on the Twin Cities campus.

March 14 - 2019 State of the University Address

Following a short address, President Kaler will be joined by Lori Sturdevant of the Star Tribune for a discussion on the state of the University in 2019 and his tenure as the 16th president of the University of Minnesota. Submit a question for President Kaler in advance of the address, or via Twitter beginning at 3 p.m. on March 14. The address will be broadcast online and via ITV at 101 Dowell Hall, Crookston; 173 Kirby Plaza, Duluth; 45 Humanities Fine Arts Building, Morris; 397 University Square, Rochester; and live at Coffman Theater, Twin Cities. 3:30-4:30 p.m.

‘Atlas’ maps Minnesota's natural resourcesNRRI map of duluth area

A new online platform created at the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) will help communities, industries, NGOs, and local government agencies in northeast Minnesota gain a big-picture view of their region to inform the way they plan projects and make decisions. The Minnesota Natural Resource Atlas allows users to explore myriad data sets related to the distribution and use of natural resources within a single map-based interface.

Increasing and sustaining the benefits of early educationtwo kids playing

Early learning sets the stage for a child’s future success, but only half of all children entering kindergarten in Minnesota are ready for school, and the situation is similar across the United States. A University of Minnesota researcher is studying what early education programs can do to change that.


Recipients of 2018-19 Distinguished Teaching Awards; the Institute on the Environment has announced the recipients of its spring 2019 Mini Grants; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Conserving Audubon’s Birds of AmericaPurple Martin bird sketch

Select works of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, often called the Audubon Folio, are now on view at the Bell Museum through the end of May. The Bell’s copy of the folio is one of only about 100 complete sets still existing. Because of its value, it has remained in the U of M Libraries’ rare book vault since 1955. Now, a four-year project to conserve, document, and store the folio is complete. Consisting of 435 prints, usually bound into four volumes (each weighing 50 pounds), the book is considered one of the largest and most expensive ever produced. Scans of each print will soon be made available online to scholars and the public via the U of M Media Archive.

March 14 - Meetings of the University/Faculty Senates

The University and Faculty Senates will hold concurrent meetings from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. in Coffman Theater, immediately followed by the president's State of the University Address. System campuses will be linked by videoconference at 101 Dowell (Crookston), 173 Kirby Plaza (Duluth), 45 Humanities Fine Arts (Morris), and 397 University Square (Rochester). See the docket materials.

‘Talking Colorectal Cancer with UMN’

“Talking ... with UMN” is a new resource where U of M faculty answer questions on current and other topics of general interest. In this first installation, Assistant Professor Emil Lou answers questions on the symptoms, treatment, and screening for colorectal cancer. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, colorectal cancer is the second-most diagnosed cancer in the state and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

Research Brief: College students’ perceptions of e-cigarettes

Young adults’ use of e-cigarettes has grown in the past several years. In a study recently published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, U of M researchers asked college students about their beliefs regarding e-cigarettes. The study suggests young adults would benefit from a health campaign designed to inform them about the risks associated with nicotine use and the nature of addiction.


McCoppin authors bookRachel McCoppin with her book

Crookston Professor of English Rachel McCoppin recently published The Ecological Heroes of Amerindian Mythology. The book was published by Kendall Hunt in January.

Student feature: Selena YoungSelena Young with a goat

Her quiet demeanor may fool you, but a visit with senior Selena Young reveals her tenacity and drive. The equine science pre-vet major from Plymouth, MN, is focused on becoming a veterinarian. She has been building a vet school application that demonstrates both the depth and breadth of her learning experience.


A Job for Dr. PepperPepper the robot

Associate Professor Arshia Khan, computer science, and graduate student Yumna Anwar are programming a robot named Pepper to be able to detect changes in the daily activities of a person who has been diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or with vascular dementia. Khan is collaborating with various organizations including the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus.

LSBE team advances to regionalsstudents

A Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) Financial Markets Program team recently won the Upper Midwest Competition of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute’s Annual Research Challenge. The team will now advance to the Americas Regional competition in New York City in April. Last year’s LSBE team competed in the global finals in Kuala Lumpur.

Minnesota music in the Mansionwoman with banjo

The third annual Glensheen Unplugged will be held at Glensheen Mansion on Wednesdays in March. Each concert features a local musician, with audiences capped at 75 to ensure a cozy setting. Arrive early as these no-cost concerts fill up quickly. Doors open at 7 p.m., with performances at 7:30.

March 19-20 - Climate summitphoto of ice

"Our Climate Futures: Meeting the Challenges in Duluth” will be held at UMD and the Natural Resources Research Institute. Jesse Keenan, faculty member in the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will deliver the keynote on March 20, 7 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center, followed by a panel discussion. Complimentary tickets for the keynote are available online or through the MPAC box office at 218-726-8561. Open to the public.


CST announces spring 2019 projectsseveral students look at a computer

The U of M Morris Center for Small Towns (CST) has announced its spring 2019 project list. This spring CST is putting 28 Morris students to work on 24 projects impacting Minnesotans around the state.


UMR Polar Plunge participants raise $1,758Polar plunge team

UMR staff and supporters participated in Rochester’s Polar Plunge and raised $1,758 towards the Special Olympics. "It was a very powerful, adrenaline-raising, moving, and cold experience. I can't wait to do it every year," says one of the participants. See a video of the plunge at Facebook.

How teaching encourages naive skepticism

Introductory students regularly endorse naive skepticism--unsupported or uncritical doubt about the existence and universality of truth. Naive skepticism is also the result of how introductory courses are taught, deemphasizing truth to promote students’ abilities to develop basic disciplinary skills. Center for Learning Innovation faculty Jake Wright writes about avoiding naive skepticism via explicit communication of metadisciplinary aims in the journal Teaching in Higher Education.

Twin Cities

‘Weather to Climate: Our Changing World’Bell Saturday with Scientist sketch of garden and bugs

A new Bell Museum exhibit, “Weather to Climate: Our Changing World,” highlights the science behind global climate changes and how Earth's various inhabitants will handle them. Kids can become TV meteorologists using a green screen, create weather events using an interactive station, and meet U of M researchers working in this area during Saturday with a Scientist on March 9. Additionally, on Apr. 25 visitors can sit in on Weather vs. Climate: Beyond Weatherdome, a lively discussion of weather and climate impacts in Minnesota, presented by climatologist Mark Seeley and meteorologist Paul Huttner.

March 12 - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Northrop invites U of M faculty and staff to attend a special matinee performance (10:30 a.m.) of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with grades 5-12 students. Tickets are specially priced at $15 and are available through March 8, 4:30 p.m., at 612-625-1578 or 612-624-2345.

March 26 - Kerlan Awards honoring Lois Ehlert and Claudia Mills

Children's book authors Lois Ehlert and Claudia Mills are recipients of the 2019 Kerlan Award from the Children's Literature Research Collections at the University Libraries. The awards ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m., Elmer L. Andersen Library. No charge, but reservations are requested by March 19.

Apr. 3 - Pankake Poetry reading featuring Jim Moore

Jim Moore, a pivotal figure on Minnesota’s poetry scene for more than four decades, will read selections from his work at the annual Pankake Poetry Series reading. 4 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

UMTC Featured EventsRuth Buffalo celebrates

March 7 - 2019 Acara Challenge Reception and Awards Ceremony
March 8 - Indigenous Women Have Always Been Leaders
March 8 - International Women's Day
March 9 - Yoga at WAM
March 11 - IonE Second Mondays: Creating Landscapes for People and Pollinators
March 12 - Conversation with Erik Paulsen
March 12 - Technology Tensions in the U.S.-China Relationship
March 13 - Provost's Conversation Series: Mohsin Hamid

Events Calendar >