May 13, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 19

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meeting highlights.
  • Features: Serving Up Good News About Food; Low-cost, Eco-friendly Fertilizers from Bacteria.
  • People: 2015 recipients of the President's Award for Outstanding Service; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents May meeting highlights

The Board of Regents discussed the launch of new technology systems (The Upgrade) and reviewed the UMTC campus housing strategy during its May meeting. The board also received an update on the U's role in addressing avian influenza, promoted or approved tenure for nearly 200 faculty members, and recognized winners of a dozen major University and external awards. Additionally, on May 7 the board held a special public forum on the U's human subjects research program.

Learn more >

Serving Up Good News About FoodAn ice cream sundae

Psychologist Traci Mann shares secrets from her eating lab in a new book. She addresses the science of weight loss, the myth of willpower, and why you should never diet again.

Read more >

Low-cost, Eco-friendly Fertilizers from BacteriaA series of plants from seedling to larger

For the last hundred years, farmers have provided plants with much-needed nitrogen in the form of ammonia fertilizer. Now, a team of U of M scientists is working on a sustainable alternative—genetically editing a type of bacteria to make it produce a much greater amount of nitrogen. Ultimately, the team aims to develop a new standard for supplying Minnesota's key crops with reliable nutrition to meet the growing demand for food, while curbing the environmental side effects of fertilizers.

Read more >


2015 recipients of the President's Award for Outstanding Service; the U of M has hired Daniel Larkin to a new position in aquatic invasive plants management, one of only a handful of Ph.D.-level researchers of the type in the country; CBS academic adviser Kristin Economos recently received the Outstanding New Advisor award from the National Academic Advising Association; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Precise genome editing may improve rice crops

Gene-editing technology developed by University researcher Dan Voytas is central to a new $5.5 million NSF grant. The project will harness the power of genome editing to improve rice, a staple crop that feeds half the world's people.

See the news release >


Printing & Design Services reduced summer staffing

UMC Printing & Design Services will move to reduced summer staffing May 12, after which design work will not be supported until Aug. 10. The print shop will be able to assist with printing (but not design) needs through June 12. Questions, concerns, and information on referrals to off‐campus vendors should be directed to Andrew Svec at or 218‐281‐8438.

UMC students present at national conference

Three UMC seniors presented undergraduate research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, held Apr. 16-18 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA.

Learn more >

Student awards celebration

Student awards were presented Apr. 23 during the annual awards celebration.

See those who were recognized >


Klobuchar to speak at commencementAmy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar will speak at UMD's two commencement ceremonies May 16, AMSOIL Arena, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. A total of 2,325 students will graduate from UMD this year, with 1,998 bachelor's degrees, 321 master's degrees, and 6 doctoral degrees.

Learn more >

Chee paintings exhibitMr. Chee

"The Way of Cheng-Khee Chee: Paintings 1974-2014" will be on display at the Tweed Museum of Art through Sept. 20. Chee is an award-winning watercolorist who taught watercolor painting at UMD from 1968 to 1997, while also working as a UMD librarian. In conjunction with the exhibit, a number of public programs are planned, including receptions, gallery talks, and workshops led by Chee.

Learn more >

Teen Enterprise campsstudents with UMD bulldog statue

The Center for Economic Development is offering two UMD Teen Enterprise camps for high school students interested in learning what it means to be an entrepreneur. One camp will be held in Grand Rapids, June 22-26, while a second camp will be held in Duluth, Aug. 3-7. Registration is required.

Learn more >

Recreational Sports Outdoor Program volunteersKayaks

Recreational Sports Outdoor Program is seeking UMD faculty and staff to participate in their popular Freshman Outdoor Trips. The trips, scheduled Aug. 22-25 (Saturday-Tuesday of the week before classes begin), include canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking. Faculty and staff who have participated in the past are welcome to join again.

Learn more >


UMMAA Announces 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award RecipientsTodd Olson and Richard Wehseler

The UMM Alumni Association (UMMAA) has honored Todd Olson '83 and Richard Wehseler '91 with the 2015 UMMAA Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes alumni who make noteworthy contributions in their professional lives, in public service, or in service to the University of Minnesota.

Learn more >

Center for Small Towns Celebrates 20 Years

This spring marks the 20th anniversary of UMM's Center for Small Towns (CST). Founded in 1995, CST continues to be an evolving pillar of support and trust for small communities throughout the state. Its staff are excited to celebrate the anniversary and look forward to many more years of serving small communities in Minnesota.

Learn more >

Morris Improves Composting Processcompost sifter

In the three years since students championed the introduction of a food composting system at UMM, Facilities Management has added many new components. The most recent is a compost sifter, which enables the team to create quality soil from organic waste with greater ease.

Learn more >


Tolerance Of Ambiguity: Measuring This Life-Long Skill

How do students deal with vague, uncertain, and incomplete understanding of the concepts and skills that they will need to become successful lifelong learners and, eventually, effective professionals and citizens? One of the skills that UMR aims to teach students is understanding and pushing through the "tolerance of ambiguity"—the way that an individual perceives and responds to vague, incomplete, uncertain, or inconsistent information or situations.

Read more >

Twin Cities

May 14 - Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education SymposiumJoycelyn Elders

Former Surgeons General Joycelyn Elders, Richard Carmona, Kenneth Moritsugu, and David Satcher will discuss the state of sexual health education in the United States during a panel-style symposium with an intermission and Q&A. Free and open to the public. 2-5 p.m., Mayo Auditorium.

Learn more >

May 16 - Saturday with a Scientist: Medical Technology & The Human Body

The U of M's Medical Device Center, in collaboration with the Bell Museum and the Bakken Museum, will take you on a trip through a 3-D heart, brain, and body in the ExploraDome theater. Attendees will also test their surgical skills in a life-sized game of Operation. Bell Museum, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Learn more >

May 18 - Pleasant Street ClosesPleasant street artist rendering

Beginning May 18, Pleasant Street from University Avenue to Arlington Street will undergo a complete reconstruction and will be closed to all vehicle and bicycle traffic through Aug. 28. The installation of new underground chilled water lines, upgraded storm water management, new sidewalks and lighting, and significant landscape changes will also be part of the project.

Detour maps and more >

May 19 - Café Scientifique - Feathered Ghosts: The Fish-Eating Owls of Northeast AsiaOwl with fish in beak

Jonathan Slaght, a leading expert on one of the world's rarest raptors, will describe his research into the secret lives of the Blakiston's fish owl and how the divergent economies of Russia and Japan—where the birds are found—have influenced conservation efforts. Bryant-Lake Bowl, 7 p.m. Tickets: $5-$12.

Learn more >

May 20 - 'What is the media's role in addressing environmental challenges?'

The Institute on the Environment's Ensia magazine will host a conversation with sustainability journalist Marc Gunther on his life as a journalist working with some of the world's leading publications and the media's coverage of environmental issues. Lindahl Founders Room, Northrop. 2 p.m.

Learn more >

May 20-21 - CTS Transportation Research Conference

The annual CTS Transportation Research Conference will feature experts discussing the future of the Minnesota road network system and its users. TomTom navigation VP Ralf-Peter Schäfer will headline the event with a presentation about the TomTom "Traffic Manifesto," which uses big traffic data analytics and smart mobility to move people through traffic faster. In addition, Jean-Paul Rodrigue will examine the Panama Canal expansion and its effect on the North American economy.

Registration and more info >

Campus Zone Pass available now

The Campus Zone Pass, available at no charge, allows you to ride between the three U of M campus light-rail stops on the METRO Green Line (West Bank, East Bank, and Stadium Village) without paying a fare.

New secure bike parking inside Washington Avenue ramp

New secure bicycle parking is now available inside the Washington Avenue ramp. The cost is $85 per year (about $7 a month).

Learn more and request a contract >

UMTC Featured EventsRobert Jones

May 14 - Graphic Design Senior Show and Exhibition Party
May 18 - Ethical Reflection in End of Life Decisions: A Dutch Perspective
May 20 - Phoenix Rising: Minnesota's entrepreneur and innovation community
May 20 - UROC Community Day 2015

Events Calendar >