U of M Brief - December 3, 2014
The value of institutional support
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) serves as both a catalyst and a support system for research. In the past five years, OVPR has invested $108M in research funding across U of M colleges and campuses. The funding ensures that scholars and innovators have the opportunity to advance knowledge in their fields, conduct critical research, and explore promising new ideas.
Live longer? Save the planet? Better diet could nail both
A new study led by ecologist David Tilman shows healthier food choices could dramatically decrease the environmental costs of agriculture. The study paints a striking picture of the human and environmental health costs of the current human diet trajectory, as well as how strategically modifying food choices could reduce chronic diseases, greenhouse gas emissions, and habitat degradation.
Doering named Royal Canadian Geographical Society fellow
LT Media Lab director Aaron Doering has been inducted as a fellow to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), in recognition for more than a decade’s worth of work in the Canadian Arctic and around the world. The RCGS is dedicated to imparting a broader knowledge and deeper appreciation of Canada--its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage, and its environmental, social, and economic challenges.
Coulter honored among '40 under 40'
University of Minnesota Extension corn agronomist Jeff Coulter has been recognized as one of Vance Publishing's "40 Under 40," honoring leadership among individuals contributing to efforts to double food production by 2050.
Coulter, an associate professor, works closely with Minnesota corn farmers at 15 on-farm research sites, as well as University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Centers at five locations. He is at the forefront of research on alfalfa rotations and their role in reducing the need for nitrogen-based fertilizers while maintaining corn yield. Through his outreach to agriculture professionals and their one-to-one work with farmers, his research reaches thousands of Minnesota producers every year.
UMN in the News
Bill Doherty comments in The New York Times on the myth of the divorce rate surge; professor Dan Knights is profiled in the Pioneer Press; Marvin Marshak comments in the Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine on finding dark matter at the U’s Soudan underground laboratory; Stephen Schondelmeyer is quoted in The New York Times on ways to provide relief for rising cost of generic drugs; Arthur Reynolds comments at WCCO on a U of M study that bolsters the case for all-day preschool; autographs are being replaced by the quick and easy selfie, says Shayla Thiel-Stern in the Star Tribune; Mary Jo Kreitzer comments at Reuters on a new study that shows how a mindfulness program may improve some rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Retirement Policy Changes
Revisions to the Phased Retirement and Terminal Agreement policies recently went into effect for eligible faculty and P&A staff, excluding Unit 9 in Duluth. Both policies were approved through the University's policy process, including the 30-day comment period, and will provide additional flexibility to faculty and staff regarding the pre-tax Health Care Savings Plan for retirees.
Dec. 3 - PeopleSoft Upgrade preview session
Advisers and student services staff interested in learning how the Peoplesoft Upgrade will affect students should attend the Student Experience Preview, Bede Ballroom, 2-3 p.m.
Dec. 5 - Agriculture and Natural Resources Activities Day
Approximately 1,000 students from more than 50 high schools, chapters, and clubs will be on campus to compete in more than 20 contests as part of Agriculture and Natural Resources Activities Day. The competition has been held for more than 30 years on the Crookston campus.
Dec. 9 - Export Roundtable
The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will host an Export Roundtable—a seminar and networking event for companies in northwestern Minnesota. Bede Ballroom, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Collaboration yields children's book about female Ojibwe warrior
A collaboration between assistant professor Erik Redix, Department of American Indian Studies, and artist Randi Omdahl, a junior majoring in art education with a minor in American Indian studies, has resulted in a unique Undergraduate Research Opportunity Project. Omdahl is illustrating a children's book, written in Ojibwe by Redix, about female Ojibwe warrior Aazhaweyaa.
Sea Grant Staff Member Honored
Doug Jensen, program coordinator for Minnesota Sea Grant's Aquatic Invasive Species Program, is the recipient of Wildlife Forever's first Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Achievement Award. Jensen has been with the U of M's Sea Grant Program for over 21 years. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from UMD.
Dec. 6 – Sounds of the Season concert
The Department of Music's annual "Sounds of the Season" concert will feature choral, jazz, band, and orchestral ensembles, with performances by students and faculty. In addition, there will be a sing-along portion of the show. DECC Symphony Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Campus vegetable garden harvest
UMM students gathered more than 654 pounds of produce from the campus vegetable garden this harvest season at the U's West Central Research and Outreach Center. Led by Garden to Dining Services Liaison Peter Kvale '16, Duluth, the harvest represents another success in UMM's effort to increase the availability of local foods on campus.
First-year student scholarship deadline
UMM invites incoming first-year students to compete for its competitive scholarship packages. To be considered, students must submit their application materials by Dec. 15. Packages are awarded to students with exceptional academic and leadership records. Recipients are selected during a competitive interview held on campus in February.
Dec. 9 - Hurricane Katrina: Exacerbating a Natural Disaster through Unnatural Means
Nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. The effects of this natural disaster were exacerbated by unnatural means. Shanna Altrichter's presentation will analyze how power and privilege shaped the effects of the hurricane and consider how to apply lessons learned to hurricane preparedness.
Cooking for Wellness course for faculty and staff
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives: Cooking for Wellness course will teach participants how to develop healthy cooking and eating strategies. The program uses hands-on demonstrations led by professional chefs to improve culinary skills and teach cooking techniques for a healthier lifestyle. The cost is $210, reimbursable up to $200 for those who participate in six of seven sessions. Sessions begin in late January.
Dec. 3 - WAM Holiday Sale Kickoff
Celebrate the holiday season with music, light refreshments, and shopping with local artists. U of M faculty and staff and WAM members save 20 percent on purchases in the WAM shop and 10 percent on purchases with featured artists in the Riverview Gallery. WAM Shop, 4-6 p.m. Discounts continue through Dec. 5.
Dec. 4 - Bakken Oil Boom: Safe & Economic Transportation of Oil through MN
How do we safely transport Bakken shale oil through the state of Minnesota to refineries on the East and Gulf coasts? Join in presentations and discussions on options with speakers who bring global, national, regional, and local expertise. Cost: $35; $15 for students. Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School, 8 a.m.-noon.
Dec. 5 – The Schaper Case' and 'From Homophile to Queer'
University Libraries will present "The Schaper Case: Academic Freedom and Institutional Power," followed by a presentation from the Tretter Collection, "From Homophile to Queer: Inclusion, Meaning and Power in Language." The event is part of U Libraries First Fridays series. 120 Andersen Library, noon–1 p.m.
Dec. 5 - CSE Winter Light Show premiere
Join the College of Science and Engineering for the premiere of a dazzling student-designed light show at 5:30, 6, and 6:30 p.m. on the Civil Engineering Building Plaza. A Premiere Party with student displays and performances will begin at 5 p.m. The show will feature more than 100,000 LED lights and laser projection synchronized to music, some of which was composed and recorded by U of M students. Shows last about 20 minutes, and continue Dec. 6, 11, 12, and 13.
UMTC Featured Events
After Ferguson: Police Brutality and Citizen Activism (Dec. 4)
Encore Transitions: Launching Your Future (Dec. 5)
Dance Revolutions (Dec. 7)
Will Rising Trip Productivity Change Travel Choices? (Dec. 8)
Sketch off! An improv sketching battle (Dec. 9)
Get Smart on Crime: New Directions in America's Incarceration Policy (Dec. 10)