Blogs Away! Scientists’ Research Explodes onto the Web

Friday, June 12 2009

June 12, 2009

Written by Ken Kingery

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is a hub for exciting and innovative research, and its faculty is out to prove it.

The University of Idaho College of Science is launching a blog named Vandal Science aimed at educating the general public in many things science-related, literally bringing science to life in engaging and accessible ways. Faculty from each of the college’s departments will share insights into what it is like to conduct research both in a lab and in the field. Additionally, the team will provide links to some of the most fun and fascinating science stories on the internet.

“University of Idaho College of Science faculty and students are doing world-class science – really cool stuff – and they’re excited about it,” said blog administrator Tom Williams, assistant dean for graduate enrollment and director of research facilities for the college. “Idaho science is a great way of reaching beyond our campus to future students while sharing our enthusiasm. I hope they all come and join the fun.”

The blog is scheduled to launch on Friday, June 12 with posts about the keynote address of the Evolution 2009 conference, which begins at 8 p.m. PST, and blog postings continuing from the conference through its conclusion on Tuesday, June 16.

The Evolution 2009 conference is the annual joint meeting of the three major societies in evolutionary biology: the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Society of Systematic Biologists and the American Society of Naturalists. For four days, more than 1,100 of the world’s best and brightest minds in evolutionary biology will present the most current research from the numerous subdivision of the field.

“Evolution 2009 presents the perfect opportunity for the College of Science to launch this blog,” said Williams. “You can’t find more interesting research – nor the sheer amount of it – to write about anywhere in the country.”

But the conference is just the beginning. After that, University of Idaho science faculty will begin regular postings. Contributors include:

• Von Walden, professor of geography, who will be posting from his field research post in the Arctic Circle.

• Jerry Fairley, professor of geology, who will be posting during his sabbatical research excursion to Japan.

• Erica Bree Rosenblum, professor of biology, who will be posting about her search into the genetic codes of frogs and an ancient chytrid fungus killing them the world over.

• Tom Bitterwolf, professor of chemistry, who will be posting about his research to help convert radioactive waste into a glass stage for storage and nanoparticles prepared by photochemical methods.

• Gwen Barnes, professor of physics, who will be posting about her studies on impact craters on the moon and Mars, and the evolution of their surfaces.
Readers are encouraged to ask university researchers questions about their research, what it’s like to be a research scientist and any other scientific inquiries that come to mind. To explore the College of

Science blog, visit:

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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

Media Contact: Ken Kingery, University Communications, (208) 885-9156,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit