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College of Science
phone: (208) 885-6195
fax: (208) 885-6904
office: Mines 321

Mailing Address
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, ID 83844-3025

Vandal Science News


A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends June 2011

Dean's Message

Greetings to all of our alumni and friends! Although I have met many of you personally and communicated with others of you via e-mail or letter during my four years as dean, this is the first time during my deanship that I communicate with you via an official college newsletter. After a long period of dormancy, we are reviving the college newsletter in large part because of economies and efficiencies afforded by an all-electronic format. We expect to publish this newsletter on a regular, periodic basis via e-mail. The e-mail will be relatively short, providing only short summaries of news stories but with links to more extensive information on the college website.

As is the case with almost all public universities nationwide, the University of Idaho, and consequently its constituent colleges, has had its share of budget challenges over the past four years. Not only has support from the state legislature declined by approximately 25% over this period, but increased costs and new university-wide initiatives have resulted in significant additional reallocations of funds. Despite these budget issues, and due to the hard work and dedication of our talented staff and faculty and the high-quality of the students we attract, the college has continued to make important strides forward in every aspect of our mission.

For example, college enrollments increased by 3.2% in fall 2009 and 8.2% in fall 2010, and are projected to increase 8-10% in fall 2011. Research grant funding has also grown over this period. We have been able to continue to hire faculty in strategically important areas and our faculty and students have garnered significant local and national honors, including Goldwater Scholarships, Fulbright Fellowships, election as fellows in national scientific societies, etc. In a recent university-wide awards ceremony, our faculty and graduate students received five of the eighteen awards granted, far surpassing our pro rata share based on the relative size of our college. Our Women in Mathematics and Science program, which aims to encourage 7th and 10th grade women to pursue mathematics and science courses and, hopefully, careers in these areas, continues to expand throughout the state and is very popular with students and teachers. Our Gateway to Calculus program and Polya Laboratory continue to increase access to and success in high-quality mathematics courses by high-school students, college students, and in-service teachers. I could go on and on, but these few examples should suffice to give you a flavor of the breadth, depth, and impact of the college's recent activities. Please investigate the stories in this and future newsletters and visit the college website frequently.

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of the College of Science.

– Scott Wood


Idaho Sparkles: GunteriteGeology Professor Mickey Gunter received one of the greatest honors that a mineralogist can receive. The International Mineralogical Association named a newly discovered mineral Gunterite. read more »

Kathryn and Lawrence Knight STEM Faculty Fellowship

Dr. Lawrence and Kathryn KnightDr. Lawrence and Kathryn Knight's contribution will support work in the Colleges of Science and Education. read more »

Microbiology, Molecular, Biology, and Biochemistry

MMBB programs join the College of ScienceAs of the summer of 2011, the Microbiology, Molecular, Biology, and Biochemistry (MMBB) program will join the College of Science. Read about one of MMBB's outstanding students. read more »

Vandal Science News Puzzler

There is a place in the world where traveling nine miles in any direction will require you to set your watch ahead one half hour, then back one half hour, then finally ahead again one half hour (in order to keep the watch set correctly at all times). In what country is this place located?


The June Vandal Science News featured the following tricky Geography puzzler:

There is a place in the world where traveling nine miles in any direction will require you to set your watch ahead one half hour, then back one half hour, then finally ahead again one half hour (in order to keep the watch set correctly at all times). In what country is this place located?

The simple answer is that the place is located in India. More specifically, it is a very small enclave of India called Dahala Khagrabari that lies within an enclave of Bangladesh called Upanchowki that itself lies within an enclave of India called Balapara Khagrabari (that lies within Bangladesh). Add to that confusion the fact that India and Bangladesh maintain time zones separated by one half-hour, and you get the situation described by the puzzler.

See Cooch Behar district (Wikipedia) for more information, or an annotated map of Cooch Behar of this messy piece of the India / Bangladesh border.

Women of Science

Women in Science
For five years, the College of Science has sponsored the Women in Math and Science Program. This past spring 19 women mathematicians, scientists and engineers from the University of Idaho Boise and Moscow helped Boise and Meridian area girls with hands on water quality experiments.
read more »

College of Science
Student Awards

Student Awards
The past year has seen some outstanding work from College of Science graduate and undergraduate students. Two students received the Goldwater Scholarship based on academic merit, faculty recommendations, and scientific research plans. read more »

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