July 2019 Newsletter
From the Vice President
This July, we welcomed our 19th president of the university, C. Scott Green. President Green comes to us with a knowledge and passion for the University of Idaho as an alumnus and dedicated Vandal.
President Green has carved out a plan forward to make the university strong. His three principal priorities to deliver on our bold mission include: 1) supporting our student success; 2) ensuring excellence across our research, scholarship and creative activities; and 3) telling our incredible stories. I am proud to be a part of this vision.
I am excited that President Green has been able to travel across the state to get to know the people and places across Idaho. He has seen the Stream Lab demo in the Boise Water Center, the Aquaculture Research Institute in Hagerman, the CAFE Discovery Complex site in Jerome County, the Innovation Den in Coeur d’Alene; and he will soon head to Idaho Falls in August to see our research partnership with the Idaho National Laboratory. What a great way to see the impact our research, scholarship and creative activities make to address society’s needs and fulfill our land-grant mission.
As well as getting a firsthand view of the breadth of our research enterprise, President Green has met with business leaders and political figures to encourage partnerships and build relationships along the way. I see the Vandal pride that he has and the knowledge that he wants to gain about every corner of our state and the wonderful work of the faculty, staff, alumni and communities.
His enthusiasm has been contagious to many and gives a new spark to many that he has met. Please join me in welcoming President Green back to the University of Idaho.
Janet E. Nelson Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Andrew Kliskey Named Director of Idaho EPSCoR
ORED welcomes current U of I College of Natural Resources Professor and Center for Resilient Communities Director, Andrew Kliskey, as new director for the Idaho Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Kliskey, who starts his new position in mid-August, is a leader in researching community adaption to changing environments. His background is ideal for leading one of the largest statewide, multi-institutional research and education projects in Idaho’s history, named Genes to Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms and Mapping (GEM3). The five-year, $24 million project will help researchers explain and predict how genetic, environmental and social factors interact as plants and animals adapt to changing environments. The statewide project will also help boost research capabilities at universities and colleges throughout Idaho. Kliskey will replace Vice President for Research and Economic Development Janet E. Nelson, who served as interim EPSCoR director since fall 2017. Kliskey came to University of Idaho in 2013 after completing his doctorate in geography at the University of Otago in New Zealand, serving as a post-doc at the University of British Columbia, and teaching at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the University of Alaska in Anchorage.
NKN and CEHHS Staff Give Students a Flying Start
More than 20 high school students took control of four drones, zipping their way through a gauntlet of hoops, stakes and cones during the STEM Drone Workshop on Monday, July 8. Jennifer Hinds and Gina Wilson of ORED’s Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN) led the half-day session, which taught students how to program and pilot drones and informed them of the many ways drones are used for research at the University of Idaho. The event was part of the Upward Bound program, one of six TRIO programs operated by the University of Idaho’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences (CEHHS) to enhance STEM access for low-income K-12 students and inspire them to attend college.
Spring 2019 SAS Presentation Recordings Now Available for Viewing
The spring 2019 SAS (Short and Sweet) Talks was a resounding success with nearly 500 individuals either attending the event in person or online via UI Live. This represents a nearly twofold increase from the previous SAS Talks attendance record set in fall 2018. Those who missed this important event can view all nine speakers from across seven colleges present their research, scholarly and creative activities related to the theme “Public Impact Research: How does research make the world a better place?” Learn more and view video recordings.
Get to Know ORED
A Keen Regard for Animal Welfare
Animal research has driven many advances in human medicine: insulin, vaccines, groundbreaking heart disease treatments – and even CT scans.
Many of these innovations wouldn’t be possible without that research.
Steve Russell, the University of Idaho’s attending veterinarian, recognizes the important role animals hold in the development of new techniques in human and animal medicine. He also recognizes the importance of ensuring the best possible care while the animals fulfill this critical role.
Russell aims to continuously improve U of I’s animal research program by raising the bar on animal welfare. He’s representing the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) on the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) Task Force, part of a campus-wide effort to accredit U of I’s animal research program. AAALAC is an international, nonprofit accrediting agency that oversees the gold standard in animal use programs.
Russell is well-positioned for this task force. He has been involved with AAALAC for more than 20 years, including his time at Washington State University, where he was in charge of AAALAC standards and protocols. He has also served as an ad-hoc site visitor with the association for more than seven years.
Russell points out several benefits of AAALAC accreditation, including: Verification that the university has achieved the highest standards of welfare; an emphasis on continuous programmatic improvement, striving for gold standard animal care; and easier collaboration between U of I and other institutions for large, multi-institutional grant-funded projects.
“The AAALAC Task Force has already begun their internal review, and a lot of work has been done,” Russell said. “The task force is building a program description this year and doing reviews of our facilities, our processes and areas for improvement. It is a team effort, and everyone is involved.”
Russell’s concern for the well-being of animals constantly drives his work.
“It’s a delicate balance between research needs and the welfare of animals,” he said. “Our objective is to find that balance.”
Russell emphasizes the three R’s in minimizing animal distress: replacing animals with in-vitro options whenever possible; reducing the numbers of animals down to the minimum required for answering a research question; and the refining experimental procedures to minimize any distress to the animal.
He also knows it’s essential to have “a credible governing framework in place to keep all of our animal-related research projects on an ethical, compassionate path.”
That framework is U of I’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which ensures the university’s compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies for animal research. By design, IACUC provides a range of perspectives during its review, as any proposed animal research at U of I requires prior committee approval.
Russell believes the ability to use animals in research is not a right, but a privilege.
“To maintain that privilege, we must maintain accountability through a framework for compassionate animal care,” he said.
Article by Phillip Bogdan, Office of Research and Economic Development
- Apply for the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission Grant Program (PDF). Deadline: August 5
- Faculty Invited to Apply to the NSF Research Traineeship Program (PDF). Deadline: August 19
U of I Faculty Spark Energy Savings through Avista Awards
Each year, Avista Corporation funds a series of applied research projects through its Energy Research Initiative, which promotes energy savings and efficiency in a rapidly changing utility landscape through applied research. This year, three faculty members from the University of Idaho were awarded funds for the following projects:
- Damon Woods, research assistant professor of mechanical engineering based out of U of I’s Integrated Design Lab, for his project titled, Using Infrared Cameras in Building Controls: Phase II ($52,500)
- Yacine Chakhchoukh, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at U of I’s College of Engineering, for his project: Designing and Evaluating an Energy Trading System: Stage II ($96,164)
- Richard Reardon, professor of psychology and communication studies based at U of I Coeur d'Alene, for his study titled, Gamification of Energy Use Feedback ($108,736)
U of I Researcher Takes Home Presidential Award
Congratulations to Associate Professor Tara Hudiburg in the College of Natural Resources. The White House selected Hudiberg for a 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are at the beginning their careers and show exceptional promise for leadership. Hudiburg was one of four scientists in the state of Idaho to receive the award and the only one from a university in the state.
ORED Tip of the Month
Oftentimes PIs work on projects with similar scopes but different sponsors, and it makes sense to share resources between the projects. If you do share resources, make sure to have an allocation plan. Those expenses need to be charged proportionally using a reasonable logic that demonstrates the appropriate benefit to each project (2 CFR 200.405). Whatever method you use, it’s important to document it in the project file and stay with that methodology unless circumstances change. If circumstances do change, those must also be properly documented. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Cost Accounting and Compliance Unit Manager,
Office of Sponsored Programs