Vandal Science News - September 2019
Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni,
The start of the fall semester is always a time of excitement and new beginnings, and it is particularly true this year.
Firstly, we welcomed the 19th president of the University of Idaho, C. Scott Green, on July 1, 2019. President Green, an alumnus of the University of Idaho, hit the ground running with meetings on campus and across the state. He plans to focus on three main areas in the near term: 1) supporting student success, 2) ensuring excellence across our research, scholarship, and creative activity and 3) championing the University of Idaho.
I am excited that President Green is on campus and look forward to hearing more about his plans for the university in the upcoming months. We have a lot of great Vandal stories and successes to impart, and I know that President Green is eager to share them with students, alumni, legislators and Idahoans across the state and nation.
Secondly, there is excitement surrounding the return of our students to campus. We welcome an incoming class of highly accomplished freshman from across the state and nation. You’ve made a great choice in joining the College of Science and becoming part of the Vandal family. Our world-renowned faculty excel at teaching and research. Once example is highlighted in this issue of the newsletter. Jason Barnes, professor in the Department of Physics. Barnes is one of the lead researchers on a multi-unit team that has been awarded nearly $750 million in funding from NASA to search for life on Saturn’s moon Titan. This Dragonfly project, which makes use of drone technology, is one you will want to learn more about!
The talented college staff are also invested in student success as evidenced by the large group of returning students. The College of Science has one of the highest retention rates at the university, and we thank our student services team for helping keep our majors on track to achieve their goals.
College of Science students learn science by DOING science and we encourage students in all of our majors to seek out undergraduate research opportunities during their time at the University of Idaho. Participating in a research project is a great way for students to work with faculty and learn how discoveries are made. This summer alone, one of our students explored volcanoes across the Pacific Northwest while another researched snails in the Galapagos! You can also see what is going on with our undergraduate’s research projects by following us on our new Instagram account: uidahoscience.
Finally, we are debuting a new format and schedule for Vandal Science News. We will release monthly editions during the academic year. This effort is being led by Christi Stone, who is the new Marketing and Communications manager for the college. We want to share your stories and successes and have created a new email address for you to submit ideas for features as well as items for our Kudos section. There are many great events and innovations happening in the College of Science and we want to let everyone know!
Best wishes for a successful fall semester, and Go Vandals!
Ginger E. Carney
Dean, College of Science
Vandals Go for Launch
U of I Researcher's Dream to Study Titan Realized
Graduate Brings Ear Cancer in Channel Island Foxes to Light
Kudos, Achievements and Awards
- John Abatzoglou, Associate Professor in the department of Geography is quoted in this article on the increasing severity of fires worldwide
- Geography professor Jeff Hicke is quoted in Alaska Public Media
- Renee Love of the Department of Geological Sciences is quoted in The Moscow-Pullman Daily News discussing her mammoth project
- Professor Chris Marx is quoted in an article on The Wire today
- Congratulations to University Distinguished Professor Larry J. Forney who co-authored a paper (The Cervicovaginal Microbiota-Host Interaction Modulates Clamidia trachoma's Infection), that was published in American Society for Microbiology
- Deborah Stenkamp's article, "Endocrine Regulation of Multichromatic Color Vision" has published online
- Biological Sciences Nagler lab (Jim Nagler and Laura Jenkins) and Pierce Lab (Andy Pierce, Neil Graham, Lea Medeiros and Doug Hatch) for their publication in Conservation Physiology
- Chris Marx, Biological Sciences, and Jessica Lee, of Global Viral and former Marx Post-Doctoral Student, published in July 26, 2019 Science Magazine
- Dr. Leslie Baker, chairwoman of the University of Idaho's Department of Geological Sciences provides insights on lunar impact craters
- Gwen Barnes, assistant research professor of physics, answers questions about the moon
- Dr. Paul Hohenlohe on letting nature take its course
- Project Hastur is carving out a new space for video games — as a tool to teach evolutionary biology. The game from Polymorphic Game Studio pits players against creatures that evolve in a scientifically accurate way, using tools that can be used in high school classrooms across the state
Vandal Science News Puzzler
With each issue of the Vandal Science News we'll include a challenging puzzle. Send solutions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we'll post the names of those who submit correct solutions in the next issue.
September 2019 Puzzler:
Suppose that you have a lot of wooden cubes. You decide to decorate them with red and blue paint. Each cube has 6 square faces, and you will paint each face one of these two colors. A cube may end up all red, all blue, or have some red faces and some blue faces. You want to come up with a collection of cubes that are all painted differently. Here, of course, we consider two cubes to be painted the same if one cube can be rotated to look exactly like the other. What is the maximum number of differently painted cubes?