Contact Us


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 July 2012

Dean's Message

It is with mixed feelings that I write my last introduction to Vandal Science News. As many of you know, I am leaving Idaho this month to take up a new position as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at North Dakota State University. While I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities ahead, I am also saddened by the thought of leaving behind so many friends and colleagues. The College of Science is a remarkable unit in an extraordinary university. It has some of the brightest, most talented, hardest-working faculty, staff, and students and most dedicated, successful alumni that I have ever encountered. Together we have laid a firm foundation on which the next dean can build. The college is in good hands with Dr. Paul Joyce, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, taking over as interim dean until a national search for the next dean is completed.

Idaho officially kicked off its new fundraising campaign, Inspiring Futures, in April. On behalf of the college, I would like to request your assistance in achieving its fundraising goals. If you have already made a campaign gift, I thank you very much and hope you will continue to support the college in the months to come. If you have not yet made a gift, it is not too late to play a role in the propulsion of the college along its upward trajectory.

– Scott Wood

As the new interim dean of the College of Science, I would like to echo outgoing Dean Wood's sentiments that the college of science has the brightest students, the most talented faculty and staff, and the most dedicated and accomplished alumni. I am eager to lead such a great college that inspires future scientists.

One of the events we'll be anticipating for the early fall is the latest installment of the Austin Lecture series – an example of an inspiring event made possible through the generous support of alumni. This fall the Austin Lecture will feature MacArthur Fellow Dr. Jill Seaman in a presentation entitled "Access to Care: Epidemic kala azar in Sudan." The lecture will be held on Thursday September 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Administration Auditorium. Dr. Seaman is a physician committed to delivering and improving treatment for infectious diseases endemic to Southern Sudan, one of the most remote and impoverished regions of the world. When Doctors Without Borders left Sudan in the late 1990s, Seaman established her own medical organization to continue her inspirational work. We look forward to her visit to the University of Idaho.

- Paul Joyce

Solomon '55 inducted into Alumni Hall of Fame

Wayne Solomon Wayne C. Solomon earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry leading to a career in aerospace. read more »

Geology Professor Named One of America's 300 Best

Karen Harpp The Princeton Review named Karen Harpp, associate professor of geochemistry, one of the 300 best professors in the U.S. read more »

Nick Weires – 2012 John B. George Award Winner

Nick Weires at commencement Nick is the 2012 recipient of the John B. George Awards for his academic achievement and service to the university community. read more »

Vandal Science News Puzzler

Consider an ordinary circular clock face with the numbers 1 through 12 marking the hour positions. It is possible to draw two straight lines through the face, neither touching one of the twelve numbers, so that each region created has the same sum of hour numbers. Describe how to do this.


Image of click with 2 diagonal lines for Vandal Science News PuzzlerThe answer is to draw one line from between the 10 and 11 to between the 2 and 3, and the other from between the 8 and 9 to between the 4 and 5, as shown here. You could try lots of “guess and check” work to find this, but the elegant method uses some mathematical detective skills:

  • First, do we want two lines that cross (determining four regions) or non-crossing lines (determining three regions)? Well, the sum of the clock numbers is 1+2+3+…+11+12=78, which is not a multiple of four, but is a multiple of three – so the non-crossing lines is what we need.
  • Then, since 78 divided by three is 26, we know we’re looking for sums of 26, and two of them will need to be with consecutive clock numbers. It isn’t hard to find that 11+12+1+2 and 5+6+7+8 work.

Correct Solvers:

  • LuAnn Scott (Lab Manager, UI Department of Biological Sciences)
  • Mark Borth (Technician, UI Environmental Health and Safety)
  • Gary Green (Mathematics, 1964)
  • Carey Edwards (BS Forest Products, 2002; GIS Certificate, 2010)
  • Laura Podratz Baldwin (Geology, 2007)
  • Kelly Rush Gerber (Mathematics, 1995)
  • Fred Eberle, (MS Geography, 1984)
  • Greg Stenback (Geological Engineering, 1985; M.S. Statistics, 1987)
  • Travis Nelson (Current Chemical Engineering student)
  • Sam Bacharach (BS Journalism, 1971; MS Geography, 1980)
  • Lee Ogren (Chemistry, 1974)

An Ocean Deep
and Wide

Geological sciences graduate student Alex Patthoff and Professor Simon Kattenhorn have found evidence that an ocean may flow below the entire surface of one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus.
Geological sciences graduate student Alex Patthoff and Professor Simon Kattenhorn have found evidence that an ocean may flow below the entire surface of one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus.
read more »

Vaginal Microbes Vary Over Time

Larry Forney in his lab.
Larry Forney and colleagues with the University of Maryland School of Medicine collaborate on a joint study of an emerging field of genomics, the study of the human microbiome.
read more »

Our Departments

» Biological Sciences
» Chemistry
» Geography
» Geological Sciences
» Mathematics
» Physics
» Statistics

Find College of Science on Facebook