Research & Academics

Sarah Haffly

Graduate Sarah Haffly: Breaking the cycle of drug abuse and dysfunction motivated grad student to become her family’s success story

Haffly, whose childhood included drug-addicted parents, poverty and even a brief period of homelessness, is earning her MBA before starting a job at accounting firm PwC. Continue reading

Kynan Kawai

Graduate Kynan Kawai: How struggling through college 3,000 miles from home helped him find his cultural identity

Like many college students, Hawaiian native Kawai was forced to work two, sometimes three jobs to be able to afford tuition, rent and life's necessities. He was homesick, lost motivation and fell behind in school, then he found the HAPA Hawaiian Club. Continue reading

Margaret Wood teaching in Vietnam

NAU Fulbright student scholars awarded opportunities in Greece, Laos

Alexandra Huff will study geology in Greece, while Margaret Wood will teach English in Laos. Both plan to use their Fulbright experiences to propel future doctoral studies. Continue reading

Celena Wallace

Graduate Celena Wallace: Foster care, a study abroad, music and mentors helped NAU grad reach her goals

Wallace, who studied creative media and film, said her most valuable experience at NAU was mentoring students who came from foster care or had experienced homelessness. Continue reading

Brandon Corrales

Graduate Brandon Corrales: How coming face-to-face with death put life into perspective

Corrales joined the Army at the age of 18. Shortly after, he was deployed to Iraq, where the horrors of war left him scarred—emotionally and physically. In honor of Military Appreciation Month, here is his story. Continue reading

Blanca Acosta teaching Spanish class

Graduate Blanca Acosta: For the first-generation grad student, education was always a priority

Graduate student Blanca Acosta said being the first person in her family to finish college, and now grad school, motivated her to set a good example for her siblings. Continue reading

Chrissina Burke at excavation site in France

NAU zooarchaeologist studies animal-human interaction from American West to Central America (VIDEO)

Anthropology lecturer Chrissina Burke studies animal bones found at archaeological sites to study the relationships between animals and humans through centuries. Continue reading


NAU researchers study economic value of forest restoration to homeowners

Julie Mueller, Abe Springer and grad student Ryan Lima found homeowners were more willing to pay a monthly fee when they lived close to the forest. Continue reading

Colin Chandler

NAU grad student awarded NSF research fellowship with proposal to take astronomy research to the people

Colin Chandler, a second-year Ph.D. student, aims to enlist thousands of citizen scientists to comb through millions of pictures of space looking for elusive active asteroids. Continue reading


A difference of degrees: NAU scientist examines Earth’s changing tilt, its effect on Antarctic ice cores and what that says about climate

Postdoc Michael Erb is the lead author on a study published in Nature Communications that compares climate responses simulated in climate models to those inferred from long proxy records like ice cores. Continue reading

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Latest Site Activity

4th of july parade NAU community invited to support NAU Athletics at Independence Day parade
NAU community is invited to walk in Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce's 2018 Independence Day parade.
Boy wears exoskeleton NAU’s Biomechatronic Lab: Helping kids walk with wearable robots (VIDEO)
Recently featured on the internet series "Superhuman," NAU scientists are building lightweight, electrically powered exoskeletons to help make mobility and general movements easier and more normal.
Student group photo Next generation of Native American storytellers at NAU this summer
The Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast Workshop introduces students to university and professional broadcast atmospheres and helps them develop tools to share stories through TV and radio.
Williams family in Japan Online opportunity: Alum talks about his life-changing decision to earn a master’s degree from NAU Online
David Williams did his master's degree from Tokyo, where he and his family are stationed as he finishes his career in the U.S. military. NAU Online offers degree programs for students anywhere in the world.
Aaron Smith in lab NAU entomologist launches landmark study of the desert darkling beetle
With $879,000 in funding from the NSF, Aaron Smith is doing a study that seeks to advance scientific understanding of these insects.
Two-Tailed Swallowtail NAU receives NSF collaborative grant to improve software used to manage biodiversity data
Led by NAU’s Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, the project will create a new version of the Symbiota software which will increase the platform’s digital specimen records, expand its use by researchers, improve sustainability and enrich education and outreach activities.

Editor’s Picks

Underneath the lion: Celebrate the Lunar New Year at NAU with traditional lion dance performances
NAU senior Colleen McDowell struggled with high-functioning autism and depression, then she enrolled in PES100, a Chinese Martial Arts course, and became a lion dancer. Enjoy several performances at NAU and throughout town on Feb. 16 to ring in the year of the dog.
growth of microbial taxa Which microbes matter most? NAU scientists develop technique for measuring bacterial growth rates
Ecoss researchers are using technologies developed at NAU to devise a metric for the growth of microbial species in their natural environments.
Scott Anderson studying Norway lake mud NAU paleoecologist discovering secrets of Northern Norway’s history in lake mud
Scott Anderson is part of a team studying thousand-year-old biomarkers preserved in lake bottoms that tell the story of human activity in Lofoten.