In the Spotlight: Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 2023

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs 

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  • Thomas Hoisch, emeritus professor in the School of Earth & Sustainability, along with NAU alumni Suzanne Affinati, visiting lecturer in the School of Earth & Sustainability, and Chloe Bonamici, assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin at Madison received a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study unusual rock activity in western Arizona and southeastern California.  
  • NAU’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams were voted as the preseason favorites in the Big Sky Coaches Poll last week. Both teams stand in sixth place after their strong performance at the NCAA National Championship. 
  • NAU was recognized as one of Money’s 2023 Best Colleges. After surpassing results from data collection and analysis, NAU ranked high on top in the affordability, quality and student outcomes after graduation.  
  • As part of their Elevating Excellence grant, John Doherty, head of Teaching, Learning and Research Services, at Cline Library,  and Theresa Carlson, head of Content, Discovery and Delivery Services, at Cline Library, awarded a total of $12,500 for Open Educational Resource (OER) projects to:
    • Dana Ernst, associate professor in the Mathematics and Statistics department, was awarded $1,000 to adapt current OER textbooks for MAT 320 and MAT 411.
    • Gerrick Lindberg, associate professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department, recieved $5,000 to create a new OER text to replace his current for CHM 341.
    • Sudipta Mallik, associate professor in the Mathematics and Statistics department,also received $5,000 to create a new OER text for MAT 137.
    •  Breanna Powers, associate professor in the School of Forestry, received $1,500 to adopt OER for FOR 450 and adapt OER for FOR 508.
    • Jasmine Anenberg, a graduate research assistant in the School of Forestry, contributed a poster on “Novel approach to biocrust restoration using pelletized moss” 
    • Lydia Bailey, a postdoc in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss), presented on “Hope for bryophyte-mediated ecosystem services: conservation, restoration, and resilience” and “Restoration islands: Seeding biocrust in a sea of disturbance.”
    • Matthew Bowker, associate professor in the School of Forestry and assistant director of Ecoss, presented on “Incorporating Mosses into post-fire ecological restoration” 
    • Patrick Burns, senior research scientist in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS), presented on “Spatially-continuous, annual maps of forest structure metrics derived from GEDI.”
    • Hillary Cooper, postdoc in the Center for Adaptable Western Landscapes (CAWL), gave a contributed talk titled, “Climate contrasts and variability as drivers of selection on phenotypic plasticity in
    • Christopher Doughty, associate professor in SICCS, gave a contributed talk titled, “Making the most of scarce ecological ground truth with state of the art data augmentation methods” and spoke in a session on “Modelling zoogeochemistry from local to global scales.”
    • Alicia Formanack, a Ph.D. student in informatics and computing, gave a contributed talk on “Climate sensitivity and memory differ between trees that survive and trees that die during drought.”
    • Biology Ph.D. student Sara Gabrielson contributed a poster titled, “Effects of invasive plant removal on frugivory network structure and robustness.”
    • Christopher Hakkenberg, assistant research professor in SICCS, spoke on “Biodiversity – forest structure relationships: predicting cross-biome plant diversity with aggregated GEDI samples versus continuous airborne lidar censuses.”
    • Maria Hernandez, a student researcher in CAWL, contributed a poster on “Transgenerational plasticity and genetic variation contribute to varied climate response in black cottonwood common gardens.”
    • Stephanie Kadej, a graduate teaching assistant in biological sciences, contributed a poster titled, “Arctic Vegetation Shifts due to Permafrost Thaw.”
    • Hannah Kantoris, a student researcher in CAWL, contributed a poster titled, “Population based differences in cold tolerance affected by drought and temperature acclimation in Pinus strobiformis.”
    • Zaneta Kaszta, assistant research professor in biological sciences, spoke on “Can information on vertical vegetation structure improve mammalian biodiversity modeling in Southeast Asia?”
    • NAU Online faculty Art Keith contributed a poster on, “Community limits of assisted migration: The arthropod community of a foundation tree species along a distance/elevation gradient and If you build it will they come?”
    • Biology doctoral student Allison Kelley contributed a poster on, “Increasing signature of Old Carbon in Headwater Streams following 14 Years of Permafrost Thaw.”
    • SICCS postdoc Ana Miller ter Kuile contributed a talk, “Integrated population models for focal wildlife species inform landscape-scale forest restoration.” NAU Emergency Management director Robert Church, along with other support teams from Coconino and the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs among others, responded to the emergency operation placed by the Colorado River Indian Tribes and La Paz County to watch over any damage caused by the heavy rain and high winds brought by Tropical Storm Hilary successfully securing the area from any damage. SICCS postdoc Kayode Oshinubi contributed a talk titled, “The effects of nonlinear averaging of temperature on population growth varies across diverse species.”Students and faculty from various departments presented their research at the Ecology Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, Aug 6-11: SICCS assistant research professor Drew Peltier gave a presentation on, “Ecophysiological drivers of the mixing of new and old reserve carbon in tree sapwood.”
    • Frank Telles, a graduate research assistant in the School of Earth and Sustainability, presented on, “The nexus between droughts, pluvials, and land use on dust emissions in the Colorado Plateau.”
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