In the Spotlight: Jan. 9-13, 2022 

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs 

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  • Zhan Xu, assistant professor in the School of Communication, published an article in the journal, Health, Risk & Society. This study examined the impacts of partisan media on U.S. state-level preventive behaviors against COVID-19 and found that news exposure and news frames had a bigger impact on preventive behaviors than on partisanship and motivated reasoning.  
  • Jessie K. Finch, chair of the Department of Sociology and an associate teaching professor, recently published Legal Professionals Negotiating the Borders of Identity: Operation Streamline and Competing Identity Management. This book uses a controversial criminal immigration court procedure along the México-U.S. border called Operation Streamline as a rich setting to understand the identity management strategies employed by lawyers and judges. 
  • Graduating offensive lineman PJ Poutasi will attend a pair of college all-star events in January. Scheduled to participate in the 2023 College Gridiron Showcase (CGS), Poutasi will have two opportunities to make an impact in front of professional scouts. The CGS will be treated like organized team activities with players showcasing their skills through practices and a controlled scrimmage. 
  • Assistant research professor of forestry Faith Walker and her team published a paper describing the use of DNA in guano to determine which bat species roost in hollows of old growth redwood forests on the North Coast of California. 
  • Ph.D. students Nate Stone and Chandler Roe, together with biological sciences professors Jason Sahl and Dave Wagner and colleagues at the USDA, recently published a paper in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The publication is centered on a novel species of Leptospira, L. sanjuanensis.
  • Roe, who is also an intermediate data scientist at the Pathogen & Microbiome Institute, and Jason Sahl, associate professor of biological sciences, published a paper describing a novel method to focus whole genome sequencing of Onchocerca lupi. 
  • Professor of biological sciences Dave Wagner and  Sahl, together with multiple staff members and students from the Pathogen & Microbiome Institute (PMI), recently published a paper describing a novel approach for generating genomic data for Francisella species in the absence of live strains. 
  • Jeff Foster, associate chair and associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, co-authored a paper in the journal Molecular Ecology. The article discusses the effects of avian malaria on the microbiomes of Hawaiian birds. 
  • Becky Mau, research associate at the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss), and Foster contributed to a publication in the journal Ornithological Applications. The article is focused on the foraging and habitat use of Whip-poor-wills in the Midwest. 
  • Department of Biological Sciences professor Greg Caporaso’s team secured funding from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiatives Essential Open Source Software program. This funding will work toward developing new approaches for detection of pathogens from markers. 
  • NAU Football’s Eemil Herranen and Kamdan Hightower earned 2022 Freshman All-American Honors from draft scout, Phil Steele. 
  • Two NAU faculty members made refereed presentations at the CareerTech Vision 2022 conference of the Association of Career and Technical Education in Las Vegas in December.  
    • Nicole M. Hampton, associate teaching professor of career and technical education, presented “Strategies for Making Online Instruction More Engaging” and “Using General/Liberal Studies to Broaden CTE Advocacy.” 
    • Martin D. Sommerness, professor of journalism, presented “Journalism at Maricopa Community College District and NAU: A Model Degree Partnership.” 
  • The men’s and women’s track and field teams were voted as the unanimous favorites in the 2022-23 Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Coaches’ Polls. Both teams claimed victory at last year’s indoor conference championships, with the women scoring the second most points in conference history. This was the women’s second consecutive championship, and fourth of the previous five. Meanwhile, the men won their 10th consecutive conference title. 
  • Ira Allen, associate professor of rhetoric from the departments of English and Politics & International Affairs, was interviewed for an episode of The Interesting Times podcast, titled “We Need to Talk About Effective Altruism.” 
  • Astronomy Ph.D. student James Windsor published a new paper discussing a new radiative-convective terrestrial planet climate model that self-consistently handles patchy clouds through a parameterized microphysical treatment of condensation and sedimentation processes. This paper is co-authored by Department of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences chair David Trilling and assistant professor Ty Robinson.  
  • Christopher Edwards and Nathan Smith from the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences are on a paper related to the Emirates Mars Mission and Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer. This paper discusses the first assimilation of atmospheric temperatures from the Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer. 
  • Ph.D. student Patrick Tribbett and APS faculty Mark Loeffler have a new paper published where they present a laboratory study demonstrating a low-temperature thermal oxidation reaction within H2O + H2S + O3 solid ice mixtures that produce observable sulfur anion products at temperatures as low as 90 K. 
  • Ph.D. student Lauren McGraw co-authored a new article discussing observation of the team’s 3 μm spectroscopic survey of Near-Earth Asteroids. APS faculty Josh Emery and Cristina Thomas are also on this paper, as is former postdoctoral scholar Maggie McAdam 
  • Thomas was recently featured in a New York Times article and on an episode of the NPR podcast, Short Wave, about her role in NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. 
  • Former postdoctoral scholar Valerie Payré has a new paper published with APS faculty Edwards and Mark Salvatore. This publication discusses observations of an evolved early crust exposed on Mars revealed through spectroscopy.
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