In the Spotlight: May 7, 2021

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

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  • Compared to all four-year universities across the nation, Northern Arizona University was ranked No. 10 for highest number of enrolled Native American students, No. 12 for highest number of enrolled undergraduate Native American students and No. 4 for highest number of enrolled graduate Native American students by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). IPEDS just released its 2019 fall enrollment data, which comes from a system of interrelated surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
  • The Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) received a $359,000 NASA grant to develop a replicable engagement model to prepare planetary scientists to engage audiences in planetary science with a focus on Black and Latinx communities. The CSTL team, led by PI and research associate of STEM education Lori Rubino-Hare, will partner with Lunar and Planetary Institute on Planetary Resources and Content Heroes to develop the model.
  • Pamela Bosch, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, is a co-investigator on an NIH R21 grant funded through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with Claire Honeycutt of Arizona State University. The project, “Addressing socioeconomic disparities in post-stroke disability through the development of an accessible, new tool,” is an intervention that targets adults with severe upper extremity impairments due to stroke.
  • Michael Stoddard, research associate of the Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI); John Roccaforte, research associate of ERI; Andrew Sánchez Meador, executive director of ERI and associate professor of forestry; David Huffman, director of Research Center/Institute ERI; Peter Fulé, Regents’ professor of forestry; Amy Waltz, director of Research Center/Institute of ERI; and Wally Covington, professor emeritus of forestry and former director of ERI, co-authored the article, “Ecological restoration guided by historical reference conditions can increase resilience to climate change of southwestern U.S. Ponderosa pine forests” published in Forest Ecology and Management. The study focuses on previously made forest restoration sites of ponderosa pine and analyzed ecological resiliency, comparing prescribed burn areas with untreated controls.
  • The College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences 2021 Spring F2S in Teaching Competition ended last Friday. The competition promotes excellence in the classroom by recognizing and rewarding the most effective educators in CEIAS and making examples of their practices available to the others. The following individuals were honored.
    • First place: Ethan Dolle, senior lecturer in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science (APMS)
    • Second place: Kyle Winfree, assistant professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) and associate director for undergraduate programs
    • Third place: John Tingerthal, professor and associate chair in the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering (CECMEE)
    • Fourth place: Agnes Drogi, professor of practice of CECMEE
    • Fifth place: Carson Pete, lecturer of mechanical engineering
  • Professor of APMS Bertrand Cambou had a patent granted on April 27 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “Communication over quantum channels with enhanced performance and security” addressed enhancing security of existing quantum key distribution protocols by using ternary and binary arithmetic conversion along with shared keys between communicating parties.
  • Associate professor of mechanical engineering Michael Shafer was awarded a three-year, $606,000 NSF grant for the project titled, “Coordinate Innovations in Radio Telemetry (CIRT) for Wildlife.” Professor of SICCS Paul Flikkema and professor of forestry Carol Chambers will serve as co-PIs.
  • Regents’ professor of APMS Miguel Jose Yacamán co-authored the article, “A novel direct method in one-step for catalytic heavy crude oil upgrading using iron oxide nanoparticles” published in Catalysis Today. The study synthesized in situ iron oxide nanoparticles into heavy crude oil and analyzed the results.
  • Professor of mechanical engineering Ernesto Penado published the article, “Analysis of bimaterial singular regions for orthotropic and isotropic materials under thermal loading” in Engineering Fracture Mechanics. The study presents an asymptotic elasticity solution for biomaterial wedges under thermal loading.
  • Ecoss Ph.D. candidate Emily Palmquist was the first author on the article, “Riverine complexity and life history inform restoration in riparian environments in the southwestern U.S.” published in Restoration Ecology. Other NAU co-authors are biology professor Gerard Allen, SICCS professor Kiona Ogle, Regents’ professor of biology Tom Whitham, and Brad Butterfield, associate research professor of biology and Ecoss. The study uses simple sequence repeat markers to study the genetics in four southwestern riparian species to analyze genetic diversity and its relation to riverine complexities.
  • Postdoctoral scholar of SICCS Bijan Seyednasrollah and Regents’ professor of SICCS Andrew Richardson co-authored the article “Using time series of MODIS land surface phenology to model temperature and photoperiod controls on spring greenup in North American deciduous forests” published in Remote Sensing of Environment. The study developed a Bayesian model to study environmental controls on spring greenup.
  • Assistant research professor of SICCS Logan Berner, Regents’ professor of SICCS Scott Goetz, and Regents’ professor of biology and Ecoss Michelle Mack co-authored the article, “Arctic tundra shrubification: a review of mechanisms and impacts on ecosystem carbon balance” published in Environmental Research Letters. The study addressed and evaluated factors of shrub expansion, a widely observed response of high-latitude ecosystems to rapid climate warming.
  • Assistant professor of SICCS Venkata Yaramasu co-authored the article, “Predictive Control with Fixed Switching Frequency for Three-Level Boost and NPC Converters Interfaced PMSG Wind Turbine” published in the 2020 3rd International Conference on Energy, Power and Environment: Towards Sustainable Growth. The study investigated a novel predictive control scheme to operate a three-level boost converter and a neutral-point clamped inverter.
  • Assistant professor of SICCS Morgan Vigil-Hayes was the lead author on the article, “Integrating Cultural Relevance into a Behavioral mHealth Intervention for Native American Youth” published in the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. The study developed a prototype behavioral mobile health intervention called Amplifying Resilience Over Restricted Internet Access, which has been designed to address disparities faced by Native American youth.
  • Assistant professor of CECMEE Brendan Russo and professor of CECMEE Edward Smaglik co-authored the article, “Walking on the Wild Side: Distracted Pedestrians and Traffic Safety” published in Transfers Magazine. The article looks at the dangers of cellphones and traffic from the perspective of the pedestrians being distracted.
  • Professor of forestry Kristen Waring co-authored the article, “Assessment and Models of Insect Damage to Cones and Seeds of Pinus strobiformis in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico” published in Functional Plant Ecology. The study examined insect damage to the cones and seeds of strobiformis in Mexico.
  • Assistant professor of forestry Catrin Edgeley co-authored the article, “Traditional use of field burning in Ireland: history, culture and contemporary practice in the uplands” published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire. The study explored how traditional use of fire for agricultural land management is passed on through generations of farmers across Ireland.
  • Richard Quartaroli, Special Collections librarian emeritus, presented, “Changing Navigation in 1869: John Wesley Powell, Jacob Hamblin, and ‘a Mormon map’” at the Arizona History Convention. The convention started in 1960 and is a forum for the dissemination of original research and discussions on topics concerning the history of Arizona.
  • Parwez Besmel, lecturer of criminology and criminal justice, presented an interactive virtual workshop for Sacramento-area k-12 educators who support students and families who may be recent immigrants, refugees or asylees from Afghanistan in their transition to the local school system. The workshop was hosted by the Iranian and Middle Eastern Studies Center at California State University and was attended by more than 60 people.
  • Marc Tollis, assistant research professor of SICCS, was the lead author on the article, “Elephant Genomes Reveal Accelerated Evolution in Mechanisms Underlying Disease Defenses” published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. The study found that Asian elephants get sicker with more cancer than African elephants and used genomes to look at what causes the differences in disease defenses.
  • Rodrigo De Toledo, professor of communication, designed a solo exhibition titled, “The Myth of the Incomplete Self,” which includes 40 art pieces. The collection is on display at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Phoenix and will be available for viewing until Aug. 8.