In the Spotlight: Oct. 5, 2018

Kudos to these faculty, staff and program

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  • Astronomy professor Chad Trujillo is part of a research team that discovered the Goblin, a space object, possibly a planet, billions of miles beyond Pluto. The team found the object in its search for Planet X in our solar system. The research was covered in USA Today, NBC News, ABC News and dozens of other outlets nationwide.
  • NAU Social was ranked one of the top 200 most popular accounts out of 5,103 official university Instagram pages, according to 2018 uniRank Instagram University Ranking. NAU also is No. 5 on the list for Instagram engagement and 12th on the Most Consistent list, according to Rival IQ and Up and Up.
  • Chemistry professor Naomi Lee will receive the Professional of the Year award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) next week at their national meeting. Lee, who started at NAU in August, researches novel vaccine development, with a focus on improving health care for American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
  • Paul Lenze, senior lecturer in politics and international affairs, presented a paper at the 7th annual Arab Studies conference at Beijing International Studies University in Beijing, China. He was the only American attending along with Arab and Chinese scholars. He also was invited by the Arab Studies Center at BISU to come back in summer 2019 to give a series of talks on issues of mutual concern for U.S. and Chinese foreign policy as well as put together a panel of American scholars for the 8th Arab Studies conference in September 2019.
  • Department of Physics & Astronomy staff members Ed Anderson and Mary Lara and students Kathryn Turrentine, Kyle Ghaby, Kirstin Ligon and Ryan Jundt hosted a star party for the Friends of Camp Colton fundraiser last weekend. Camp Colton is an outdoor education facility run for the Flagstaff school district and they are keen to build more astronomy into their experience for the visiting students.
  • ranked Northern Arizona University second in its 10 best online bachelor’s in supply chain & logistic programs; No. 5 in the best online bachelor’s of social work programs and best online master’s in math education; and No. 7 in online master’s in science education programs. NAU also ranked No. 3 on the list of best online colleges in Arizona.
  • Astronomy professor Christopher Edwards co-authored a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets that supports the idea that Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, formed after a large impact on the planet threw a lot of rock into orbit. Looking at the mineral composition of the moons and their heat fingerprints, the researchers found evidence that seems to dispute another hypothesis about the Martian moons: that they were asteroids that were sucked into Mars’ orbit.
  • Ecoss professor Andrew Richardson is a co-author on the Nature article that examined the relationship between anomalies in the start of spring and anomalies in plant productivity through spring, summer and fall, using three decades of satellite data. The data showed that while earlier spring enhances productivity, they are also associated with decreases in summer growing activity, which is in direct contrast to what most cutting-edge earth system models predict.
NAU Communications