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Natural Sciences & Mathematics

News & Events

News Archive


Dr. Paul Sutton, Geography & the Environment, was interviewed by PRI's Environmental News Magazine, on the Living on Earth segment with Steve Curwood: Nature’s Dividend—Pricing Global Ecosystem Services.

It’s easy for humans to forget that pollinators and trees and the sun work for free — they provide some of the many ecosystem services that benefit human well-being. Paul Sutton, a geography professor at University of Denver, has calculated a dollar price of these services, and explains to Host Steve Curwood how he calculated the value of these services. You can see the full transcript here or listen to the interview.

Biology Graduate Student, Gregory Sproull has received a Fulbright research grant to study in Poland.

His research project will track historical patterns of the effects of bark beetles on Norway spruce trees in hopes of determining the key environmental cues affecting vulnerability to attack. Here is a link to the full article.

Congratulations to Allegra Reiber, Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics. She has received the 2014 DU Faculty Pioneer Award.

Chosen for her exemplary dedication and contributions to, and on behalf of, the University. Recipients of the faculty Pioneer Award exemplify dedication to the University above and beyond expectations.

Senior Biology student, Ryan Holly has been awarded the 2014 DU Student Pioneer Award. Congratulations!

To receive this award a student must exemplify outstanding integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

1864 DU Service Challenge - Approx 100 DU students from Conservation Biology classes giving back to the community

The Greenway Foundation, Denver Parks + Recreation, and the City and County of Denver hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking in conjunction with Spring RiverSweep as part of the improvement projects to be completed in and along the South Platte River over the next two years.  Students volunteer helping with numerous projects including trash removal, crusher-fine based trail construction, painting, graffiti removal, tree protection, willow harvesting or relocation and more.
See pictures here.

Women in STEM event brought a panel of STEM Women Professionals to share their journey to success

The Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science (RSECS) and the Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics organized this first event series.  This event featured a panel of community STEM professionals:

  • Carol Sturman, Founder and President, Sturman Industries
  • Susan Sharp, Environmental Control & Life Support; Senior Staff Systems, Certified Principle Engineer; Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle Program, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
  • Elizabeth Suarez, Director of HERS Denver Summer Institute, Colorado Women's College
  • Mair Churchill, Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology and Director, Program in Structural Biology and Biochemistry, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Jacqueline Smith, double major in Geography and Biology, is featured in DU Magazine

"I realized I wanted to work with population health, which is public health. I would rather focus on the needs of populations than the needs of individuals," she says. In summer 2013, Jacqueline Smith journeyed to Dehradun, India, to work at Bella Health, a nongovernmental organization that empowers women to make informed family-planning and reproductive health choices. Read her story here.

Amir Siraj, PhD candidate, Department of Geography & the Enviroment, has published an article in Science Magazine

"Altitudinal changes in malaria incidence in highlands of Ethiopia and Colombia." Authors: Siraj. A.S. , Santos-Vega. M, Bouma. M. J, Yadeta D., Ruiz Carrascal D., Pascual. M.  The study, based on an analysis of records from highland regions of Ethiopia and Colombia, suggests that future climate warming will result in a significant increase in malaria cases in densely populated regions of Africa and South America, unless disease monitoring and control efforts are boosted and sustained. Science, March 7, 2014 (Vol. 343 no. 6175 pp. 1154-1158). Read full text here.

Dr. Dinah Loerke, Physics and Astronomy, received the 2014 Cottrell Scholar Award

This award is presented to early career faculty who are committed to excel at both research and teaching. Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Interim President Jack Pladziewicz, notes, "It may well be that not all research faculty can do this simultaneously and early in their careers, but the very best can."

Dr. Michael Daniels, Geography and the Environment, has received the Fulbright Scholar Award for his research in the Czech Republic

Mike has just received a research scholarship to study in the Czech Republic next year as part of his planned sabbatical. Mike will be conducting his research while based at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague on the topic of "Soils, sediments, and the legacy of medieval agriculture in Czech pluzina landscapes."

Dr. Scott Nichols, Biological Sciences, is one of the featured researchers in "DNA to DIVERSITY" exhibit at University of Colorado-Museum of Natural History
This new exhibit in the McKenna Gallery will explore the emerging science of "Evo Devo" - short for Evolutionary Developmental Biology, which has revolutionized scientists' understanding of the mechanics of evolution.  Exhibit opened on February 20th.  Dr. Nichols' molecular biology research using sponges to understand the evolution from single-celled to multicellular organisms is part of this exhibit.
Drug Policy as Conservation Policy: Narco-Deforestation - Drug Trafficking is taking a toll on Central America's biodiverse forests.

A new article published in the journal Science, co-authored by a United Nations University researcher, provides compelling evidence that flows of drugs through the Americas are directly related to deforestation rates in North America's most biodiverse and biosensitive region. The article, "Drug Policy as Conservation Policy: Narco-Deforestation" is the result of collaboration between researchers at the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and four US universities: Ohio State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Denver and University of Idaho.

The article spotlights forest loss in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC), a cross-border initiative established in 1998 to link ecosystems and bio-conservation efforts in Mexico and Central America while promoting sustainable social and economic development. But the stakeholders and policy mechanisms that support these efforts are increasingly in conflict with drug trafficking organizations.

Remote forests, such as those of the MBC, are prized conservation areas — but they are also the golden spike in the drug trade, providing ideal transit hub locations for clandestine airplane landing strips and hidden roads. The researchers note that "by infusing already weakly governed frontiers with unprecedented amounts of cash and weapons", drug trafficking is able to "narco-capitalize" other resident stakeholders in these remote forests, such as ranchers and oil palm growers.

The result is a "militarization" of forests where drug profits can be laundered through land purchases and agricultural conversion of protected forest areas. Much of the social burden from this corruption and violence falls on indigenous groups and smallholder farmers. 

The article is available on the Science website here.

NSM Newsletter Winter 2014
Sustainability on the Front Range - Thursday, Nov 7, Ben Cherrington Cyber Cafe, 12-­2 p.m.

Join this series of cross-­‐curricular dialogues about sustainability-­‐focused research and teaching at University of Denver. This session will feature a panel with representatives from units across campus whose research and teaching ranges focuses on sustainability issues in the Front Range and across Colorado.  Click here for details.

Keeping it Real! Weather Balloon Launch Summer/Fall 2013

The Department of Geography and the Environment used Weather Balloon Data Collection Equipment to collect real data which is used as part of their weather lab.  Supported by NSM Technology Enhancement Grant. Watch video here.

Biology Major, Laleobe Olaka, is one of three 2013 Puksta Scholars at DU.  This program helps students interested in working for the public good. See her story here.
The Hubble Space Telescope' Allocation Committee approved Rachael Tomasino's research proposal in early June. Rachael is a PhD candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and works with Dr. Toshiya Ueta

This is Rachael's first PI proposal "Co-latitudinal Radial Veloctiy Profile Confirmation Via Differential Proper Motion of the Bipolar", and was successful. Her preliminary research work has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal with Dr. Ueta and Dr. Ferguson as authors as well.

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a cooperative program of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to operate a space-based observatory for the benefit of the international astronomical community.

The Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC), organized by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), reviews and evaluates the submitted proposals for HST Observing, Archival & Theoretical Research. Participation in this program is open to all categories of organizations, both domestic and foreign, including educational institutions, profit and nonprofit organizations, NASA Centers, and other Government agencies.




  • Spring 2014 classes start March 24, 2014
  • Summer 2014 classes start June 16, 2014. Complete some of your requirements; check our offerings here.

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