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Natural Sciences & Mathematics

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News Archive


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.

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.

Dr. Matthew Taylor, Geography, was awarded the 2013 William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award.

The William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award is given annually to a faculty or staff member for excellence in teaching and/or mentoring inside and/or outside of the classroom.

Dr. Steve Iona, Physics & Astronomy, was awarded the 2013 Faculty Pioneer Award

This award is given to an individual whose dedication to our University and its students is beyond measure.  The faculty is chosen for his exemplary dedication and contributions to, and on behalf of, the University.

Dr. Susan Sadler, Biological Sciences, was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Student Organization-Advisor Award

This award recognizes advisors who have made outstanding contribution to the organization they work with.

The Department of Geography & the Environment received the 2013 Community Engaged-Department of the Year award
The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning gives this award to a department that demonstrates outstanding commitment to the public good.
Welcome Dr. Eduardo Gonzalez, a new post-doc in Dr. Anna Sher's lab.  Drs. Gonzalez & Sher have received a Marie Curie fellowship, congratulations!

Dr. Gonzalez was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship (268,555 Euros =approx $350,000) with Dr. Sher to develop models to describe and predict patterns of riparian restoration success in the US and Europe.  Dr. Gonzalez received his PhD from the University of Alcala in Madrid in 2010 and has had post doctoral appointments in Toulouse and Quebec. He has 18 publications in peer-reviewed journals in the field of riparian ecology. 

STEMosphere was hosted at DU on May 4: Dr. Jane Goodall was the guest speaker followed by STEM creative and fun hands-on, minds-on activities! 

Experiences included soldering, making mini succulent planters out of bottle corks, watching robots made by kids battle each other (under water!), racing CO2-powered cars, learning about anatomy by layering clay to create realistic models, simultaneously deepening your knowledge of chemistry and tempting your tastebuds with Colorado culinary inventions – and so much more! The Division of Natural Sciences & Math participated and Drs. Keith Miller, Nancy Sasaki, Julie Morris, and Alvaro Arias had some fun demonstrations for the kids. More than 4,000 people stopped by the Magness Arena, Hamilton Gymnasium and all over the bridge.

NSM Newsletter Winter 2013

Keep up-to-date with what's going on in NSM.  Click here for a downloadable newsletter. 




  • Spring 2014 classes start March 24, 2014
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