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Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, Physics and Astronomy, was invited to present at the University of Wisconsin Space Place about Supernova explosions

Dr. Hoffman gave an interesting talk about supernova explosions for the Space Place program at University of Wisconsin. Check it out, "SUPERNOVA EXPLOSIONS ARE WEIRDER THAN YOU THINK".

Emma Biesiada, Junior, Biochemistry major, received prestigious fellowship from the Environmental Protection Agency

Ms. Biesiada will be working with Dr. Alex Huffman, see more.

Physic alumna, Debra Callahan (BS 1985) was elected 2014 Fellow of the American Physical Society on Plasma Physics

Debbie Callahan is a group leader for Inertial Confinement Fusion Target Design at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL).  She was elected fellow for her innovative design and modeling of hohlraums for Inertial Confinement Fusion and leadership in the execution of hohlraum experiments on the National Ignition Facility.
Among other awards that she has received is the 2012 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. If you want to know more about Debbie click here.

2014 NSM Faculty & Staff Awards were announced on December 10th. Congratulations!
  • Excellence in Research Faculty Award: Martin Margittai, Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Excellence in Teaching Faculty Award: Steve Iona, Physics and Astronomy
  • Outstanding Faculty Service Award: Mark Siemens, Physics and Astronomy
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty Award: Jing Li, Geography & the Environment
  • Outstanding Staff Service Award: Liane Beights, Mathematics
Professor Emeritus Aharon Goldman, Physics & Astronomy, makes Thomson Reuters' "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014" list.

NSM’s Physics & Astronomy Professor Emeritus Aharon Goldman is recognized in the Reuters’ Thomson Reuters’ “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014” list, which is populated by scientists from top research institutions worldwide, including many Nobel Prize laureates.

Dr. Davor Balzar, Physics and Astronomy, was invited to join the Colorado-Japan working group to bring carbon ion cancer radiotherapy to Colorado.
Professor Jac Nickoloff leads the working group; Dr. Nickoloff is the head of the Colorado State University’s Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. This group includes researchers from the CU Health Sciences Center, Colorado School of Mines, and Japan National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

This kind of treatment offers fewer side effects and less damage to healthy tissues and organs than traditional radiation therapy. This makes it particularly suitable for treating areas in brain, neck, and pancreas.

You can find this story at Colorado Public Radio.

2014 STEMosphere hosted again at DU. Thanks to our wonderful faculty, graduate and undergraduate students who made kids and adults wonder.
STEMosphere is an event designed to spark interest in STEM and is open to the public.  Visitors include teachers, students, parents, and grandparents. The University of Denver, Natural Sciences & Mathematics has participated since its beginning. Click here for an insight of the day's happenings. Special thanks to NSM faculty and graduate students for participating in this event and inspire future scientists and mathematicians.
2014/15 NSM Dean's Doctoral Fellows


  • Andrew Fullard, Physics & Astronomy
  • Bulat Khaliullin, Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Hui Miao, Biological Sciences

The Dean's Fellowship was established in 2010 and has been funding doctoral students from all of our disciplines, domestic and international. The students are nominated by their departments. This fellowship funds students for one year. 

  • 2013/14 Recipients: Dmitry Kuznetsov, Chemistry & Biochemistry; Yi Xie, Biological Sciences
  • AY12-13: Jixiao Li, Jiangye Miao, Chemistry & Biochemistry; Manisha Shrestha, Physics
  • AY11-12: Sarah McCall, Geography & the Environment; Jared Burde, Timothy Vanderleest, Physics & Astronomy
  • AY10-11: Amir Siraj, Geography & the Environment; Gabriel Enrique Girón, Mathematics; Zhelin Yu, Chemistry & Biochemistry;
Environmental Science Undergraduate Student, Jill Hamilton traveled to Nevis with her University's Partners in Scholarship research grant.

She did research dives into the reef, conducting interviews with fishermen and government officials to find solutions to create more sustainable fishing habits on the island.  The main focus of her study was the negative effects of overfishing on the reefs and fish populations. Read more about her research here.

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 Environment, 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.

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.

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. 

Dr. Gordon Lithgow from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging visited DU

Dr. Lithgow's presentation was one of the lecture series organized by the Departments of Biological Sciences & Chemistry & Biochemistry. At the Buck Institute, world-class scientists work in a uniquely collaborative environment to understand how normal aging contributes to the development of conditions specifically associated with getting older such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Dr. Mark F. Bozeman (BS '77) was selected our 2013 Master Scholar

Dr. Bozeman met with Dr. Andrei Kutateladze, NSM Dean, Drs. Sandra & Gareth Eaton, Chancellor Emeritus Dwight Smith. 
Masters Program serves as a way to connect alumni directly with current DU students. Successful alumni professionals are nominated and selected by their divisions to be "master scholars." These alumni are then invited to participate in lectures or teach courses during a regular day in the academic schedule of their department. Through direct contact with faculty and student groups, alumni
share their expertise and insights on various career fields. The scholars also serve on one of two University-wide panels where they present information about their career paths to alumni and students from a variety of departments.  Masters Program allows students to learn about the different ways a University of Denver education can be applied in the years after college, and offers alumni an
opportunity for lifelong learning. 

Biology team works to help those with genetic diseases

Professor David Patterson, Director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and graduate student Nathan Duval are collaborating on a handful of projects that could improve what Duval calls "the health-span" in people contending with an array of genetic diseases and disorders. See full story here.

Dr. Anna Sher, Department of Biological Sciences, and spouse Fran Simon received the 2013 Queerific Activist Award

Dr. Anna Sher and Fran Simon received the Queerific Activist Award from the DU LGBTIQ & Ally communities in honor of their contributions to furthering Inclusive Excellence at and beyond the University of Denver.  This award recognizes leadership in raising awareness and making positive change at DU. Click here for pictures.

Dr. Matthew Taylor, Department of Geography, receives Public Good Award.

Dr. Taylor receives Public Good funds for his proposal "Creating a Public Web-Based Geographic Information System to Support Communal Decision Making along Nicaragua's Pacific Coast, in the amount of $9,000.

Professor Dan Linseman, Biological Sciences, continues research on ALS and Lou Gehrig's disease

Book edited by Dr. Anna Sher and Dr. Martin Quigley published - "A Case Study of Ecological Change in the American West"

"With 44 of the world's top Tamarisk researchers, Drs. Anna Sher and Martin Quigley have assembled the first comprehensive book on this important woody genus in the western United States. This tremendously valuable book is a must have for all who study or manage Tamarix." -- Mike Dombeck, Chief Emeritus, U.S. Forest Service. Congratulations!

18th Annual DU Women's Conference - Women in Science

NSM hosted a session at the 18th Annual Women's Conference entitled "Lipstick to Lab Coats".  The successful session included testimonials from various female faculty and graduate students about how their interests in STEM began and what factors contributed to their decision to remain in the STEM area.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Campus of Integrity Award for 2012-2013 given to the University of Denver

The University of Denver has won the 2012-2013 Campus of Integrity Award from the prestigious International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI). This award acknowledges a campus-wide (or larger) effort to promote and/or maintain the values of academic integrity and is the highest award presented annually during the ICAI's international conference. DU was recognized because of the three-year efforts of the University's Honor Code Advisory Council (HCAC) to promote academic integrity across campus. HCAC co-chairs Dr. Michael Kerwin (Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment) and Kristin Olson, (Director, Student Conduct), along with undergraduate student Lauren Johnson (B.S. Candidate in International Business) accepted the award on February 27, 2013 at the annual ICAI conference in San Antonio, TX.  Congratulations!

Sean Shaheen, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded the Research Corporation for Science Advancement Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award

Sean Shaheen received this award for the amount of $25,000 to support his project titled "Supramolecular Non-Fullerene Electron Acceptors for Organic PVs - Pathway Towards 20% Efficient Cells at a Cost less than $0.5/W".  Congratulations!

NSM Newsletter Winter 2013

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

1st Annual NSM Awards Ceremony - Awardees 2012 - Congratulations!
  • NSM Award for Excellence in Research - Dr. Gareth Eaton, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • NSM Award for Excellence in Teaching - Dr. Michael W. Kerwin, Department of Geography and the Environment
  • NSM Award for Outstanding Service - Dr. Keith Miller, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • NSM Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty - Dr. Shannon Murphy, Department of  Biological Sciences
Dr. Lisa Randall, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University presented at DU on April 15
DU Physics & Astronomy was excited to welcome Dr. Lisa Randall. As part of the American Physical Society's April Meeting, Prof. Randall was the recipient of the Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics. This award recognizes the accomplishments of a person who has made significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics given annually. Click here for pictures of the event.
2013 Colorado Geographic Bee was hosted at DU on April 5

The winner of this year's Colorado Geographic Bee was Pranit Nanda from Aurora Quest, K-8.  In second and third places were Sanat Mehta, Littleton Academy Charter School, and Vinu Harir, Nevin Platt Middle School.  Congratulations!

Professor Moras Shubert dies at age 100 - Our condolences to his family.
Former biology Professor Moras Shubert, who died Dec. 10, at age 100, lived a rich and productive life. Read more ...
1st Annual NSM Awards Ceremony - Awardees 2012 - Congratulations!
NSM Award for Excellence in Research - Dr. Gareth Eaton, Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryNSM Award for Excellence in Teaching - Dr. Michael W. Kerwin, Department of Geography and the EnvironmentNSM Award for Outstanding Service - Dr. Keith Miller, Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryNSM Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty - Dr. Shannon Murphy, Department of  Biological Sciences
Don Stedman receives $100,000 award from the Coordinating Research Council

The University of Denver's spectroscopic motor vehicle emissions remote sensing system FEAT (Fuel Efficiency Automobile Test) has been monitoring emissions around the USA since the early 1990s. Average emissions have gone down remarkably while the fractional contribution of the few grossest emitters has gone up. With this program, supported by the Coordinating Research Council, we will return to sites in Chicago, Tulsa and Denver where we will obtain an even longer history of these measurements. For our previous publications on this subject see the FEAT web site Also view article on the DU Magazine regarding Dr. Stedman's work on emissions' tools detection at this link.

Robert Dores receives Faculty Service Award at Convocation

On October 17, DU honored Dr. Robert Dores, Biological Sciences, with the Faculty Service Award.  This award is given to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding service to the university, the community, or the profession.

  • Robert Dores
ESRI Conference attracts 16,000 attendees - ESRI is the world leader in GIS software

Several faculty and staff members from the Department of Geography attended the annual ESRI User Conference and Academic Education Fair in San Diego during the week of July 23-27. ESRI is the world leader in geographic information systems (GIS) software, and this year there were over 16,000 attendees at the conference, up by 23% over last year. The Department of Geography and University College co-sponsored a booth in the exhibit hall to market our on-campus and online masters degree and certificate programs in geographic information science. Nearly 600 attendees stopped by the DU table for information, and over 200 expressed an interest in applying to our programs.   The Department of Geography also hosted an Alumni & Friends reception at the conference that was attended by nearly 200 people.

Geography Ph.D. Student Gary Lavanchy wins EPA STAR fellowship
Spring 2012: Geography Ph.D. Student Gary LaVanchy was recently awarded an EPA STAR fellowship.  This is a three-year award with a value of $126,000 to support his research in Nicaragua into water conflicts and to model aquifers along the Pacific coast. This is a highly competitive award. This year, 80 students across the USA received the fellowship. This represents 5% of the application pool.  Gary joins Geography Ph.D. Student, Joe Hoover, who received the fellowship last year.
Recent faculty promotions-2012


  •  Frederic Latremoliere, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics
  •  Daniel Linseman, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
  •  Paul Sutton, Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment
  •  Toshiya Ueta, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Windstorm damages Meyer-Womble Observatory at Mt. Evans

A vicious windstorm swept over Mount Evans in January, tearing a 700-pound door off the Meyer-Womble Observatory and leaving the telescope exposed to the winter elements.  See more here.

The New York Times Science Blog: Geography Professor Matthew Taylor's research in Guatemala

Geography Professor Matthew Taylor conducts research investigating climate change and droughts in Guatemala with DU students.  His research there with his colleagues from Columbia University and Universidad del Valle, Guatemala, Dr. Kevin Anchukaitis and Dr. Edwin Castellanos,  was recently highlighted in the New York Times Science Blog.  To read the updates please visit

Professor Sean Shaheen named Scialog Fellow

Physics and Astronomy professor Sean Shaheen has been named a Scialog Fellow by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) in support of his research proposal "Energy Pooling as a Novel Thermodynamic Mechanism for Organic Photovoltaics." Learn more about Scialog Fellows here.

Professor Todd Blankenship gives TEDxDU presentation

Biological Sciences professor Todd Blankenship shares his research on the biology of shape in his TEDxDU presentation "Why We're Long: The Biology of Shape."

University receives support to develop research program on aging

Betty Knoebel, widow of Denver food services pioneer Ferdinand "Fritz" Knoebel, has given the University of Denver (DU) $17.5 million, among the largest gifts in its history. DU will use the gift to establish the Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging and to support the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) in the Daniels College of Business. Read more on DU Today.

Professor Dan Linseman is advancing research on Lou Gehrig's disease

Armed with grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Biological Sciences professor Dan Linseman has devoted the last three years to unraveling the mysteries of Lou Gehrig's disease. Read more.