Press Room

Research News Releases—2010

NDSU Students Receive Fellowships to Research Water Resources | 12/30/2010

December 30, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute announced its Graduate Research Fellowship recipients for 2011–12. Fellowships ranging from $2,000 to $12,000 were awarded to 15 graduate students conducting research in water resources areas.

The 2011–12 fellows at NDSU, their advisers and research projects are:

  • Andrea Hanson, biological sciences; Mark Sheridan; "Uptake and effects of environmental estrogens on growth of fish;"
  • Anusha Balangoda, environmental and conservation sciences; Wei Lin; "Studies of Seasonal Succession of Cyanobacteria and Green algae at Heinrich-Martin Impoundment, North Dakota;"
  • Brianna Schneck, biological sciences; John McEvoy and Mark Clark; "Source tracking of Cryptosporidium in rural watersheds;"
  • Christopher Capecchi, civil engineering; Achintya Bezbaruah; "Arsenic Contaminated Groundwater Remediation by Entrapped Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron;"
  • Dhritikshama Roy, civil engineering; Achintya Bezbaruah and Eakalak Khan; "Plant-based Biopolymers for Entrapping Metal Nanoparticles for Arsenic Removal: Biodegradation and Treatability Studies;"
  • Justin Fisher, biological sciences; Craig Stockwell; "Integrating life stage habitat into landscape genetics model for the conservation of a declining amphibian species;"
  • Katrin Chambers, soil science; Francis Casey; "Bioavailability of Dissolved and Colloidal Organic Carbon Bound Estrogen;"
  • Lindsey Malum, natural resources management; Edward Dekeyser and Jack Norland; "Ecosystem Services and Wetland Condition Assessment in the Prairie Pothole Region;"
  • Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Zhulu Lin; "Hydrologic adaptation of SWAT model for snow dominated and high groundwater table conditioned watersheds and scenario analysis of impacts of tile drainage on stream flow;"
  • Sharanya Shanbhogue, civil engineering; Achintya Bezbaruah and Eakalak Khan; "Co-entrapment of iron nanoparticles and trichloroethylene degrading bacteria in alginate biopolymer for groundwater remediation;"
  • Tanush Wadhawan, civil engineering; Eakalak Khan and John McEvoy; "Role of agricultural drainage on transport of Cryptosporidium oocysts in North Dakota;" and
  • Veselina Valkov, civil engineering; Wei Lin; "Temporal-spatial distribution of phytoplankton and diversity in relation to lake physical and chemical condition."

Funding for the fellowship program comes primarily from the annual base grant provided to the institute by the U.S. Geological Survey and an additional support of 15 percent of the base grant comes from the North Dakota State Water Commission. North Dakota's institute is one of 54 institutes, each located in a land-grant institution of states and territories under the umbrella of National Institutes for Water Resources.

For more information, contact G. Padmanabhan, institute director and NDSU professor of civil engineering, at 1-7043, or or visit

NDSU’s Travers Studies Plant Pathology and Climate Change with Group | 12/28/2010

December 28, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Steve Travers, assistant professor of biological sciences, was invited to participate with a working group at the Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, Calif. The center's mission is to fund (through the National Science Foundation) and facilitate collaboration of scientists from different specialties, universities, agencies and countries to work on ecological issues from a diverse perspective.

Travers' working group consists of approximately 20 scientists including climatologists, remote-sensing ecologists, informatics specialists, phylogeneticists and biologists. The team is analyzing existing data and literature from a variety of conceptual areas to study plant phenology (the timing of life history events, such as flowering) and climate change. Their goal is to examine all the possible variables that could be influencing how natural plant communities are responding to global climate change.

The group met for a week this fall and will meet again in spring 2011 with the goal of producing multiple papers on their findings.

NDSU Prof Publishes Paper in Journal of Financial Education | 12/28/2010

December 28, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Tom Dowdell, associate professor of accounting, had a paper published in the fall/winter 2010 edition of Journal of Financial Education. Dowdell co-wrote "The Role of Analysts’ Earnings Forecasts in the Valuation Process: An Introductory Overview” with Morris Danielson of St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, and Michael Schoderbek of Rutgers Business School, New Brunswick, N.J.

The paper provides an overview of how analyst earnings forecasts are used in the valuation process, identifying important links between the disciplines of accounting and finance.

NDSU Human Development and Education Faculty Present and Publish Research | 12/17/2010

December 17, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Heather Fuller-Iglesias, assistant professor of human development and family sciences, presented a paper and was part of a symposium on migrant families at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations in Minneapolis Nov. 3–6. The paper was titled "Coping across borders: Transnational families in Mexico."

Angie Hodge, assistant professor in the School of Education/mathematics, had her paper, "Pre-service teachers' changing visions of themselves as reform-oriented teachers," accepted in the journal Current Issues in Education.

Liz Erichsen, assistant professor in the School of Education, and Doris Bolliger published "Towards understanding isolation of international students in traditional and online learning environments" in the journal Educational Technology Research and Development. Erichsen and Cheryl Goldenstein presented "Fostering Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research in Adult Education: Interactive Resource Guides and Tools" at the Northern Rocky Mountain Education Research Association conference in Big Sky, Mont. Erichsen presented "Political Polarization: Fox News and the Daily Show are Stifling America's Social Imagination" at the national American Association for Adult and Continuing Education conference in Clearwater, Fla. Erichsen and Leann Kaiser's chapter "Narrative Tools for Facilitating Research and Learning for Transformation" was accepted for publication in Pathways to Transformation: Learning in Relationship, Series: Adult Education Special Topics: Theory, Research and Practice in Lifelong Learning edited by Carrie J. Boden and Sola M. Kippers, forthcoming fall 2011.

WooMi Phillips, assistant professor of apparel, design and hospitality management, had her article, "Hospitality and Tourism Research Rankings by Author, University, and Country Using Six Major Journals: The First Decade of New Millennium," accepted for publication in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

Anita Welch, assistant professor in the School of Education, was appointed to the National Marketing and Member Benefits Committee of Phi Kappa Phi. Welch also was the keynote speaker at the third annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Her presentation was titled "Examining the Past to Prepare for the Future: Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." She also was notified her book chapter, "Robotics Competitions: More Than Just Robots," will be published in "Robots in K-12 Education: A New Technology for Learning." Mary Lou Ewald, a doctoral candidate from Auburn University in Alabama, co-wrote the chapter

Christi McGeorge, assistant professor, and Tom Carlson, associate professor, both in the human development and family science department, presented two papers, "The role of social justice mentoring in family therapy training" and "Preparing heterosexual students to become LGB affirmative therapists: a three step training model," at the National Council on Family Relations annual conference. McGeorge, Carlson and alumna Amy Anderson also presented "The importance of spirituality in family therapy: A comparative study" at the conference.

Abby Gold, assistant professor of health, nutrition, and exercise sciences, and Deb Gebeke, assistant director of family and consumer sciences, along with Extension faculty from four other North Central Region states had a proposal accepted for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. The total project was funded for $5 million during five years. The project focuses on community coaching to develop leadership around early childhood obesity prevention. The project seeks to evaluate the community development and leadership approach. Two North Dakota communities will be selected to participate in this program.

Jill Nelson, assistant professor in the School of Education, and colleagues Clarrice Rapisarda, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and Kimberly Desmond, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, presented two sessions at the second Virtual Conference on Counseling in Second Life. The conference was held in the online environment during four days with more than 40 presentations. They have been invited to conduct a half-day training about clinical supervision in February.

Chris Ray, assistant professor in the School of Education, presented the paper, "Perceptions of College Faculty Concerning the Role of Assessment in Higher Education," at the Association for the Study of Higher Education conference. The paper presented results from a study exploring how faculty members at two public research institutions perceive the purpose of assessment in terms of improvement, accountability or neither at the course, program and institutional levels. The study identified three distinct views of student learning assessment, and implications for practitioners hoping to increase faculty involvement in the assessment process.

Brandy Randall, associate professor of human development and family science, was invited to serve as a consulting editor for the journal, Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. She also had her article, "Characteristics and Perceptions of 4-H Participants: Gender and Age Differences Across Adolescence," accepted for publication in the Journal of Extension. Karin Bartoszuk, a former NDSU faculty member now at East Tennessee State University, also had an article accepted for publication.

Ann Braaten, assistant professor of apparel, design, and hospitality management, presented a paper, "Gleaning Design Techniques from Hastings Needle Work Patterns" at the American Quilt Study Group Seminar held Oct. 14–17 in Bloomington, Minn. The group is a leader in quilt research and history, and provides opportunities for quilt historians and others to share their discoveries.

Debra Pankow, associate professor of human development and family science, was part of a national team of Extension educators who received the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education's Outstanding Educational Program of the Year for 2010. The group was recognized at the annual meeting in Denver. The program, "Legally Secure Your Financial Future," is a three-part educational program that teaches participants to organize important legal, financial and family records; communicate with loved ones about legal, health and financial issues; and prepare and understand estate planning.

Julie Garden-Robinson, associate professor of health, nutrition, and exercise sciences, received word of a successful USDA grant application titled "Renewal on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation: Land, Cattle, Beef and People." NDSU will receive about $2.8 million of the $5 million grant. The grant project includes Robert Maddock, principal investigator, and others in the Department of Animal Sciences, Extension, a tribal college and colleagues in South Dakota. She will work with food safety and nutrition education related to the grant.

Kelly Sassi, assistant professor in the School of Education/English, presented "Creative Field Experiences for English Education Majors Learning to Differentiate Writing Instruction" at the Conference on English Leadership in Orlando on Nov. 22.

NDSU Graduate Students Present at Conferences | 12/15/2010

December 15, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Two NDSU transportation and logistics doctoral students presented papers at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Simulation Conference in Austin, Texas, in November

Ieelong Peter Chen presented the paper, "Collaborative Transportation Management in the Supply Chain: Shipper and Carrier Perspectives." It is unique because it presents information from the carrier's perspective. The paper was co-written by Joseph Szmerekovsky, associate professor of management at NDSU.

Sumadhur Shakya presented the paper, "Valuing Pricing of Genetically Modified Traits Using Monte-Carlo Simulation: A Real Option Approach." The Monte-Carlo approach has the advantage of providing full distribution of values of outcome instead of presenting one of many scenarios. The paper was co-written by researcher Bruce Dahl and professor William Wilson, both from NDSU's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

In addition, Nimish Dharmadhikari attended the Railroad Environmental Conference 2010 in October at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The conference focused on factors relating to railroads, such as pollution prevention, energy, emissions and air quality, and environmental liability. Dharmadhikari will use this information in his research.

"Dear Friends and Family:” What Does Your Annual Holiday Letter Say About You? | 12/14/2010

December 14, 2010, Fargo, N.D.–By now you've received some holiday letters in the mail, or you're frantically trying to finish writing and sending your own annual missive to friends and family. A North Dakota State University professor studying approximately 1,200 such letters from the past decade, says the letters provide clues to interpersonal dynamics, as well as to current events. Dr. Ann Burnett, director of Women and Gender Studies at NDSU, notes that examples she studies range from creative to eccentric.

Even in an age of social media, Burnett says the holiday letters shed light on what people think is important. Such letter writing became prolific with the advent of personal computers and easy access to photocopying, according to Burnett. They persist even in an age of blogging, Facebook and Twitter. "Perhaps people feel traditional tugs at the holiday season, so they go back to old traditions," though she notes that more recently, she's received such holiday letters via email. "Coupled with the expense of mailing, I think we'll see fewer and fewer letters."

In her collection of holiday letters, Burnett notes the most common format is the one-person-per-paragraph approach. Others look like newspapers, while still others embark on what the authors believe are creative approaches, such as using the 12 days of Christmas and adapting it to fit their families.

The letters seem to follow some general themes, according to Burnett. "There are lots of reports about what each family member has done. Lots of talk about travel or big projects. And lots of discussion about sicknesses and ailments—sometimes with more detail than necessary!" Others use it as an opportunity to brag about intelligent or talented children or their own achievements.

In a previous study, "Communicating and Philosophizing about Authenticity and Inauthenticity in a Fast-Paced World," published in the Journal of Happiness, Burnett and co-authors Becky DeGreeff and Dennis Cooley analyzed holiday letters. The study examines how individuals talk about time in holiday letters, categorizing letters as authentic, in-authentic or in-between. An authentic holiday letter would be one that reflected on the impact of certain events during the year such as births, marriages or deaths—as a way to acknowledge how fleeting life is. An in-between letter might acknowledge important events, but fail to acknowledge their impact on the letter writer. In-authentic letters might include a bullet list of happenings, without any explanation. In this analysis, the colleagues found 5% of the letters to be authentic and 83% to be inauthentic.

In reviewing letters from 2009, Burnett notes that a few talk about the tough economic times, but even more talk about the expensive trips and home renovations they've done. The letters also provide a window into current events as people comment on elections or the Iraq war.

One memorable letter in Burnett's collection is written from the vantage point of deceased family pets who are now stuffed, residing in the den, and reflecting upon their family's current activities. Another of Burnett's favorites highlights the current breakneck pace of family life. "We start every day at 4:45 a.m., launch ourselves through the day at breakneck speed (the experience is much like sticking your head in a blender), only to land in a crumpled heap at 8:30 p.m., looking something like the Halloween witches impaled spread-eagle on front doors, wondering how we made it through the day. And the scary part is that our lives are no more hectic and stressful than yours are."

Burnett is currently using holiday letters to analyze how people cope with hectic family lives and how motherhood is portrayed in such letters. While Burnett focuses on researching holiday letters, don't expect to receive one from her any time soon. "I can't bring myself to write a Christmas letter anymore."

For more information:
Communicating and Philosophizing About Authenticity or Inauthenticity in a Fast-Paced World
Journal of Happiness Studies Volume 11, Number 4, 395–408, DOI: 10.1007/s10902-009-9147-4 Becky L. DeGreeff, Ann Burnett and Dennis Cooley

Earning the badge of honor: the social construction of time and the pace of life. Burnett, Ann., Gorsline, Denise., Semlak, Julie. and Tyma, Adam Presented paper: National Communication Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, Nov. 14, 2007

NDSU's Perrizo Awarded Fifth U.S. Patent | 12/10/2010

December 10, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—William Perrizo, distinguished professor of computer science at NDSU, received his fifth U.S. patent on Nov. 16 for his system and method for performing and accelerating cluster analysis of large data sets. The title of the patent is "Method and system for data mining of very large spatial datasets using vertical set inner products."

Perrizo's expertise is in database systems, data mining, knowledge discovery, distributed database systems, high performance computer systems, communications networks, precision agriculture, bioinformatics and remotely sensed imagery analysis. He has been with the NDSU computer science department since 1973.

Perrizo's work includes algorithms that allow for significant improvements in processing and analyzing extremely large data sets that help users find the proverbial needle in a data haystack. The algorithms compress the data set to a small fraction of its original size, performing data operations in seconds instead of hours. Information about technology developed by Perrizo that is available for licensing through the NDSU Research Foundation is found at here. A profile of his career in computer science is available here.

NDSU’s Khan Receives Distinguished Service Award for Sugarbeet Research | 12/9/2010

December 9, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Mohamed F. R. Khan, extension sugarbeet specialist and associate professor of plant pathology at NDSU and the University of Minnesota, received the 2010 Distinguished Service Award presented by the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota. Khan was presented with the award at the joint annual meetings of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association and American Crystal Sugar Company. He was recognized for his research contributions in managing diseases of sugarbeet and for planning, conducting and evaluating educational programs for sugarbeet growers in North Dakota and Minnesota.

NDSU Polymer Paper One of Top 25 Articles | 12/3/2010

December 3, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A paper co-written by Dean Webster, professor, and Dipak Chattopadhyay, former postdoctoral associate, both from the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, is listed as one of the "Top 25 Hottest Articles" for the academic year in both the materials science and chemistry categories of ScienceDirect, the online journal publication of Elsevier. The paper, "Thermal Stability and Flame Retardancy of Polyurethanes," was published in Oct. 2009 in the journal, Progress in Polymer Science. It is an extensive review of literature with more than 400 references describing how polyurethanes decompose at high temperatures and how heat stability and flame retardant properties can be improved for this important class of materials. The paper also is listed as one of the top 10 downloaded articles for the journal.

NDSU's Pruess Receives Funds to Research Biofilm | 12/3/2010

December 3, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Birgit Pruess, assistant professor of veterinary and microbiological sciences, received a grant award from the National Institutes of Health for $358,750 for a research project titled "Temporal and spatial expression of regulators affecting/Escherichia coli/biofilm."

Biofilms are communities of bacteria that stick to surfaces. While they can be beneficial for many purposes, such as the production of biofuels, they also cause many problems in medical contexts. For example, approximately 80 percent of all bacterial infections involve biofilm. Understanding how the expression of genes is regulated in response to signals from the environment is an important prerequisite for the development of novel techniques that either prevent the formation of biofilm or treat an existing condition.

The proposed research will investigate the expression of specific genes throughout the formation of biofilm in a time-course experiment. Genes that will be expressed early can then be used to develop prevention techniques. In a second experiment, gene expression will be investigated in specific niches of the three-dimensional structure that forms the biofilm. Genes that will be expressed at the outermost edge of the colonies will then be used for the development of treatment techniques. The experiments will be done with fluorescent labeling and fluorescence microscopy. NDSU graduate and undergraduate students will assist in the research.

NDSU's Heuer Publishes Paper in Institute of Medicine Report | 12/3/2010

December 3, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Loretta Heuer, associate dean of nursing, co-wrote a commissioned paper, "Nursing Innovations: The Future of Chronic Disease Management," in The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation landmark report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health." In the paper, Heuer advocates for nurse-led initiatives for future management of chronic disease especially with rural or vulnerable populations.

This IOM report is a thorough examination of the nursing workforce and outlines four overarching messages and eight evidence-based recommendations. The recommendations are intended to support efforts to improve the health of the U.S. population through contributions nurses can make to the delivery of care. The eight recommendations offered in the report are centered on four main issues:

  1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

  2. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

  3. Nurses should be full partners with physicians and other health professionals in redesigning health care in the U.S.

  4. Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

The report is designed to serve as a framework for changes in the nursing profession and the health care delivery system. These nurse-led solutions are directed to individual policy makers, national state and local government leaders, payers, health care researchers, executives and professionals - including nurses and others - and larger groups such as licensing bodies, education institutions, and philanthropic and advocacy organizations, especially those advocating for consumers. For a copy of the report, visit:

NDSU Researchers Phone Home to Young Scientists from 9,000 Miles Away | 12/2/2010

December 2, 2010, Fargo, N.D.,—Forget Santa and the North Pole.  For a group of 8th graders, the real deal this winter is a team of North Dakota State University research scientists working on the earth’s southernmost and coldest continent of Antarctica, which includes the South Pole.

This week 140 students from Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo met with NDSU researchers through a live Skype Internet video call that connects the young scientists to NDSU student and faculty researchers in the field 9,000 miles away at McMurdo Station, the U.S. National Science Foundation’s base of Antarctic operations. The two groups have been collaborating on a learning project since late October, tethering real life research results to in-classroom projects with middle school teacher Barry Olson, a national Milken Educator Award recipient who teaches earth science and space science.

NDSU’s research team includes geology undergraduate students Michael Ginsbach from Hankinson, N.D., Chad Crotty of Elk River, Minn., Alex Smith, graduate student in environmental and conservation sciences from Apple Valley, Minn., Allan Ashworth, distinguished professor of geosciences, and Adam Lewis, assistant professor of geosciences.

During calls from Antarctica, students learn about collection and analyses of scientific samples such as fossils and volcanic ash collected by the NDSU researchers. In their classroom, the science students work on geologic projects, atmospheric studies and more. By teaming with NDSU researchers in the field, the students experience science beyond textbooks, exposing them to real-world research and science-based careers. The two groups will follow up with each other on project-related work next spring.

During the live video call on Dec. 1, eighth grader Marydith Poitra, who is interested in chemistry and biology, began a series of 30 questions asked by students. Questions varied from global warming to what it’s like for the scientists out in the field who can’t shower for weeks on end. The items eliciting the most response were a blend of scientific and human topics.

Veteran Antarctic researcher Dr. Allan Ashworth told students he discovered his first fossil on the continent 15 years ago, and more recently, found fossilized ostracods that received worldwide scientific attention. What drew the biggest response from students, however, occurred when Ashworth noted he discovered fossils that are millions of years old before any of them were born. "How old are you?” asked one student. "I am a fossil,” joked Ashworth, eliciting enthusiastic applause from students.

Eighth grader R.J. Garcia noted that the environment of Antarctica is a totally different place. "Many of the things in the South Pole affect us,” he said and asked the scientists about discoveries that might be related to global warming. Both Ashworth and Dr. Adam Lewis said that changes are often nearly imperceptible, highlighting the importance of continued long-term research in Antarctica. Meteorites, volcanoes, ultraviolet rays, atmospheric science and working in 24-hour sunlight were also among the students’ areas of interest.

The NDSU team’s field work is located in a helicopter-supported tent camp in the Dry Valleys region and Oliver Bluffs, some 300 miles from the South Pole. Dr. Adam Lewis explained to students that glacial deposits have stories to tell because they leave behind clues as to the earth’s climate millions of years ago. The North Dakota students are personally familiar with at least one aspect of Antarctica. "North Dakota blizzards are just as dangerous as Antarctic blizzards. You have to be careful,” said Lewis, mentioning a recent 31 degrees below zero temperature experienced by the research team, who were outfitted with cold weather gear that included specialized mountaineering boots from Scheels of Fargo.

Middle school teacher Barry Olson sees this partnership with NDSU geoscientists as a way to show students opportunities for a future in scientific research. "My students are looking at the weather and climate and then also looking at the volcanic ash and some of the plants and fossils the research team has been able to find in their expedition,” said Olson.

Students also learned about the types of work people do on the continent, from scientific researchers to computer specialists, construction workers, electricians, doctors and dentists, and cooks and drivers. "I also want to show them what it’s like to survive and prepare for a two-month trip out in the field,” said Olson, noting that long supply routes complicate logistics when the terrain includes glacier ice, loose rocky soils and near-vertical cliff faces. "You can’t just run out and pick something up at Wal-Mart if you forget it,” said Olson.

Even scientists need an occasional break and the NDSU team told students they played football with an all-weather ball sent by grad student Alex Smith’s wife, Lisa, who surprised the team by attending the video call. With sporadic communications available during the two-month trip, a quick conversation between the young couple elicited a supportive "Aawwwww,” in unison from their junior high audience.

NDSU research team members are expected to return at various times through December and may be conferencing again via satellite phone with their junior high counterparts the week of December 13.

At least one member of the NDSU Antarctic research team will continue his adventure upon returning from the ice. NDSU geology and education major Michael Ginsbach, Hankinson, N.D., begins student teaching the same group of junior high students he’s been communicating with from Antarctica. He’ll be the new student teacher in Mr. Olson’s class beginning in January 2011.

Note: The research described here is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation’s Polar Programs.

For more information:
Dr. Allan Ashworth, North Dakota State University

Dr. Adam R. Lewis, North Dakota State University

National Science Foundation
Antarctic fossils paint a picture of a much warmer continent

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

NDSU’s Beck Earns Applied Research Award | 12/2/2010

December 2, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Stephenson Beck, North Dakota State University assistant professor of communication, received the Stanley L. Saxton Applied Research Award for his research on facilitation and social support in cancer support groups. The Carl Couch Center at the University of Dayton presented the award to Beck and his co-researcher, Joann Keyton, professor at North Carolina State University, at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association.

NDSU's Wu to Publish in The Journal of Immunology | 11/30/2010

November 30, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, co-wrote the article, "Target of the CXCR4-CXCL12 axis mobilizes autologous hematopoietic stem cells and prolongs islet allograft survival via PD-L1-mediated immunoregulation,” which will be published by The Journal of Immunology.

According to the authors, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are reported to have profound immunomodulatory effects, promoting their use in the treatment of allograft rejection. However, the immunoregulatory properties of HSCs and their importance in organ transplantation remain to be explored.

This study, led by collaborator Dr. Paolo Fiorina from Children's Hospital Boston, presents evidence demonstrating that targeting the CXCR4-CXCL12 axis mobilizes autologous HSCs and promotes long-term survival of islet allografts.

"This study aimed to target the CXCR4-CXCL12 axis by blocking the CXCR4 receptor with a novel CXCR4 antagonist to mobilize HSCs in a murine model of islet transplantation. The approach used in the study could have major clinical applications, given that CXCR4 antagonists (i.e. Mozobil/Plexifor) currently are under investigation in a phase III trial to improve engraftment in bone marrow-transplanted patients,” Wu said.

The Journal of Immunology is published by The American Association of Immunologists and is cited more than any other immunology journal. It ranks first among all publications focused on immunology in terms of eigenfactor and ranks 18th among all publications focused on immunology in terms of impact factor. For these figures and more, visit About The Journal of Immunology.

Wu joined the pharmaceutical sciences department at NDSU in December 2008. Prior to joining NDSU, he was a faculty member at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School.

NDSU Graduate Student Presents at Economic Conference | 11/30/2010

November 30, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Yan Heng, NDSU graduate student of agribusiness and applied economics, recently presented a paper at the Missouri Valley Economic Association annual meeting in St. Louis. Heng’s paper, "Accounting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Trucking Production,” was co-written with Siew Hoon Lim, assistant professor of economics. Heng also attended sessions on applied macroeconomics, global economics, health economics and the economics of water—topics she hopes to eventually apply to her own work. Heng is pursuing a master’s degree.

Undergraduate CNSE and CPM Researchers Receive Awards | 11/29/2010

November 29, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Mohammed Nasrullah, postdoctoral researcher, Pooja Thapliyal and Erica Pfarr, undergraduate students at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), presented posters at the Sixth Annual Northwest Regional Undergraduate Affiliate Network Meeting and Undergraduate Research in the Molecular Sciences held Oct. 29–30 at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. Undergraduate student Adlina Paramarta held an oral presentation at the event.

Pooja Thapliyal, a senior in biotechnology at NDSU, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation travel award for the poster presentation titled "Oxidative cleavage of erucic acid for the synthesis of brassylic acid." Poster co-authors include Mohammed Nasrullah, Erica Pfarr, Nicholas Dusek, Kristofer Schiele and James Bahr.

Erica Pfarr, a junior in biochemistry and molecular biology, presented a poster titled "Estimation of brassylic acid by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry." Co-authors include Mohammed J. Nasrullah, Pooja Thapliyal, Nicholas Dusek, Kristofer Schiele, Christy Gallagher-Lein and James Bahr. Dusek is a junior studying pharmacy. CNSE co-authors include: Schiele, a research engineer; Bahr, senior research engineer; and Gallagher-Lein, a research specialist.

The research presented at the meeting explores the oxidative cleavage of unsaturated fatty acids derived from oilseeds producing long chain (9, 11, and 13 carbon atoms) dibasic and monobasic acids. These are known commercial feedstocks for the preparation of nylons, polyesters, waxes, surfactants and perfumes. The Combinatorial Materials Research Laboratory at CNSE uses high-throughput methods to speed up the preparation and exploration of fatty acids. Using automated robotic methods, researchers can screen and test a large number of parameters simultaneously. The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Adlina Paramarta, a junior in chemistry working in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric materials, received Honorable Mention for her oral presentation titled "Synthesis and photopolymerization of highly functional acrylated biobased resins." The work was co-authored with Xiao Pan, a graduate student in coatings and polymeric materials and Dean Webster, professor of coatings and polymeric materials.

The meeting was sponsored by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Red River Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, with support from NDSU, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia College and Aldevron. Attended by more than 50 undergraduates and faculty in Minnesota and North Dakota, the two-day meeting included oral and poster presentations by undergraduate students, keynote lectures and workshops.

Annual McNair Scholars Research Forum Scheduled | 11/23/2010

November 23, 2010, Fargo, N.D.,—Kay Modin, director of the McNair Scholars Program, and Anna Sheppard, project coordinator of the McNair Scholars Program, invite the campus community to the annual McNair Scholars Research Forum scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Klefstad Room at the NDSU Alumni Center. The event is open to the public

Friday, Dec. 10
1–1:30 p.m.—Camille Wienhold, "Effects of Maternal Supplementation on the RNA, DNA and Protein Content of Fetal Sheep Livers"
1:30–2 p.m.—Amber McGuire, "Analysis of Communication Journals"

Each scholar is supported by a faculty and library mentor. The following NDSU faculty serve as mentors for the McNair scholars presenting at the Winter Research Forum: Kimberly Vonnahme, assistant professor of animal and range sciences; Lawrence Reynolds, distinguished professor of animal and range sciences; and Amber Raile, assistant professor of communication. Kathie Richardson and Fran Fischer serve as library mentors.

McNair Scholars are selected from NDSU undergraduates who meet the program criteria and show an interest in research. To be eligible for the program, McNair Scholars need to be income eligible, first generation college students or from groups traditionally underrepresented at the graduate level for doctoral study. The scholars are actively encouraged to pursue careers in college teaching and research upon completion of the doctorate.

The McNair Scholars Program is named for Ronald E. McNair, one of the members of the Challenger space shuttle crew. The Office of TRIO Programs in the Division of Student Affairs has administered the program since 1989, when the university was selected as one of the 14 original institutions to implement the program.

Oduor to Present December Science Cafe | 11/19/2010

November 19, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Dr. Peter Oduor, Geosciences, will present the next Science Cafe on December 14th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Stoker's Basement located in the Hotel Donaldson, 101 N Broadway. The session is titled "Emerald Ash Borer: What Can We Do?"

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a very small shiny metallic green insect often incorrectly confused as a "fly" rather than a beetle. This destructive beetle will be a significant threat to the 78 million Ash trees growing in North Dakota. The EAB beetle is not native to US and hence has no known natural enemies in the US. EAB is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees and an ever increasing cost in treating infested trees, for example, on average it costs approximately (conservative underestimate) $700 to remove an infested tree. Most significant spread of EAB is human-induced when infested firewood is transported. No extensive studies have been done on environmental impact of treatment options especially in regions prone to flooding. This talk aims to offer an insight on spatial tools available for monitoring an EAB threat. More info at

Faculty and Student Present at Geological Society Meeting | 11/18/2010

November 18, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Two geosciences faculty members, Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat and Ken Lepper, and undergraduate student, Ashley Breiland, presented research at the Annual Meeting of Geological Society of America held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Denver.

Lepper, associate professor of geosciences, co-chaired a technical session on the applications of optical dating in process geomorphological studies and presented a paper titled, "Water, wind, and gravity: Navigating the complexities of dating alluvial fan deposits with OSL techniques." Saini-Eidukat, associate professor and chair of geosciences, presented work conducted in conjunction with graduate student Jason Triplett to characterize erionite, a potentially hazardous mineral found in North Dakota. Their poster was titled, "Microprobe analysis of erionite, Killdeer Mountains, North Dakota."

Breiland presented, "New insights into the age and geological context of the Walhalla North Dakota mammoth," a project mentored by Lepper and supported by a Robert Noyce summer STEM internship. "This project has allowed Ashley to participate in the full process of scientific enquiry from literature and archival research through fieldwork and lab work on to interpretation and ultimately presenting the results to scientific peers," Lepper said.

Technology and Higher Education Among Factors Noted in Milken Best-Performing Cities Report—Names Fargo No. 1 | 11/17/2010

November 17, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Fargo is rated first and Bismarck second in the Milken Institute Best Performing Cities report for 2010 in the category of small cities. The report notes "The big winners in the 2010 small cities index have at least one (or a combination) of these three assets: energy-related natural resources, a major university, and a military base."

The report is titled, "Best Performing Cities 2010: Where America's Jobs Are Created and Sustained".

The report's authors note Fargo's agricultural base, along with a growing technology cluster. The report includes mention of Fargo–Moorhead's higher education institutions, including North Dakota State University and notes the region's job creation. According to the report, "From 2004 to 2009...the professional, scientific, and technical services sector added more than 1,000 positions." The report notes, "The region has four higher education institutions to support the technology cluster, particularly the bioscience sector."

"Research universities such as NDSU provide science and technology expertise that are key to public-private partnerships that enhance economic opportunities. Most recently for example, Triton Systems located to the NDSU Research & Technology Park based on factors that included NDSU's coatings and electronics expertise," said Philip Boudjouk, NDSU vice president for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer

The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank whose mission is to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations in the United States and around the world by helping business and public policy leaders identify and implement innovative ideas for creating broad-based prosperity.

The Milken Report comes on the heels of the recently released Beacon Hill Institute Report that placed North Dakota first overall in its annual state competitiveness rating. Based on 43 indicators, that report also ranked North Dakota third in Academic R&D per $1,000 gross state product and third in science and engineering graduate students per 100,000 inhabitants.

NDSU Researchers Present at Microelectronics Symposium | 11/16/2010

November 16, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Syed Ahmad, manager of engineering services, Fred Haring, fabrication technician, and Bernd Scholz, research engineer, at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) presented nine papers at the 2010 International Microelectronics and Packaging Society, (IMAPS) 43rd International Symposium on Microelectronics, Nov. 2 to 4, in Raleigh, N.C.

NDSU presentations at the conference included: Characterization of Substrate Materials for Use in Environment Classification; Tape-Peel Testing as a Simple Method to Evaluate the Adhesion of Coated Layers on Metal Core PCB Package Reliability Testing; Spin Coating of Dielectrics on Thin Silicon Wafers to Enhance Strength Characteristics/Wafer Level/CSP Packaging Requirements; Micromachining of Sapphire Wafers using 532 nm Laser; Emerging Technologies High Via Density on Thin Metal Core PCB Using Electro Coated Dielectric High Performance Interconnects and Boards; A Novel Metal Core Substrate with Simplified Manufacturing Process and High Adhesion Conformal Dielectric and Circuitry Metal for High Density Chip-Scale Packaging Applications High Performance Interconnects and Boards; Correlation of Dispense Characteristics to Material Properties Printed and 3D Structural Electronics; Fine Feature Solder Paste Printing for Solder Sphere and Solder Trace Manufacturing Flip-Chip and Wafer Bumping: Processes and Reliability; Fabrication of Tall Structures for Microelectronic Applications Using Selective Electrodeposition Process Printed and 3D Structural Electronics.

Authors of these papers include: Syed Ahmad, Arun Shankaran, Fred Haring, Bernd Scholz, Aaron Reinholz, Ismir Pekmic, Nathan Schneck, Kaycie Gerstner, Nicole Dallman, Chris Hoffarth, Justin Vignes,  John Jacobson, Zane Johnson, Kevin Mattson, Greg Strommen, Kristi Jean, Wei Yang Lim and Ferdous Sarwar.

The IMAPS conference promotes international cooperation, understanding and promotion of efforts and disciplines in microelectronics packaging and design, 3D packaging, thermal management, lead free issues, MEMS packaging, reliability testing, bio-med and advanced electronics materials and technologies.

Faculty Members Publish, Present and Receive Awards | 11/12/2010

November 12, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The following College of Human Development and Education faculty members recently received awards, gave presentations or had research published:

Gary Liguori, assistant professor of exercise science; John Schuna Jr., wellness doctoral student; and Arupendra Mozumdar, adjunct faculty, had a manuscript, "Semester long changes in sleep duration for college students," accepted for publication in the College Student Journal.

Liguori also was interviewed by Reuters Health regarding his recently published article on metabolic syndrome in diabetes care that was released to the international press on Oct. 13.

WooMi Phillips, assistant professor of hospitality management, and Shawn Jang, an associate professor at Purdue University, had an article, "Exploring Seniors' Casino Gaming Intention," accepted for publication in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

Justin Wageman, associate professor in the School of Education, was awarded a $248,457 grant from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to provide a series of professional development workshops for public and nonpublic educators in North Dakota. Known as the North Dakota Curriculum Initiative, the project began in 2000 and has provided quality professional development to the state for 11 years. Wageman also received a $185,633 grant for a project titled, The North Dakota State Assessment and Accountability System Research Project.

Bryan Christensen, associate professor of exercise science, was voted president-elect of the Northland Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (NACSM) at the fall meeting in Bemidji, Minn. It is one of 12 regional chapters of the organization, which is a diverse group of professionals and students dedicated to the advancement of sports medicine and exercise science.

Sean Brotherson, associate professor of human development and family science, and Christina Rittenbach, graduate student in the department of human development and family science, published the article, "Parents Forever: An Assessment of the Perceived Value of a Brief Divorce Education Program," in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. The article examined the perceived value and beneficial effects of the Parents Forever divorce education program for adults and stakeholders who participate, as well as implications for education and support services provided to separated or divorcing adults in North Dakota. Brotherson is the state Extension family science specialist and Rittenbach works as an Extension educator for NDSU in Stutsman County.

Chris Ray, assistant professor in the School of Education, co-wrote the paper titled, "Using Inter-Rater Reliability to Understand the Assessment of General Education Outcomes," that was presented at the IUPUI Assessment Institute. The paper focuses on the fact that even when using a well-developed rubric, raters often score the same product differently. Relying on more than 10 years of experience in general education assessment, the researchers demonstrate methods for inter-rater reliability (basic to advanced) using real assessment data and explain the value of inter-rater reliability in interpreting and using results.

Ray also was accepted for a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Cooperative System Fellows Program. The program was initiated in October 1990. Authorized under the Hawkins-Stafford Education Amendments of 1998, the program is designed to improve the quality, timeliness and comparability of education data. The Cooperative System Fellows Program consists of a yearly one-week teaching and technical assistance program delivered on-site at NCES for approximately 25 local/state/higher education/library participants.

Val Anderson, doctoral student in education, had her paper, "Defining the EdD and PhD in Education," accepted for presentation at the 2011 American Educational Research Association annual meeting. The organization received more than 11,000 submissions this year.

Beth Blodgett Salafia, assistant professor of human development and family science, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Notre Dame, recently had two journal articles published: "Preventing the Development of Body Issues in Adolescent Girls Through Intervention With Their Mothers" in Body Image, and "Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis of Change in Maternal Knowledge Over the Transition to Adolescence" in the Journal of Early Adolescence.

Jaeha Lee, assistant professor of apparel and textiles, was awarded the Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business Award Best Research Paper for her paper, "Consumer Misbehavior on Black Friday: Individual and Situational Antecedents." Lee received the award at the International Textiles and Apparel Association meeting in October.

Holly Bastow-Shoop, professor and department head of apparel, design and hospitality management, was recognized as a Fellow at the International Textiles and Apparel Association meeting in Montreal, Canada. This is the highest honor of the Association.

Communication Faculty/Students Publish | 11/10/2010

November 10, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Amber Raile, assistant professor of communication; Anna Carmon, recent doctoral graduate; Amy Miller, doctoral student; and Michelle Roers, master's degree graduate, have published an article in the Journal of Family Business Strategy.

Their article, "Fusing family and firm: Employee perceptions of perceived homophily, organizational justice, organization identification, and organizational commitment in family businesses," grew out of the communication department's Summer Scholars Program.

The article examines social identity theory as it relates to family businesses and explores the organizational identification of non-family member employees. Based on previous research, it seems likely that, for family business employees, organizational identification mediates the relationship between organizational justice, homophily and commitment. The study proposes a model of identification for family business employees based on these considerations.

Faculty/Staff Present at Conferences | 11/10/2010

November 10, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Ineke Justitz, associate professor of history, philosophy and religious studies, presented "The Child That Died: Medicine, Religion, and Civic Authority in Sixteenth-Century Naumburg," at the international conference of the Sixteenth Century Society held in October in Montreal, Canada. The presentation discussed the 1537 case of an infant's death due to a congenital malformation, and explored a 16th century understanding of the child's condition and the relationship between the medical, religious and civil authorities who debated the case in the days before the child died.

Karen P. Peirce, graduate writing coordinator in the Graduate School, presented "Discovering Ethos: Researching the Archival Record of a Mentor" at the Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference in Las Cruces, N.M. The conference was held in honor of Richard E. Young, a noted scholar in rhetoric whom Peirce studied with at Carnegie Mellon University.

Rajani Ganesh-Pillai, assistant professor of marketing, presented "The Consequence of Screening Strategies on Decision Accuracy: The Roles of Perceived Uncertainty and Consideration Set Size" at the Association for Consumer Research Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 7–8.

Science Café Scheduled | 11/1/2010

November 1, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Angie Hodge, assistant professor of mathematics, and Christina Weber, assistant professor of sociology, will give the next Science Café presentation, "Where Did All the Girls Go? Gender Equity in University Mathematics," on Nov. 9 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Stokers Basement at the Hotel Donaldson, 101 N. Broadway.

Although girls are both present and succeeding in high school mathematics courses, their presence does not continue into university mathematics classrooms. Even more problematic is that the number of women in university mathematics classes dramatically decreases during their academic careers. Why do some women fall away when others are able to persevere? In this presentation, Hodge and Weber will discuss women's success in mathematics and the implications of their presence and absence in the classroom. They will discuss their research findings on the contributing factors of women's success and will invite discussion on the importance of parents, peers and community involvement in women's success in mathematics.

For more information, visit

Applications Requested for Assistantship Program | 10/29/2010

October 29, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A call for Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA) applications is available through North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR). The GSRA program is designed to increase opportunities for graduates of the North Dakota University System baccalaureate universities and tribal colleges to obtain master's or doctoral degrees in science, engineering and mathematics at North Dakota's two research universities, NDSU and University of North Dakota. American Indian and Alaskan Native applicants must have graduated from one of the North Dakota tribal colleges or have been a participant in ND EPSCoR's Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research and Education (NATURE) program.

Faculty and staff are invited to recruit students. Review of applications begins Feb. 10, 2011, with a final deadline of noon, March 10, 2011. Program information and application requirements can be found at

North Dakota EPSCoR is a federally and state funded program designed to improve the ability of university researchers to compete more effectively for federal, regional and private research grants in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Faculty Receive Funding for NASA-Related Research | 10/29/2010

October 29, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Five NDSU faculty received ND NASA EPSCoR research focus area awards totaling $150,000. The recipients are Fardad Azarmi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics; Benjamin Braaten, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; Muhammet Kose, professor of chemistry; Jack Norland, assistant professor of natural resources, school of natural resource science; and Xinnan Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

ND NASA EPSCoR's goal is to provide seed funding to help faculty develop competitive NASA-related research programs and multiple NASA-relevant research clusters in North Dakota. The program fosters collaboration between NDSU and University of North Dakota faculty with research groups and scientists at one or more NASA Centers.

The program aims to increase the competitiveness of North Dakota for merit-based grants and contracts in support of science and technology research from federal funding agencies.

For more information on the program, visit

Presentations and Awards | 10/27/2010

October 27, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Bruce Maylath, professor of English, delivered a plenary address Oct. 1 at the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) annual meeting at Boise State University in Idaho. A past president of CPTSC, Maylath joined several other past presidents in their joint address, titled "Programmatic Trends in Times of Change."

Erika Beseler Thompson, assistant director of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention in the Office of Orientation and Student Success, was selected through a peer review process to present at the Department of Education's National Meeting on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention. Beseler Thompson's presentation, "We told your parents you got busted! What will they do now?" reported on findings of her master's thesis, which examined parent responses to the current practice of parental notification of alcohol or drug-related violations involving university students under the age of 21. The meeting was held in National Harbor, Md., from Oct. 18 to 20.

Preeti Sule, a student in the veterinary and microbiological sciences department, placed third in the student oral presentation competition at the North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Mankato, Minn. Sule presented her research on biofilms, which constitute sessile communities of bacteria that cause problems in environmental, clinical and agricultural settings. She presented an assay that determines biomass in biofilms that were grown in the presence of very defined nutrients.

The research is part of a larger project conducted by Sule's adviser, Birgit Pruess, assistant professor of veterinary and microbiological sciences, which aims to determine the chemical properties of specific nutrients and their effect on biofilm amounts.

Report Ranks North Dakota First in State Competitiveness Third in Academic R&D | 10/26/2010

October 26, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—North Dakota ranks third in academic research and development per $1,000 of gross state product and first in state competitiveness, according to a report recently issued by the Beacon Hill Institute at Boston’s Suffolk University.

The 2010 edition of the annual state competitiveness rating places North Dakota first overall, significantly improved from number 21 in 2001. The BHI competitiveness index is based on a set of 43 indicators divided into eight subindexes—government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness, and environmental policy.

The state came in at 13th in the report’s technology 2010 subindex, up from 20th in 2007. Academic R&D remained steady at third per $1,000 gross state product. North Dakota ranked third in science and engineering graduate students per 100,000 inhabitants and fourth (8th in 2007) in science and engineering degrees awarded per 100,000 inhabitants. In the technology subindex, the report also noted that North Dakota ranked 42nd in scientists and engineers as a percentage of the labor force and 33rd in the percentage of total wage and salary jobs in high technology industries, compared to 47th in the 2007 report.

"This report offers a snapshot of strides that have been made in the state and the role that research universities can play in enhancing a state’s economy,” said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer at NDSU.

The full report is found at

In the subindex of business incubation, North Dakota ranked 16th in 2010, compared to 23rd in 2007.

Beacon Hill Institute, which issued the report, is an independent, nonpartisan economic research organization located in the Department of Economics at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass. The Institute has been a leader in the development of econometric models for the analysis of state tax policy changes, interstate economic competitiveness and community economic impact studies.


The "Rodney Dangerfield” of Halloween Icons | 10/25/2010

October 25, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—While many people will be pursuing the latest pop culture icons as Halloween costumes this year, one of the annual icons of Halloween might be viewed as the Rodney Dangerfield of Halloween symbols. The legendary comedian based his career on the line "I get no respect,” which might also apply to the misunderstood flying mammal known as bats. The animals often carry a negative connotation that doesn’t reflect the respective role bats play in biological ecosystems. Dr. Erin Gillam, a biological researcher at North Dakota State University, Fargo, conducts research on the role bats play in ecosystems around the globe, as well as on their ability to communicate.

Her research is designed to help understand how behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary factors influence the structure of animal communication signals. She has focused on investigating natural flexibility in bat echolocation and examining how bats adjust their calls in response to characteristics of their signaling environment. Most recently, information about her research was published in the Journal of Mammology and in in the article "How Bats Get Around the Crowded Skies—Hey, I’m flyin here!”

Gillam has conducted field research on bats in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands of North Dakota, in Texas and in Costa Rica. As part of her research, Gillam records bat calls through portable sensors, as well as capturing bats using mist nets. NDSU graduate students Paul Barnhart from Bismarck, N.D., Lucas Bicknell from Fargo, N.D., Karina Montero from Costa Rica and Derek Stonefish, Cannonball, N.D., are working with Gillam on research projects. One aspect of the research, which is funded by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, includes a statewide survey of the bat population in North Dakota to determine where they’re foraging and roosting. Of concern is "white-nose syndrome,” a fungal disease that kills hibernating bats. The disease is spreading in various areas in the U.S. The research team is also investigating the effect of wind energy on bats in North Dakota and the communication mechanisms of bats in Costa Rica.

"They’re such amazing creatures,” says Gillam. Bats use a natural type of sonar called echolocation to emit high frequency sounds that bounce off objects, which helps them determine the size, shape and direction of their prey, mainly insects, and other objects. "It’s better than anything humans have come up with such as sonar,” says Gillam. "It’s an incredibly sophisticated sense that lets them build a picture of their surrounding environment.” They also use echolocation to navigate and find places to roost. Bats emit a loud sound, then measure the time it takes for the sound to bounce back, helping them determine how far away things are. Their echolocation can detect something as fine as a human hair in total darkness. Bats eat insects, including mosquitoes. In areas of the U.S., bats help agriculture by feeding on insects such as cutworms and corn-borer moths. They also pollinate more than 300 species of fruit.

Previous research by Gillam has shown that bats can quickly shift the frequency of their acoustic pulses, many times in only about one-fifth of a second. This allows them to avoid signal interference from other bats or noises. It’s a type of built-in mechanism to avoid jamming of their communication signals.

Gillam’s research findings have been published in Proceedings of Royal Society B, New Scientist, Journal of Animal Behavior, Journal of Mammology, the New York Times, and the PBS Kids program, Dragonfly TV.

Gillam notes that bats clearly get a bad reputation based on myths about them. She doesn’t mind that her promotion of bat ecology sometimes results in the name Bat Girl. Even though she doesn’t keep her car in a bat cave, she has been known to drive a gray pickup truck with "I love bats” on the license plate.

Bats: Myth vs Fact

Myth: Bats are blind.
Fact: They actually see better than humans. Their echolocation is a superior sense compared to sight, particularly at night.

Myth: Bats get caught in your hair.
Fact: As you walk outside, you emit heat that attracts insects, which then attracts the bats that are looking for their next insect meal.

Myth:  Bats are flying mice.
Fact: Bats are mammals, not birds and not mice with wings. Their bodies are highly adapted and evolved for the specific life they lead.

Myth: Bats are a nuisance.
Fact: Bats are important to ecosystems. Bats eat insects, including mosquitoes. A small brown bat can collect and eat
anywhere from 600 to 1200 mosquito-sized insects in one hour. In areas of the U.S., bats help agriculture by feeding on insects such as cutworms, potato beetles, grasshoppers and corn-borer moths. They also pollinate more than 300 species of fruit. Bats are the only animal that naturally pollinates the agave plant which is used to create nectar and tequila.

More information:

How Bats Get Around the Crowded Skies—Hey, I'm Flyin Here!

Echolocation Behavior of Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats During Dense Emergence Flights
Journal of Mammalogy, 91 (4), 967–975 DOI: 10.1644/09-MAMM-A-302.1

Rapid Jamming Devices in Biosonar. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0047 Proc. R. Soc. B 7 March 2007 vol. 274 no. 1610 651–660

Variability in the Echolocation of Tadarida brasiliensis: Effects of Geography and Local Acoustic Environment
Journal of Animal Behaviour / Volume 74, Issue 2, August 2007, Pages 277–286 doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.12.006

Bats Aloft: Variability in Echolocation Call Structure at High Altitudes
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology/ Volume 64, Number 1, 69–79, DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0819-1

North Dakota State University, Dr. Erin Gillam

PBS Kids, Dragonfly TV

Bats Speak Up to Avoid a Jam
New Scientist

Chang Article Recognized | 10/25/2010

October 25, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—An article co-written by Sam K. C. Chang, professor of cereal and food sciences, and Baojun Xu, postdoctoral associate, was recognized at the Institute of Food Technologists annual convention as one of the top five most cited peer-reviewed journal articles published in the Journal of Food Science. Their article, "A comparative study on phenolic profiles and antioxidant activities of legumes as affected by extraction solvents," contained research findings about legume phytochemicals.

The Institute of Food Technologists is the official U.S. food science society serving the food industry with about 23,000 members.

Chang also was invited by the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, U.S. Soybean Export Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Trade Office and U.S. Soyatech Inc. to present topics related to the quality of food-grade soybeans to wide-ranging audiences in several cities in China, Taiwan and South Africa in the summer of 2010. He also was invited to give seminars at the Bush Brothers dry bean canning company in Tennessee to discuss bean protein functional properties. Chang was invited in July by China's Natural Science Foundation to serve as an international expert in the review of key research proposals in Beijing, and in shaping the directions for China's food science research for the next five years.

Wang Awarded National Science Foundation Grant | 10/22/2010

October 22, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Yechun Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for her project titled "BRIGE: Computational Studies of Droplet Motion in Digital Microfluidics." The award for this two-year project is $174,985.

Digital microfluidics, in which individual droplets are driven to move using chemical, thermal, acoustical or electrical approaches, has significant applications in biochemical and biomedical research activities due to its high-speed nature and simple structure. In this project, a fully three-dimensional Spectral Boundary Integral Algorithm for interfacial dynamics in a steady electric field will be developed. Fundamental investigations of the droplet motion in digital microfluidics will be carried out using this computational approach.

If successful, the proposed computational work could provide fundamental understanding of droplet dynamics, predict the operation of the device and optimize device design which may lead to a new generation of reliable, affordable and operationally convenient microfluidic devices. The proposed numerical algorithm also could be applied to drug delivery, fuel cells, water filtration technologies and a variety of other fields.

Federal Official Visits NDSU Research and Technology Park | 10/22/2010

October 22, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez visited the NDSU Research and Technology Park Oct. 11 for a tour and roundtable discussion with university researchers and local business leaders. Fernandez was in Fargo–Moorhead to participate in the Red River Valley Research Corridor: Milestones and Horizons II Summit, sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan. He took the opportunity to view NDSU's nationally known Research and Technology Park.

Fernandez, who is the administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), spent nearly two hours at the park. He toured the Technology Incubator and participated in a roundtable discussion with NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani; Phil Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer; park administrators; and representatives of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC) and Lake Agassiz Regional Council.

"Secretary Fernandez offered a refreshingly candid perspective on economic development opportunities for the nation and our region," said President Bresciani. "It was obvious to me that NDSU is in sync with emerging priorities, and our conversation further confirms my vision for the future potentials of NDSU."

Tony Grindberg, executive director of the Research and Technology Park, said, "The EDA's investment here has been significant over the past eight years. EDA provided $1.75 million for our incubator project and a total of $2.4 million during that time. The park is a shining example of economic development through entrepreneurship, innovation and partnerships—the kind of growth and advancement the GFMEDC wants for our region's economy." Grindberg said NDSU alumnus Robert Olson, who is the EDA regional director based in Denver, encouraged Fernandez to tour the park's facilities to see the results of EDA's investment firsthand.

Among his duties, Fernandez leads the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness for success in the global marketplace. The former mayor of Bloomington, Ind., he was sworn into office on Sept. 14, 2009. Fernandez earned his bachelor's degree, Master of Public Affairs degree and law degree from Indiana University.

Engineering Professors Receive Grant | 10/22/2010

October 22, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Sumathy Krishnan, associate professor in mechanical engineering, and Samee Khan, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, and two professors at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Pakistan have been awarded a two-year grant of more than $290,000 for their project, "A Hybrid Solar Water Heating System Using CO2 as Working Fluid." The main goal is to develop an ecologically safe hybrid system for water heating and space heating applications. The project is sponsored by the Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program, jointly administered by the National Academies and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

NDSU Research Team Studies Antarctica's Climate Past | 10/13/2010

October 13, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Some middle school students will get a unique perspective on research conducted more than 9,000 miles away by a team that includes a veteran of Antarctic expeditions. A five-member team from North Dakota State University’s Department of Geosciences heads to Antarctica this October to conduct research on Antarctica’s climate history. The team, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation, includes Allan Ashworth, distinguished professor of geosciences; Adam Lewis, assistant professor of geosciences; geology undergraduate students Michael Ginsbach and Chad Crotty, and Alex Smith, graduate student in environmental and conservation sciences.

The team will divide their efforts between mapping glacial deposits and collecting fossils of tundra plants and animals from which they will derive estimates of summer temperatures. Smith will focus his graduate research on using deposits of volcanic ash to precisely date the ancient glacial deposits. Initial work suggests the fossils are more than 19 million years old, suggesting they date from a time before the continent was buried beneath the massive ice sheet of today.

The team flies to New Zealand to be supplied with cold-weather gear before heading to McMurdo Station, the U.S. National Science Foundation's base of Antarctic operations. From McMurdo, the NDSU team will establish a helicopter-supported tent camp in the Dry Valleys region and later will move by ski-equipped aircraft to Oliver Bluffs, some 300 miles from the South Pole. Work at Oliver Bluffs presents unique challenges. Long supply routes complicate logistics and the terrain includes glacier ice, loose rocky soils and near-vertical cliff faces. The team will spend seven weeks in the field before returning to Fargo in late December.

To encourage K-12 students’ interest in science, the NDSU team will make weekly contact with several elementary and middle school classrooms in the Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn., area using a satellite phone system. Ginsbach, who is pursuing a second major in education, is coordinating communications through Ben Franklin Middle School, Fargo, N.D. The group plans to relay weekly research goals to participating classrooms, with follow-up conversations to discuss successes and setbacks.

The areas of Antarctica that the NDSU field team will conduct research are areas where Ashworth started his Antarctic research 15 years ago. As Ashworth expects this to be his last research expedition to Antarctica, he says his many expeditions to the frozen continent and the rewards of the research have been a "totally uplifting experience not to have been missed.”

Previously, an international team of scientists including NDSU’s Ashworth and Lewis, and David Marchant, an earth scientist at Boston University, combined evidence from glacial geology, paleoecology, dating of volcanic ashes and computer modeling, to report a major climate change centered on 14 million years ago. The earlier discovery of fossilized ostracods received global interest.

Ashworth and Lewis, along with then NDSU students Andrew Podoll and Kelly Gorz, were featured in the documentary, "Ice People,” by Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion. The film has been screened at science museums and film festivals in Australia, Vancouver, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Jerusalem and Fargo.

The Ashworth Glacier within the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica has been named after Dr. Ashworth, honoring his significant contribution to science (palaenontology and stratigraphy) in Antarctica. Discoveries by Ashworth and his teams in Oliver Bluffs in the Beardmore region include the first fossil beetles and a fossil fly from Antarctica, as well as fossil mosses and seeds showing that Antarctica was not always the cold, icy place that it is today.

Ashworth currently serves as chair of the U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Quaternary Research and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Quaternary Science.

Note: The research described here is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation’s Polar Programs.

For more information:

Dr. Allan Ashworth, North Dakota State University

Dr. Adam R. Lewis, North Dakota State University

National Science Foundation
Antarctic fossils paint a picture of a much warmer continent

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Ice People

Science Magazine
"Freeze-Dried Findings Support a Tale of Two Ancient Climates”

Lemley Awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship | 10/12/2010

October 12, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Caleb Lemley, a postdoctoral research fellow in animal and range sciences, was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from The Lalor Foundation for his research titled, "Utero-placental blood flow and fetal growth after dietary melatonin supplementation in late gestating ewes."

The foundation's mission is to promote reproductive health through research and innovation. It awards fellowships to institutions for basic postdoctoral research in mammalian reproductive biology as related to the regulation of fertility. Lemley was among eight individuals to receive the award.

Animal Science Presentations Listed | 10/12/2010

October 12, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Recent presentations by faculty in animal science and NDSU's Center for Nutrition and Pregnancy include the following:

Frontiers in Reproduction Summer Course for Advanced Students, Postdocs and Junior Faculty, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass. Larry Reynolds, Dale Redmer, Pawel Borowicz and Anna Grazul-Bilska were on the faculty for the summer course in May.

Perinatal Programming of Offspring Symposium, American Society of Animal Science, in Denver, Colo. Reynolds attended and helped organize symposium in July

8th International Ruminant Reproduction Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska. Reynolds attended and helped organize symposium in September.

Aspen Perinatal Biology Symposium, "Impact of Plane of Nutrition on Perinatal Programming of Offspring," Reynolds.

School of Veterinary of the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, "Angiogenesis in the placenta and uterus: Animal models," Anna Grazul-Bilska.

2nd Aspen Perinatal Biology Symposium on Intrauterine Stress and Adverse Fetal Outcome, Aspen, Colo. Reynolds and Joel Caton organized and attended in August. Reynolds presented "Linked by Perinatal Mechanisms of Adaptation." Grazul-Bilska presented "Maternal diet effects on fetal ovaries: cell proliferation, apoptosis, vascularization and gap junctions." Borowicz presented "Recent advances in placental vascular imaging."

Institute Seminar, Rowett Research Institute, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, Scotland, "Uteroplacental vascular development and placental function: An update," Reynolds.

National Farm Business Management Meeting, Fargo, "Impact of developmental programming in livestock production," Reynolds.

University of Hawaii-Manoa animal sciences department seminar, "Nutrition, placental programming, and in vitro produced sheep embryos as models for understanding the basis of compromised pregnancies, lifelong health and productivity," Reynolds.

U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., Reynolds was a member of the Pregnancy and Neonatology Study Section and chaired the Pregnancy and Reproduction Special Emphasis Panel.

Society for the Study of Reproduction, Milwaukee, Wis., Reynolds, Mary Lynn Johnson, Dar Redmer, Grazul-Bilska, Borowicz, attended in August. Johnson, Reynolds, Redmer and Grazul-Bilska presented "Gap junctional connexin expression in utero-placental tissues during early pregnancy in sheep." Grazul-Bilska, Johnson, Borowicz, Redmer and Reynolds presented "Global methylation in placental tissues during early pregnancy in sheep."

Recent publications include:
Biology of Reproduction, "Placental growth throughout the last two thirds of pregnancy in sheep: vascular development and angiogenic factor expression," by Borowicz, Johnson, Grazul-Bilska, Redmer and Reynolds, was one of the most highly cited papers that appeared in the 2007–2008 issue.

Reproduction, "Placental development during early pregnancy in sheep: vascular growth and expression of angiogenic factors in maternal placenta," Grazul-Bilska, Borowicz, Johnson, Redmer and Reynolds.

Reproduction, "Markers of ovarian antral follicular development in sheep: Comparison of follicles destined to ovulate from the final or penultimate follicular wave of the estrous cycle," Grazul-Bilska in collaboration with researchers from the University of Saskatoon, Canada.

Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, "Changes in cell proliferation, but not in vascularisation are characteristic for human endometrium in different reproductive failure," Grazul-Bilska in collaboration with researchers from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

International Journal of Developmental Biology's special issue "Placental Development Biology," "Utero-placental vascular development and placental function: An update," Reynolds, Borowicz, Caton, Kimberly Vonnahme, Grazul-Bilska, Redmer and David Buchanan, animal science department.

Journal of Animal Science, "Developmental programming: The concept, large animal models, and the key role of utero-placental vascular development," Reynolds, Borowicz, Caton, Vonnahme, Carrie Hammer, Kasey Maddock Carlin, Grazul-Bilska and Redmer.

Geosciences Faculty and Students to Conduct Research in Antarctica | 10/8/2010

October 8, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A five-member team from the Department of Geosciences is heading to Antarctica this October. Undergraduates Michael Ginsbach and Chad Crotty, environmental and conservation sciences graduate student Alex Smith, and faculty members Adam Lewis and Allan Ashworth will conduct research on Antarctica's climate past. The team hopes to collect fossils of tundra plants and animals to derive estimates of summer temperature. Smith will focus on using deposits of volcanic ash to precisely date the ancient tundra. Initial work suggests the fossils are more than 19 million years old, meaning they date from a time before the continent was buried beneath massive ice sheets.

To get to Antarctica, the team will fly to New Zealand where they will be supplied with cold-weather gear before heading to McMurdo Station, the U.S. National Science Foundation's base of Antarctic operations. From McMurdo, the team will establish a helicopter-supported tent camp in the Dry Valleys region. About a month later they will move by ski-equipped aircraft to Oliver Bluffs, only 300 miles from the South Pole. Work at Oliver bluffs will present the group with unique challenges. Long supply routes will complicate logistics and the terrain includes glacier ice, loose rocky soils and near-vertical cliff faces. To help deal with the harsh conditions and continuous sub-zero temperatures, Scheels of Fargo is helping supply the group with specialized mountaineering boots. The team will spend seven shower-less weeks in the field before returning to Fargo just before Christmas.

To help get K–12 students interested in science, the team will make weekly contact with several elementary and middle school classrooms in the Fargo-Moorhead area using a satellite phone system. Ginsbach, who is pursuing a second major in education, is coordinating communications through Barry Olson at Ben Franklin Middle School. The plan is to have the team relay weekly research goals to participating classrooms with follow-up conversations to discuss successes and setbacks. If the format proves successful, Lewis and Olson will try to establish web-based video links for future field seasons.

Regional IRB Working Group Established | 10/6/2010

October 6, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—NDSU is among several regional institutions participating in the Great Plains IRB Working Group that represents a three-state region. Teryl Grosz, manager of the human research protection program at NDSU, serves as the university's representative. The group's goals include identifying areas of research collaboration and developing processes to efficiently review multi-institutional human research protocols.

"When researchers from several universities collaborate on a human research project, it can be a very time-consuming process when multiple Institutional Review Boards have jurisdiction of a project and each performs a separate review," Grosz said.

Federal regulations allow cooperative review arrangements, according to Grosz, and NDSU currently maintains approximately a dozen cooperative review arrangements to encourage collaborative research programs and efficiently conduct protocol review. The new group is expected to expand opportunities for collaboration and efficiency.

The Great Plains IRB Working Group is an initiative of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Great Plains Center for Clinical and Translational Research. Institutions included in the Working Group's initial meeting were NDSU, University of North Dakota, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Creighton University, Sanford Health and several other medical facilities in the three-state region.

NDSU's IRB has received nearly 10 percent more submissions for review in fiscal year 2010, compared to fiscal year 2009, indicating a high level of research activity on campus.

Next Science Café Explores Life of Einstein | 10/4/2010

October 4, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Daniel Kroll, professor of physics, will present "The Intimate Life of Albert Einstein and His Biggest Idea" as part of Science Café on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. in Stoker's Basement of the Hotel Donaldson.

The General Theory of Relativity has been called "the greatest feat of human thinking about nature, the most amazing combination of philosophical penetration, physical intuition and mathematical skill." It emerged out of a frenetic period of activity by Einstein and David Hilbert in late 1915. The physical insights provided by the theory reshaped understanding of the universe, predicting for the first time, for example, the bending of starlight by gravity, existence of black holes and eventually leading to the "big bang theory." In addition to examining several of the predictions of the theory, Kroll will describe the series of events that led to its discovery. The latter provides fascinating insight into Einstein's personality and life.

NDSU Graduate Programs Recognized Among Nation's Best in NRC Ranking | 9/30/2010

September 30, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The National Research Council (NRC) released a study today about the quality of more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities in the United States. The NRC created this assessment to provide a comprehensive analysis of doctoral programs. This is the third time that the NRC has conducted an assessment and that the first time that NDSU has been included in the study.

"The NRC rankings validate our graduate programs at North Dakota State University. Many of our programs are ranked among the best research institutions in the nation," said Dr. David Wittrock, dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Thirteen doctoral programs at NDSU were included in the assessment. Programs were ranked on overall quality and specific rankings were conducted on research activities, student support, and program diversity.  NDSU programs were ranked near institutions such as Iowa State University, Washington State University, Texas A & M University and Purdue University.

The study consists of data submitted by universities, doctoral programs, faculty, and advanced doctoral students, as well as data from the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Scientific Information, and scholarly and honorary societies. The rankings provide a benchmark for universities and illustrate the need for graduate education and high quality doctoral programs.

"U.S. graduate schools prepare the highly skilled workforce necessary to participate and remain competitive in today's knowledge-based economy. This NRC assessment provides important information about the quality of doctoral education which is so critical to our future," said Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools.

Prospective graduate students will have access to this study information. The results provide an additional source for students in selecting doctoral programs that are most appropriate for their academic and individual needs.

The North Dakota State University Graduate School in Fargo, N.D., offers master's, doctoral and certificate programs in eight colleges. The NDSU Graduate School is proud of its recent growth including enrollment of over 2,000 students, over 500 graduate faculty members and research expenditures exceeding $100 million. For more information about graduate degree programs at NDSU, visit

NDSU Electron Microscopy Center Gains Electron Microscope | 9/30/2010

September 30, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The NDSU Electron Microscopy Center has acquired a new high-resolution analytical scanning electron microscope through a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Principal investigator on the grant is Kalpana Katti, university distinguished professor of civil engineering. Scott Payne and Jayma Moore from the center are co-principal investigators. Installation of the JEOL JSM-7600F is complete and available to NDSU researchers.

The 7600F is a field-emission scanning electron microscope (SEM) that magnifies up to one million times for visualization and imaging of nanoscale-sized objects and offers 1.5 nm resolution at 1kV accelerating voltage, giving unprecedented views of surface structural detail. In contrast, older instrumentation provides ultimate resolution of 3.5 nm at 30 kV. In addition to a highly stable probe current and upper and lower secondary-electron detectors, the new SEM is equipped with a retractable in-lens backscatter detector, a low-angle backscatter detector and a scanning transmission electron (STEM) detector, providing optimal tools to study the widest variety of sample materials. The 7600F features energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry with a fine electron probe to determine what elements are present in a sample in an area as small as a few tens of nanometers; high-quality elemental maps can be obtained efficiently.

Also in use are a JEOL cross-sectional polisher (CSP) and Buehler IsoMet 1000 precision sectioning saw for advanced sample preparation. The CSP uses a beam of argon gas that produces a clean, mirror-like, polished cross section of almost any material - hard, soft or mixed - without the sample distortion produced by mechanical polishing. The IsoMet saw uses a circular diamond blade to rapidly section materials from rocks to electronic components without introducing structural damage, leaving samples as free as possible from artificial defects.

Funded by an NSF grant for more than $500,000, the versatile and powerful instrumentation, along with the high-resolution analytical transmission electron microscope system operational since March, advances NDSU's electron microscopy capabilities to state of the art. According to Katti, "This suite of SEMS and TEMs will significantly expand the research enterprise at NDSU in the field of materials and bring it to national and international prominence, as well as go a long way toward guiding and inspiring students toward high technology through outreach efforts to K–12 students in North Dakota."

Geosciences Awarded National Science Foundation Grant | 9/23/2010

September 23, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The Department of Geosciences has been awarded a $650,550 grant from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Academic Research Infrastructure Program. The award, for the proposal entitled "Renovation for Climate Change and Environmental Quality Laboratory at North Dakota State University," comes from a $200 million Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program allocated to NSF as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer, is the principal investigator on the grant. Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat, department chair, led the proposal submission, along with faculty members Adam Lewis, Peter Oduor and Allan Ashworth.

The funds will be used to renovate laboratory space on the main floor of Geosciences Hall, originally known as the Dairy Building, dating back to 1914. The refurbished space will house a shared sedimentology lab used to sort, process and characterize samples critical for the continued work of Lewis and Ashworth, who returns from Antarctica yearly with 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of rock and soil samples.

A renovated attached lab space will serve as a microscope lab that Lewis and his students will use to select microscopic crystals from volcanic ash samples for isotopic age dating. The last renovated space will be an experimental chemistry lab run by Oduor for use of sensitive equipment to determine transport rates and flow mechanisms of contaminants through porous media.

Grant-Writing Workshop Scheduled for Oct. 6 | 9/16/2010

September 16, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The Office of Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer and the ND EPSCoR Office are sponsoring a Grant-Writing Workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 6, for faculty and other researchers interested in submitting competitive research proposals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to federal funding agencies.

The workshop will focus on National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs and opportunities, although much of the information will be relevant across agencies. Joseph Danek, senior vice president of The Implementation Group, and Thomas Taylor, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, will lead the workshop. Danek has been a consultant to ND EPSCoR for many years and his advice has contributed to a high success rate. View their bios at and more information on The Implementation Group is available at

Danek and Taylor will discuss opportunities for individual principal investigator grants and multi-investigator grants. As STEM enterprise advances at NDSU, it is expected that an increasing number of multi-investigator and multidisciplinary proposals will be submitted. This is an opportunity for members of the NDSU community to be more competitive for such proposals.

The morning session will begin at 9 a.m. and will focus on NSF programs. The afternoon session will begin at noon and will focus on NIH and DOE. Both sessions will include proposal development, hints and strategies. The workshop will be held in the Memorial Union Century Theatre. Participants are encouraged to bring wireless laptops if possible.

Faculty, especially new faculty, will be given first priority but students and staff researchers also may attend. Register by Oct. 1 by e-mailing and indicate which of the two sessions you would like to attend. Registrants are welcome to attend one or both sessions. A box lunch will be provided for participants attending both sessions—indicate if you'd like a box lunch when registering.

Recent Publications and Conferences | 9/16/2010

September 16, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Bruce Maylath, professor of English, had an article published this summer in Technical Communication Quarterly with co-authors Jeff Grabill of Michigan State University and Laura Gurak of the University of Minnesota. The article, titled "Intellectual Fit and Programmatic Power: Organizational Profiles of Four Professional/Technical/Scientific Communication Programs," examines the placement and structure of professional/technical/scientific communication programs in an array of departmental and college structures across four U.S. universities, including NDSU.

Three faculty members from the NDSU School of Education were invited to take part in the Association for Teacher Educators in Europe (ATEE) 35th annual conference in Budapest, Hungary in August. Myron Eighmy, professor, and Thomas Hall, assistant professor, presented their research findings in a session titled, "Doctoral student self-efficacy and the formation of scholars." Justin Wageman, associate professor, spoke along with several international colleagues on their year long cooperative effort titled, "Observations: are they the link between university-based learning and informed practice for pre-service teachers?"

Three NDSU students and faculty attended the International Society of Logistics (SOLE) conference in Dallas in August. The conference theme "Global Logistics Sustainability" focused on the significance of sustainability in logistics. Sustainability-focused sessions taught attendees about new processes and methods that will reduce the consumption of limited global assets and minimize the environmental risk and impact of logistics activities. In sessions focused on logistics, presenters discussed economic responsibility and innovative techniques for moving products. Attendees included Yolanda Carson, transportation and logistics doctoral student; Joe Szmerekovsky, assistant professor of management; and Jody Bohn, assistant to the director of transportation and logistics educational programs.

Subhro Mitra, Denver Tolliver and Joseph Szmerekovsky recently published "Security of Container Movements in Multimodal Freight Networks," an article in the Logistics Spectrum, a publication of SOLE. The article, discusses technology used to improve container security and costs associated with implementing new security measures.

NDSU Researchers Recognized for Top-Cited Scientific Article | 9/16/2010

September 16, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A scientific article by researchers at North Dakota State University has been named one of the "Top-50 most cited articles” from 2007 to 2010, in the Journal of Aerosol Science published by Elsevier Science Ltd. The initial research covered in the article has led to an NDSU patent-pending technology that could be used in developing solar cells and printed electronics.

The article is titled "Aerosol focusing in micro-capillaries: Theory and experiment.” Its authors include Professor Iskander Akhatov, NDSU Department of Mechanical Engineering and faculty associate in NDSU’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE); Justin Hoey, CNSE research engineer and graduate student in mechanical engineering; Orven Swenson, associate professor, NDSU Department of Physics and CNSE faculty associate; and Doug Schulz, CNSE senior research scientist and adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

"When scientists conduct research, they often refer to groundbreaking work published by other researchers as they conduct experiments and publish results of research that add to the body of scientific knowledge. The distinction of ‘Top 50 most-cited article’ illustrates the interdisciplinary research among departments at NDSU and the technology breakthroughs being developed,” said Philip Boudjouk, NDSU vice president for Research, Creative Activities & Technology Transfer.

In the scientific article, NDSU researchers detail how they took mathematical models, applied them to a specific application not previously used, and verified the results through experiments. The results included research conducted by then-NDSU student Justin Hoey in his master’s degree thesis. As a student, Hoey worked at CNSE and later became a full-time research engineer at CNSE.

The initial research has since led to an NDSU patent-pending technology that could be used in solar cells, printed electronics, aerosol concentration, direct materials deposition, in-flight material processing, and any other application requiring an aerosol micro-beam. The NDSU-developed technology includes a unique nozzle designed for use on aerosol jet printing machines and similar systems which are used to print small lines and features on a substrate or base material, comparable to the way an ink-jet printer deposits lines on a page. The nozzle uses a micro-capillary system capable of generating a tightly focused collimated aerosol beam (CAB) in which aerosol particles stay very close to the capillary center line as they leave the nozzle. This allows particles to be deposited on a substrate as a thin line or feature. This novel CAB nozzle allows for aerosol beams with consistent diameters as thin as 1 micron, and printed lines down to 5 microns in width. A micron is a millionth of a meter. In comparison, the diameter of human hair varies from about 40 microns to 120 microns.

The material covered in the Journal of Aerosol Science article is based on research sponsored by the Defense Microelectronics Activity under agreement numbers H94003-06-2-0601. Most-Cited Articles listed are based on data from, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources.

About the NDSU researchers
Iskander Akhatov received his bachelor’s of science and master’s degrees and his Ph.D. in physics and applied mathematics from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. Prior to joining NDSU in 2003, he served as a visiting researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.; as a director of the Institute of Mechanics, Ufa Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ufa, Russia; as a visiting professor at Boston University, Boston, Mass.; and as a visiting researcher at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany. He has authored more than 100 technical articles and reports and has presented his research work at more than 40 national, international conferences and lectures.
Justin Hoey joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering in 2005 as a graduate research assistant in mechanical engineering. He became a research engineer apprentice in 2007 and was promoted to research engineer in 2008.
He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from NDSU. He has authored more than six technical articles and holds one patent.
Orven Swenson serves as associate professor in the NDSU Department of Physics. He holds a Ph.D. in laser optics from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in physics from North Dakota State University, Fargo.
Douglas Schulz received a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry from NDSU, Fargo, and Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill. He previously served in positions with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and at CeraMem Corporation, Waltham, Mass. He joined the NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering in 2003 as senior research scientist and has provided lab mentoring for undergraduate research assistants and served as thesis advisor for nine graduate students. He is a co-inventor of eight U.S. patents and has authored 87 scientific publications. His research interests are based on low-temperature atmospheric routes to electronic materials. At CNSE, he manages programs related to flexible microelectronics and solar cells with an emphasis on the application of liquid cyclohexasilane.

About the Journal of Aerosol Science and Elsevier:
Founded in 1970, the Journal of Aerosol Science considers itself the prime vehicle for the publication of original work as well as reviews related to basic and applied aerosol research. Its content is directed at scientists working in areas such as physics, chemistry, engineering, applied mathematics, aerobiology, medicine, industrial and environmental hygiene, toxicology, or materials processing. The Journal is published by Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider.

More information:
Akhatov, IS; Hoey, JM; Swenson, OF; Schulz, DL. "Aerosol focusing in micro-capillaries: Theory and experiment," JOURNAL OF AEROSOL SCIENCE, v.39, 2008, p. 691–709.

R&D Showcase Set for Sept. 28–29 | 9/15/2010

September 15, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The R&D Showcase, scheduled for the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on Sept. 28–29, will put the spotlight on North Dakota's most exciting research initiatives, scientific advances and commercial applications by university faculty, students and businesses in the region. Featured keynote speakers include:

Kathie Olsen, vice president for international affairs, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. She is the former deputy director, National Science Foundation; former associate director for science, Office of Science and Technology Policy; and former chief scientist, NASA. Olsen is a neuroscientist with a prolific 24-year federal government science career.

Phil Singerman, senior vice president, B&D Consulting. He is the former under secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce; former CEO of Maryland TEDCO and Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin Program. Singerman is a recognized national innovator in public/private partnerships to promote local economic development.

Showcase speakers also include faculty researchers from NDSU and the University of North Dakota. The R&D Showcase will highlight three of the state's foremost science and technology areas in energy, nanotechnology and life sciences, with a focus on vaccines and immunology.

Publications, Presentations and Awards to NDSU Faculty and Students | 9/7/2010

September 7, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Gary Liguori, assistant professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, was selected to represent the American College of Sports Medicine at the 15th annual Japanese Fitness Association meeting in Tokyo in October. He will give two presentations and oversee a health fitness specialist workshop. Liguori also was named senior editor of the American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Specialist textbook.

Hardy Koenig, assistant professor of theatre, had his book review published in the fall 2010 issue of Southern Theatre magazine. Koenig reviewed the book, "Get the Callback: The Art of Auditioning for Musical Theatre," by Jonathan Flom.

Kara Wolfe, associate professor of apparel, design and hospitality management, and Joyce Hwang, assistant professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, had their paper, "Implications of using the electronic response system in a large class," accepted for publication in the Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism. Wolfe also was elected to the U.S. Central Federation of the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Educators as the director of research.

Marvin D. LeNoue, doctoral candidate, and his adviser, Ronald Stammen, professor emeritus in the School of Education, had their peer-reviewed manuscript, "Blending In: Moving Beyond Categories in Digitally-Mediated Learning," accepted as Chapter XII in the book, "Blended Learning Across Disciplines: Models for Implementation." The book was edited by Andrew Kitchenham, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, and published by IGI Global, Hershey, Pa.

Julie Garden-Robinson, associate professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, gave two research presentations at the Society for Nutrition Education conference in Reno, Nev. The first presentation, "Examining the Prevalence of Self-Reported Foodborne Illness and Food Safety Risks Among International College Students in the United States," was co-written with Agnes Ngale Lyonga, postdoctoral program assistant, and Myron Eighmy, associate professor in the School of Education. The second presentation, "Folic Acid Every Day Intervention Improved Awareness, Knowledge and Self-reported Behavior," was co-written with Kim Beauchamp, doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication.

Kristen Benson and Beth Blodgett Salaria, assistant professors of human development and family science, gave a poster presentation, "Relationship Status and Contraception Use in College Women," at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy conference in Atlanta. Blodgett Salafia also co-wrote, with colleagues from the University of Notre Dame, "Maternal Knowledge and Maternal Behavior Control as Predictors of Preadolescent Behavioral Competence," a recently published paper in the Journal of Early Adolescence. Blodgett Salaria's paper, "A Four-Year Longitudinal Investigation in the Processes by Which Parents and Peers Influence the Development of Adolescent Girls' Bulimic Symptoms," was accepted for publication in the Journal of Early Adolescence, and she was invited to review Adolescence: Social and Personality Processes panel submissions to the Society for Research in Child Development conference.

Joel Hektner, associate professor of human development and family science, presented his paper, "Effects of the Early Risers Skills for Success Program on Children with Adjustment Problems and Their Well-adjusted Peer Mentors," at the Biennial International Congress of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development in Lusaka, Zambia.

Angie Hodge, assistant professor, School of Education and Department of Mathematics, and Christina Weber, assistant professor of sociology, presented their research, "Helping Students Succeed by Engaging Them in the Mathematics Classroom," at Mathfest in Pittsburgh. Hodge also co-emceed the Legacy of R.L. Moore Conference in Austin, Texas, in June. In July, she attended a Math Teacher's Circle workshop with Marian Bocea, assistant professor of mathematics, and two local middle school mathematics teachers, Kurt Skari and Josh Dunnell. The American Institute of Mathematics sponsored their attendance.

Cynthia Torges, assistant professor of human development and family science, is part of a symposium that has been accepted to present research at the Gerontological Society of America in New Orleans.

Ardith Brunt, associate professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, presented two posters at the Annual Conference of the Society for Nutrition Education. The first poster presented results of Kirsten Minnerath's graduate research titled "Effects of a Multi-level School Based Intervention in 5th and 6th Grade Students." Co-authors were Donna Terbizan and Julie Garden-Robinson. The second poster used the NHANES database to determine the relationship between carbonated beverage intake and chronic disease markers. Co-authors were Yeong Rhee, associate professor, and graduate research assistants, Paul Fisk and Amanda Kosel-Middaugh.

Kristen Hetland, Concordia College, and Brad Strand, professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, had their article, "A Descriptive Analysis of Undergraduate PETE Program in the Central District," published in the ICHPER-SD Journal of Research in Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance.

Pam Hansen, associate professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, was named to the national governing body of the Commission for Accreditation for Athletic Training Education. Hansen is one offive Board of Certification Certified Athletic Trainers on the commission.

Katherine Bertolini, doctoral candidate in the School of Education, and Kenneth Bertolini, assistant professor of construction management at Minnesota State University Moorhead, will have their conference proceedings paper and their conference presentation, "Humanizing the Digital Natives," published at the National Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering in Panama City Beach, Fla., in October.

Cook Receives NSF Grant for Organic Chemistry Research | 9/7/2010

September 7, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Dr. Gregory Cook, chair and professor of chemistry at NDSU, has received a $420,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. This three-year grant will support research in organic chemistry.

Cook will develop new synthetic methods for the preparation of small molecule building blocks for new pharmaceuticals and new materials. Specifically, he is investigating new catalysts to control chemical reactions that are environmentally friendly. The development of green methods for the synthesis of organic molecules will have long lasting impacts on the growth of safe and clean chemical technologies, said Cook.

Lu Receives NIH Grant for Cancer Research | 9/7/2010

September 7, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Dr. Guodong Liu, assistant professor of analytical chemistry at NDSU, has been awarded $340,000 from the National Institutes of Health.

This two-year project aims to develop a hand-held monitor for detecting cancer biomarkers. The technology utilizes nanoparticles for electrochemical rapid detection of biological molecules that are produced in blood when a patient has cancer. According to Lu, rapid and facile detection of cancer at an early stage is crucial for long term prognosis of patients.

NSF-Funded X-Ray Crystallographic Facility Becomes Operational at NDSU | 9/7/2010

September 7, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, North Dakota State University, has installed a state of the art single crystal X-Ray facility. The instrumentation was purchased through a National Science Foundation Chemical Research Instrumentation Facility (NSF-CRIF) grant of $300,000.

The grant proposal was spearheaded by Prof. Sivaguru Jayaraman, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at NDSU as the principal investigator with seven other co-PIs—Prof. Mukund Sibi, Prof. Gregory Cook, Prof. Kent Rodgers, Prof. Seth Rasmussen, Prof. Pinjing Zhao, Prof. Wenfang Sun and Dr. Angel Ugrinov.

The instrumentation will provide highly specialized equipment for faculty, graduate and undergraduate research in materials research and biochemistry. The instrumentation is located at Dunbar Hall, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at NDSU. The new equipment at NDSU also is expected to benefit other colleges and departments, affiliated centers at NDSU and other schools in the tri-college region. The equipment will also be used in undergraduate and graduate courses. The facility has an enhanced capability of scanning protein crystals. The evaluation of protein crystals will help researchers to send the best protein crystals for structure data collection and refining at a cyclotron facility.

Inventors Workshop Set | 9/3/2010

September 3, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—NDSU is co-sponsoring a workshop Oct. 13–14 to help inventors. Inventors will have an opportunity this fall to learn how to turn their ideas into commercially viable products.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service, Extension Center for Community Vitality, NDSU College of Engineering and Architecture and North Dakota Commerce Department are sponsoring the Inventors Basic Training Boot Camp at the Kelly Inn in Bismarck, N.D., Oct. 13–14.

"This event will feature experts from North Dakota who will talk about the various aspects of the invention commercialization process and answer any questions that inventors may have,” says David Lehman, NDSU Extension manufacturing engineering specialist. "Because these speakers are all local to North Dakota, this event is a great networking opportunity for inventors.”

Science and Mathematics Announces September Science Café | 9/2/2010

September 2, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Sean Sather Wagstaff, assistant professor of mathematics, will present the next Science Café topic, "Keeping the Eavesdropper Out of Your Credit Card Business: The Mathematics of Internet Security" on Thursday, Sept. 16 from 7–8:30 p.m. in Stokers Basement, Hotel Donaldson, 101 N. Broadway. It is free and open to the public and sponsored by the College of Science and Mathematics.

Wagstaff will present some of the basic ideas behind the RSA encryption algorithm, named after its inventors, Rivest, Shamir and Adleman. With millions of people completing transactions online involving submission of personal data such as credit card numbers and home addresses, what makes them so confident that data is secure? Mathematics holds the key.

The security of RSA depends on the fact that it is computationally difficult to factor large numbers. Amazingly, the fascinating mathematics behind this algorithm is readily accessible to anyone with a basic understanding of high school algebra.

NDSU Visual & Cognitive Neuroscience Center Awarded $10.7 Million from National Institutes of Health | 9/1/2010

September 1, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A major federal grant will allow North Dakota State University to enhance its cutting-edge research on how the brain processes visual information, how factors such as attention, individual differences and emotion affect visual perception and cognition, and how memory and attention work.

The NDSU Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience (CVCN) has received a five-year, $10.7 million competitive grant renewal from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

"This most recent five-year competitive grant renewal from 2010 to 2015 will sustain support for numerous research projects devoted to an enhanced understanding of the brain processes of normal and disordered perception and cognition,” said Dr. Mark E. McCourt, professor of psychology and director of the CVCN at NDSU.

The Center was established in 2004 with an $8.9 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant award. Faculty, students and staff at the CVCN are engaged in a variety of research projects, including:

  • investigating how memory and attention affect cognitive abilities
  • how infants process visual information
  • how aging affects vision and cognition
  • how humans are able to use a type of depth perception called motion parallax
  • how hearing and vision are integrated in multimodal working memory which holds small amounts of information in the brain for quick access and action, and
  • research on developing devices to aid visually impaired people

Eight NDSU faculty members direct the research projects of the Center. Additional faculty will be recruited to participate in CVCN-funded research through a competitive pilot project mechanism.

McCourt notes that the latest award sustains essential multi-user core laboratory facilities in high-density EEG, immersive virtual reality and driving simulation. The grant also supports graduate and undergraduate students, technical and administrative staff, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists involved in research projects.

In addition to McCourt, the CVCN includes an External Advisory Committee of world-class visual and cognitive neuroscientists: Dr. Randolph Blake, Vanderbilt University; Dr. Christopher Tyler, Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute; and Dr. Aina Puce, University of Indiana. An Internal Advisory Committee includes Dr. Barbara Blakeslee, NDSU; Dr. Jonathan Geiger, UND; as well as four Primary Project Directors including Dr. Mark Nawrot, Dr. Michael Robinson, Dr. Wolfgang Teder-Salejarvi, and Dr. Benjamin Balas. Also included are Dr. Barbara Blakeslee, Dr. Linda Langley, Dr. Robert Gordon, Dr. Chris Friesen, and Dr. Rebecca Woods who direct Pilot or Translational Research projects.

Professors Published in Journals, Receive Grant | 9/1/2010

September 1, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—D. K. Yoon, assistant professor of emergency management, and Jimmy Kim, assistant professor of civil engineering, had an article published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Bridge Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers. In their paper, "Identifying Critical Sources of Bridge Deterioration in Cold Regions through the Constructed Bridges in North Dakota," a novel approach is proposed to assess the performance of existing bridges in cold regions, including a combined Geographic Information System and statistical analysis method. Of particular interest is determining the critical sources affecting deterioration of constructed bridges subjected to cold region environments. The research findings are expected to enhance infrastructure planning and management in North Dakota.

Eric Raile, assistant professor of political science, and Amber Raile, assistant professor of communication, recently had published "Defining Political Will" as the lead article in the journal Politics & Policy. The authors, with co-author Lori Ann Post from Yale University, construct an operational definition of political will that facilitates analysis and assessment. The work represents a first step in a broader research agenda of identifying specific shortcomings in political will and designing appropriate strategies and tactics to secure political will for beneficial social change.

G. Padmanabhan, professor of civil engineering, has had the paper, "Regional Dimensionless Rating Curves to Estimate Design Flows and Stages," published in a recent issue of the Journal of Spatial Hydrology. Brent Johnson, a 2005 master's degree graduate in civil engineering and an advisee of Padmanabhan, is the co-author. In their study, Johnson and Padmanabhan investigated the potential for using dimensionless rating curves to estimate flows and stages of different return periods for streams in the Red River Basin of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Gregory Cook, chair and professor of chemistry, has received a $420,000 grant for the National Science Foundation. The three-year grant will support research in organic chemistry. Cook will develop new synthetic methods for the preparation of small molecule building blocks for new pharmaceuticals and new materials. Specifically, he is investigating new catalysts to control chemical reactions that are environmentally friendly. The development of green methods for the synthesis of organic molecules will have lasting impacts on the growth of safe and clean chemical technologies.

Mallik Receives National Science Foundation Grant | 8/31/2010

August 31, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Sanku Mallik, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and Kausik Sarkar, University of Delaware, received a three-year, $587,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for developing liposomes that can be used for enzyme inhibition and simultaneous imaging.

Mallik will prepare liposomes that are echogenic, containing gases that would reflect ultrasound and show up in ultrasound images. Ultrasound uses a pulsing high frequency sound beyond the upper limit of human hearing to peer into the body and provide images. Subsequently, the liposomes will simultaneously encapsulate enzyme inhibitors and air.

According to Mallik, this will enable accurate ultrasound diagnosis of the disease while, at the same time, the reaction with the enzymes would release the contained drug to only the target tissue.

NDSU Researcher’s Work on Laughter in U.S. News and World Report | 8/27/2010

August 27, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Dr. Stephenson Beck, NDSU assistant professor in communication, worked on research that showed laughter is useful in non-humorous situations—including murder trial deliberations. His work is featured in US News and World Report.

Read the article in its entirety.

NDSU Student Receives Astronaut Scholarship | 8/26/2010

August 26, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—NDSU senior Cody Gette has been selected for the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation scholarship for the 2010–11 academic year. The $10,000 award is one of 20 presented by the foundation.

"Cody is an outstanding student and a worthy recipient of this honor," said R.S. Krishnan, associate vice president for academic affairs. "He has been on the dean's list often, and previously received NDSU's Presidential Scholarship and Freshman Textbook Scholarship."

Gette is a physics and mathematics double major who was born in Devils Lake, N.D., and graduated from Starkweather, N.D., Public School. He is an undergraduate research assistant at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, where he conducts silicon solar cell research and works with high-power lasers. "I was introduced for the first time to lasers, optics, glove box experimentation, clean room research and many instruments I had neither heard of nor knew the use of at the time," Gette wrote in his scholarship application. "I have learned incredible amounts of new information, valuable skills and it has allowed me to apply some of the background knowledge and creativity I have gained while in school."

Gette plans to pursue a doctorate in physics, with a career in research or teaching. "I have always been asked to try to explain physics concepts to friends who do not understand and have since developed a small passion for trying to explain concepts in such a way so everyone can understand," he wrote.

Orven Swenson, associate professor of physics, wrote in a letter of nomination, "Based on my observations of hundreds of physics and engineering students, I am confident that Cody has the 'right stuff' to make significant research breakthroughs. His creativity, combined with his demonstrated ability, will ensure his success."

In a letter of nomination, Alan Denton, associate professor of physics, wrote, "He is highly motivated, well organized, career oriented and seeks out new challenges—all qualities that distinguished the pioneering astronauts and that merit nurturing and special recognition."

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America's original Mercury astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in engineering, science or mathematics.

Al Worden, foundation chair and Apollo 15 astronaut, said, "These students are the future of our nation and we are proud to support them in their educational endeavors."

NDSU Receives NSF Grant for Northern Tier Network Access Improvement | 8/24/2010

August 24, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded NDSU a grant of $751,244 to support of the project titled "Northern Tier Network—North Dakota and South Dakota Access Improvement.” The project is under the direction of Bonnie Neas, vice president for information technology, and Claude Garelik, information technology security officer for the South Dakota State Board of Regents System.

The Northern Tier Network Consortium is a regional network initiative with the goal to provide a robust research network connection for educational institutions in the upper-northwestern states. With current endpoints in Chicago and Seattle, the network ensures Internet2 members in the Northern Tier can establish a multi-Lambda connection to a national or international aggregation point.

"This award is really a recognition by NSF of how important the Northern Tier Network is to this region,” said Neas, noting the funding will help connect advanced networking systems in North Dakota and South Dakota. "We’ve had our east-west connections in place for more than a year, and this begins the work of our north-south connection.” She said the consortium is now working with vendors and expects the connection with the South Dakota system to be completed in about a year.

According to the grant, the new network link will be used for research and education traffic. After completion of the renovation, the network will be used to conduct research resulting in the submission of publications in each of three areas: real-time predictive modeling of drought, rainfall and hail; how the national research and education network performs when used by scientists to access data repositories at Earth Resource Observation Systems (EROS) and U.S. Forrest Service sites; and research that involves the use of remote access to NDSU’s scanning electron microscope by scientists in South Dakota.

The award is effective Sept. 1 and expires Aug. 31, 2012. The award is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Professors Attend National IDeA Symposium | 8/11/2010

August 11, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Mukund Sibi, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and several investigators from the Center for Protease Research traveled to Bethesda, Md., June 16 to attend the biennial National IDeA Symposium. The symposium is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in support of its Institutional Development Award centers. The focus of the symposium is to bring all biomedical researchers from IDeA states to showcase their scientific accomplishments, initiate potential collaborations and participate in workshops on a variety of topics.

Sangita Sinha, one of NDSU's new professors in chemistry and biochemistry and a Center for Protease Research member, was honored by the symposium with a Young Investigator Award. She also was selected for a highlighted poster presentation in the immunology and infectious diseases category.

Three other Center for Protease Research investigators were selected for highlighted poster presentations: Glenn Dorsam and Greg Cook, both from the chemistry and biochemistry department, and Jane Schuh from veterinary and microbiology.

Microbe Magazine Features Researchers' Work with E. coli Strains | 8/11/2010

August 11, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A team of researchers from NDSU and Iowa State University has been highlighted by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in this month's ASM Microbe magazine for investigating the relationship between E. coli of birds and E. coli strains implicated in neonatal meningitis. In an article published in this month's Infection and Immunity, Catherine Logue and her colleagues, Kelly Tivendale and Lisa Nolan of Iowa State University, have found that E. coli strains responsible for causing human neonatal meningitis are very similar to avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) using molecular techniques including multilocus sequence type analysis, phylogenetic group and pulsed field electrophoresis pattern.

Some APEC can cause high mortality and meningitis in the rat model of human meningitis, and some neonatal meningitis E. coli (NMEC) cause disease in the chicken model of avian colibacillosis. Other NMEC and APEC display host specificity, causing disease only in the host type (mammalian or avian) from which they were isolated.

"This work suggests that E. coli associated with retail poultry meat are possible human pathogens, and reinforces the importance of proper food handling techniques," Tivendale said. It also suggests some E. coli can infect multiple host types, while others are host specific. "Understanding the basis of host specificity will provide future avenues for our research and will be beneficial to developing new strategies for the control of other avian and human extraintestinal E. coli infections and disease and how we can approach reducing consumer exposure through the food chain."

NDSU Professors Receive Funding for Cellulosic Biofuels Research | 8/6/2010

August 6, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Two North Dakota State University professors have received $309,357 from the National Science Foundation for research to improve conversion and reduce costs of making ethanol from cellulosic biomass. Andriy Voronov, assistant professor in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, and Scott Pryor, assistant professor in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at NDSU, will conduct the research in collaboration with Sergiy Minko, chaired professor of chemistry at Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., who has been awarded $200,978 from the National Science Foundation.

The objective of the group's research is to enhance the conversion of cellulosic biomass into fermentable glucose to convert into ethanol or other chemicals or fuels. Their work is aimed at improving efficacy and reducing costs of cellulase enzymes needed for converting biomass to soluble sugars. Their research proposal is titled "pH-Responsive Capsules for Enhanced Delivery and Recovery of Cellulases for Biomass Hydrolysis."

By 2022, federal energy legislation calls for 36 billion gallons of biobased fuels, with 16 billion of that from cellulosic biomass and 5 billion gallons from advanced biofuels. In their proposal, the researchers point out that significant challenges remain to develop economical cellulosic ethanol.  The research group at NDSU will focus efforts on engineering a robust and scalable method to manufacture hierarchically structured hybrid organic-inorganic microcapsules loaded with cellulase enzymes. In addition, they will work to develop a methodology to recover and reuse these capsules to convert cellulose into fermentable glucose.

Six undergraduate and graduate students will also be involved in the research, according to Voronov. Participating students will be trained to gain expertise in biotechnology, biocatalysis and material science. They will also be provided an opportunity to participate in professional meetings to present results of their research. Under the research proposal, faculty members plan to provide opportunities for high school students and science teachers through lectures and potential summer lab internships in conjunction with their research. 

Andriy Voronov joined NDSU in 2007 in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. He previously served as staff scientist in the Institute of Particle Technology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. He received his master's and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering and macromolecular chemistry from the Lviv Polytechnic National University of Ukraine.

Scott Pryor came to NDSU's Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 2006. He received his doctorate degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y, in biological and environmental engineering. Pryor previously completed postdoctoral work at Cargill Acidulants, Eddyville, Iowa, and worked as an environmental engineer for Brown and Caldwell, St. Paul, Minn.

NDSU Graduate Researcher Receives NSF Fellowship | 8/4/2010

August 4, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Anoklase Ayitou, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at North Dakota State University, has been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In awarding the fellowship, the National Science Foundation noted that Anoklase’s selection "was based on your outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as your potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise.”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which is awarded over a three-year period from 2010 to 2013, carries a total award of $90,000 and $31,500 for total research related expenses over three years. Anoklase completed his second year as a graduate student at NDSU under the guidance of Professor Sivaguru Jayaraman, who is a National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipient, as well as a recipient of the 2010 Swiss Chemical Society’s Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize.

Anoklase also received a UNCF-Merck Science initiative grant earlier this year, and is a Global Center of Excellence fellow at Osaka University, Osaka, Japan. "It is really a privilege to have a student of Anoklase’s caliber in my group,” commented Professor Sivaguru Jayaraman. Anoklase’s doctoral work involves the use of light to synthesize chiral molecules (molecules that are not superimposable on its mirror image). As a graduate student, Anoklase has published scientific papers in four peer-reviewed journals to date, two of which are in the prestigious Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Anoklase is the third graduate student at NDSU to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Darya Zabelina, who received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from NDSU in psychology, received her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2009. She is now pursuing her doctorate degree at Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill. Tara Rheault also received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (1997–2000) and conducted research as a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with Dr. Mukund Sibi, University Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Protease Research at NDSU. Rheault is now an oncology medical chemistry researcher with GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in the U.S. and abroad.

Tech Tools Will Aid Public Input to Transit in NDSU Research | 6/30/2010

June 30, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Tools like iPads, Facebook, and Twitter will be used to gather public input on transit in the Fargo Moorhead area as part of a research project at North Dakota State University.

The project is part of a nationwide effort by the Federal Transit Administration to explore innovative ways to improve public participation in transportation planning. "NDSU's project is unique in its emphasis on technology. Our hope is that these technologies will help overcome some of the barriers that prevent individuals from providing input related to service and planning," notes NDSU researcher David Ripplinger.

In the project, researchers will help Fargo–Moorhead Metropolitan Area Transit (MAT) use social networking sites, blogs and other techniques to solicit input on transit. Social networking tools will be used to expand the reach of public participation efforts. They will be used to notify individuals of opportunities to participate and will serve as a vehicle for distributing planning documents. Ripplinger has already helped MAT develop strategies for using Twitter to communicate with riders.

Tools like iPads will be used to conduct surveys on transit vehicles to increase the speed of surveys and enhance accuracy by eliminating the need to input data from written forms. Other surveys will use more typical paper forms along with electronic devices to gain broader participation. The surveys will provide insight into current ridership issues and generate information for a five-year transit development plan.

"We are always looking for ways to improve communication with our customers," says Lori Van Beek, Moorhead Transit Manager. "More than 50 percent of our riders are college students. They are very used to technology and electronic communication, so this should be a good fit."

Technology will assist in gathering input from other audiences as well, notes Ripplinger, a researcher with the Small Urban and Rural Transit Agency, a part of NDSU's Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. Translation software will help engage immigrant populations in the Fargo-Moorhead area who frequently rely on mass transit for mobility. One-on-one surveys will continue to be employed to gather information from transit riders and others, but portable technology like iPads may help improve consistency and accuracy.

The NDSU study is one of 60 across the country designed to test new approaches to facilitating public involvement. Ripplinger says barriers typically cited as a reason not to participate in public meetings and forums include language and cultural barriers, physical and mental disabilities, scheduling issues, and limited resources for soliciting public input.

"Anytime we can find a way to engage even one more person, that's good," notes Michael Kunza, transportation coordinator with the Fargo–Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments. "Relying more on the web or on video seems to make sense. People are so busy, that anything that makes it more convenient to communicate with them or help them provide input into the planning process is a plus."

"We are hoping that we can get a more accurate view of how people see transit in the community," says Jim Gilmour, director of planning and development for the City of Fargo. "Often we only hear from people when things go wrong. Being able to reach out to people is really important when things are running well and when there is a problem."

Along with Kunza and Van Beek, Gilmour serves as an advisory to Ripplinger on the year-long project. He notes that traditional public meetings used to collect input typically are sparsely attended and may attract individuals with specific concerns and complaints. "You sometimes get a very narrow perspective. Using technology and surveys gives us ways to reach out in a quick and efficient manner to get a broader impression of what people think."

"In the future, meetings may no longer be the way we collect information," Kunza adds. "Technology opens up opportunities for use to gain input from a broader cross section of the community."

"Unfortunately, many people don't see the value in providing input to us, they think they don't have any influence, Van Beek says. "But when we hear from people about what we're doing or what they'd like us to do, it has a large impact. We need that input to make good decisions."

Does Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps?
AthleticTraining Research by NDSU Professor Appears in New York Times | 6/14/2010

June 14, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Whether you're an elite athlete or weekend sports warrior, muscle cramps can affect performance. Research done by a North Dakota State University professor may shed light on how to alleviate them. Kevin C. Miller, Ph.D., certified athletic trainer and assistant professor of health, nutrition and exercise science at NDSU, investigates whether pickle juice affects muscle cramps. His most recent studies are featured in the New York Times "Well" column titled Phys Ed: Can pickle juice stop muscle cramps?

In previous research, Dr. Miller found that 25 percent of certified athletic trainers surveyed use extremely small amounts of pickle juice to shorten the duration of athletes' cramps, under the assumption that the pickle juice replenishes salt and fluids lost to sweat. What really causes the cramps and how to relieve them quickly are some of the areas of scientific study. Miller and researchers at Brigham Young University studied healthy male college students in an exercise lab. Subjects in the study bicycled in 30-minute sessions to achieve mild dehydration. The tibial nerve in the men's ankles was then stimulated, which causes a muscle in the big toe to cramp. When subjects drank nothing, the subjects' cramps lasted two-and-half minutes on average.

After resting, cramps were induced again, but this time, men in the study immediately drank 2.5 ounces of deionized water or they drank pickle juice strained from a jar of dill pickles in a double-blind fashion. Blood samples were taken before and after the men drank the fluids to see if blood sodium, potassium, magnesium, or calcium levels changed after drinking. Study results show that pickle juice relieved the cramps about 45 percent faster than if the men drank no fluids and about 37 percent faster than those who drank water. "Even more interesting," says Miller, "is that study results showed there were no significant changes in the blood following ingestion of either water or of pickle juice."

Dr. Miller's research has shown that mild dehydration may not be the culprit that causes muscle cramping. Since the pickle juice used in the studies did not have time to leave the men's stomachs during the experiment, the pickle juice would not have had enough time to replenish lost fluids and salt in affected muscles. The research conducted by Miller and his team leads to the theory that another mechanism causes such cramping and the pickle juice acts like a set of brakes on a car to stop it. He suspects that muscle exhaustion rather than mild dehydration might be the cause, since other research has found that mechanisms in muscles can misfire if a muscle reaches exhaustion. Miller says the pickle juice may affect nervous system receptors that send out signals that then disrupt the muscle cramping. "The relief of cramping by pickle juice likely represents a neurological phenomenon rather than a metabolic one," says Miller, whose research has been published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, in the Journal of Athletic Training, Muscle and Nerve, and in Athletic Therapy Today.

So what's an athlete to do? Miller cautions people not to drink large amounts of pickle juice and to talk with their physician first before trying pickle juice, given the high prevalence of hypertension in the U.S. Rather than reaching for the nearest jar of pickles, if a muscle painfully cramps, Miller suggests stretching it. He emphasizes all his studies have been done on healthy young men, so results may not apply to weekend warriors or female athletes. Miller will be presenting his research and speaking about the causes of muscle cramps at the National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on June 23.

Dr. Miller joined the NDSU Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science in 2009. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and doctorate degree in physical medicine and rehabilitation from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

For more information:
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May 2010, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 953–961
Reflex Inhibition of Electrically Induced Muscle Cramps in Hypohydrated Humans

Journal of Athletic Training, Vol. 44, Issue 5 (Sept. 2009) pp.45–-561

New York Times, June 9, 2010
Phys Ed: Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps?

National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting

NDSU Research Park Company Wins International Award | 6/1/2010

June 1, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The National Business Incubation Association named Appareo Systems the 2010 Outstanding Incubator Graduate in the technology category on May 18 during the Association's International Conference on Business Incubation in Orlando, Fla. David Batcheller, chief operating officer; Ahron Walter, chief financial officer; and Brenda Wyland, incubator manager, accepted the award at the conference. There were an estimated 550 people from 44 countries at the conference.

A graduate of the Technology Incubator at the NDSU Research and Technology Park, Appareo Systems uses relatively inexpensive electronic components in place of the heavy, expensive equipment traditionally used in avionics such as flight data recorders. Appareo's equipment is a fraction of the size and cost of traditional flight data recorders, allowing operators of small aircraft to enjoy the same safety benefits that large aircraft operators have.

Barry Batcheller, who now serves as the company's president and CEO, founded Appareo Systems in 2001. The firm, which graduated from the incubator in 2009, has built a team of more than 60 employees with an annual payroll of nearly $3 million and annual revenues of more than $6 million.

Business incubation programs like the NDSU Research and Technology Park Technology Incubator catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. The National Business Incubation Association estimates that in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $17 billion. Approximately 7,000 business incubators operate worldwide.

The relationship with the NDSU Research and Technology Park's Technology Incubator has proven beneficial for Appareo Systems. The firm received value-added services that include technical assistance, market research, networking opportunities and valuable university relationships, including the ability to recruit talented students.

The National Business Incubation Association is the world's leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, the National Business Incubation Association Incubation Awards honor the business incubation programs, graduates and client companies that exemplify the best of the industry.

Satishchandran to Lead NDSU Biopharma Center | 5/20/2010

May 20, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—C. Satishchandran, formerly the chief technology officer of the Nucleic Acid-Based Therapeutics Division of the Biotherapeutics Division at Pfizer Inc., will direct the new Center for Biopharmaceutical Research and Production at North Dakota State University, Fargo. The Center will focus on identifying and producing DNA vaccines that can be brought to clinical trial. Satishchandran also will serve as a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at NDSU.

Satishchandran said his role is to recruit talent, develop investments and facilitate research. The Center will provide opportunities to current NDSU pharmaceutical faculty, nanotechnologists and graduate students to discover new vaccines and to execute, manufacture and conduct clinical trials.

"I love to build. There is an excitement to discovery and building," said Satishchandran. "The Center of Excellence will provide the environment for inventors and biotechnologists from around the world to work and discover." He said a goal is to develop at least one new vaccine during the center's first five years of existence, followed by at least one each year thereafter.

Previously, Satishchandran was a professor at the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization. He was also the chief operating and scientific officer at Nucleonics, a biotechnology company. While there, he led "RNAi" (RNA inhibitor) research to develop drugs that act against Hepatitis B.

"We are very excited to have Satish come to North Dakota to lead our new Center, and we look forward to the opportunities he will create for NDSU and local private sector businesses in discovering new target vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals for the marketplace," said Charles Peterson, dean of pharmacy, nursing, and allied sciences at NDSU.

Peterson said the DNA vaccine market now stands at $22 billion per year, with expectations that it will rise to $36 billion per year. "This has the potential for having a huge impact on our program at NDSU and on North Dakota's health and economy," Peterson said.

Satishchandran's career includes a professorship at Thomas Jefferson University. He also was the co-team leader for the Drug Delivery Team of the Pennsylvania Nanotechnology Institute, which developed and commercialized nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems.

Satishchandran has produced numerous publications and several patents in diverse areas of biotechnology research and development, and has been a scientific adviser and consultant to pharmaceutical companies and several biotechnology companies in several areas of discovery, technology assessment and licensing, product development, manufacturing, clinical research and regulatory affairs.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, out of 112 schools of pharmacy, NDSU's pharmacy program ranks 13th in the United States for the percent of doctoral faculty with National Institutes of Health funding for 2008. NDSU has 42 percent of full-time equivalent doctoral pharmacy faculty receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health. NDSU is one of 112 schools of pharmacy nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Future NASA Scientists to Attend Atlantis Final Launch | 5/13/2010

Fargo, N.D., May 13, 2010—While some young scientists get their start doing experiments in kitchens and garages, a group of junior high students from West Fargo, N.D., set up experiments for a NASA challenge in their own basements. Mentored by a North Dakota State University professor, the group's efforts have won them first place in NASA's Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge and if timing works out, a chance to witness the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Friday afternoon.

Achintya Bezbaruah, assistant professor of environmental engineering at North Dakota State University, Fargo, advised the group of young researchers who stepped up to the challenge presented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The NASA competition aimed to find a design that converts human urine and wastewater into drinkable water, creating a water recycling system that can be used by astronauts living on other planets. Transporting supplies, including water, to the International Space Station (ISS) costs about $20,000 per kilogram.

In the competition, teams designed, constructed and tested a water recycling system on a simulated wastewater stream. They then submitted the results of their work for review by NASA. The West Fargo team, advised by Bezbaruah, devoted more than 800 research hours to come up with the winning design concept. Students worked together as a research group, with weekly research meetings and conducted their experiment following the engineering design process. The NDSU College of Architecture and Engineering sponsored the project.

The West Fargo, N.D., junior high students tested activated carbon, zeolites, ion-exchange resin, baking soda, vinegar and how simple storage can remove ammonia from water. Each student ran different systems in their basements. The young scientists estimate the wastewater treated using their winning system will cost $2,000 per liter, as compared to the present $20,000 per liter. The young research team is comprised of six 7th and 8th grade students from the West Fargo, N.D., STEM Center, a Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-focused extension of Cheney Middle School.

As the top design team in the country, the students and Bezbaruah are receiving a trip to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida where they are meeting with NASA scientists and engineers to present their project. If the timing works out, they will also view the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station. An estimated 300 students nationwide were involved in the NASA competition, with twenty middle school teams selected as finalists in the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge's inaugural year, according to NASA.

More information:
NASA Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge

NDSU College of Engineering and Architecture

NDSU—Dr. Achintya Bezbaruah

West Fargo, N.D., Public School STEM Center

North Dakota’s High-Tech Talent | 5/12/2010

May 12, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Growing up in Underwood, N.D., Mike Weisz didn't know his future career path would take him from the plains of North Dakota to high-tech research. Soon to receive his bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering on May 15 from North Dakota State University, Weisz is one of 12 employees at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) who have combined educational and hands-on opportunities to shape their future careers in technology. What's more, Weisz will be able to continue working in North Dakota as an apprentice engineer for the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering. These types of scientific jobs were few and far between in the state until CNSE opened its doors in Research 2 at NDSU in 2004. CNSE employs more than 60 undergraduate and graduate students engaged in research.

Other North Dakota students who have blended their education with hands-on scientific experience at CNSE are also receiving undergraduate degrees including: Nicholas Cilz, Grand Forks, N.D., bachelor's degree in zoology; Joshua Haugsdal, Williston, N.D., bachelor's of science degree in mechanical engineering; Kirk Jensen, Fargo, N.D., bachelor's of science in electrical engineering; and Jeff Michel, Forman, N.D., bachelor's of science in electrical engineering.

They are joined by other graduating CNSE employees including: Maduka Bandara, Sri Lanka, bachelor's degree in electrical engineering; Jacob Fink, Staples, Minn., bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering; Stanislas Ogokeh, Marcory, Ivory Coast, bachelor's degree in zoology; Matt Robinson, Rapid City, S.D., master's degree in mechanical engineering; Joelle Rolfs, Moorhead, Minn., (MSUM) bachelor's degree in chemistry; Vishal Sonalkar, Thane, India, bachelor's degree in computer engineering; and Pooja Vaidya, Kathmandu, Nepal, bachelor's degree in environmental design.

Many of the CNSE employees earning degrees credit a portion of their success to working as undergraduate or graduate research assistants at CNSE while going to school to achieve their degrees. In the case of Weisz, Robinson, Cilz and Fink, they are continuing to work at CNSE upon graduation. Out of the group of 12 CNSE graduates, at least seven will be attending graduate school to further their education. Jensen will be working for Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The students have had experience in various research areas at CNSE. Josh Haugsdal, from Williston, for example, has worked at CNSE for the past three years while pursuing his degree. He's received hands-on experience with microelectronics, flexible electronics and ceramic boron rich semiconductors. "I plan on attending grad school so working at CNSE has helped me with being able to conduct research," said Haugsdal. Kirk Jensen, Fargo, has done testing and research on energy harvesting techniques, as well as photovoltaic testing. Mike Weisz, Underwood, has assisted research engineers in building complex lab tools needed to conduct research. "Working at CNSE has allowed me to use engineering knowledge in a practical setting," said Weisz.

"CNSE provided these students the opportunity to work side by side with highly trained professionals and gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge research," said Larry Pederson, CNSE director. At CNSE, the students work with miniaturized electronics design and fabrication, flexible electronics and protective coatings. Students typically will work at CNSE part-time during the school year and full-time in summer. CNSE provides students access to a combination of high-tech equipment and labs, cleanroom processes and software design tools not readily available elsewhere in the area.

"CNSE has provided returning North Dakotans with access to high-tech jobs, offered research opportunities to NDSU students seeking advantages in the job market, and supported educational opportunities for students seeking advanced degrees," said Phil Boudjouk, who oversees CNSE as vice president for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer at NDSU. "As research continues to grow at NDSU to include CNSE and a new Center for Nanoscale Energy-Related Materials, we'll continue to offer high-tech opportunities to the region."

NDSU Nanotech Director's Research May Improve Solar Cells | 4/6/2010

April 6, 2010, Fargo, N.D.— A research discovery by the director of the Materials and Nanotechnology program at North Dakota State University may one day improve solar cells. Erik Hobbie, Ph.D., and a team of researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and NDSU took a closer look at a promising nanotube coating. Scientists discovered that coatings made of single-walled carbon nanotubes have problems that must be addressed before their full potential is realized.

"The irony of these nanotube coatings is that they can change when they bend," says Hobbie. "Under modest strains, these films can develop irreversible changes in nanotube arrangement that reduce their conductivity. Our work is the first to suggest this, and it opens up new approaches to engineering the films in ways that minimize these effects."

The solar power industry has long sought a cheap, flexible, transparent coating that can conduct electricity. If a single material can provide such properties, solar cells might become more cost-effective and potentially be used in materials such as clothing. According to Hobbie, transparent conductive coatings can be made of indium-tin oxide, but they are rigid and expensive.

Hobbie and other scientists view carbon nanotubes as one possible solution. The nanotubes can be formed into transparent conductive coatings that are strong yet deformable like paper or fabric. The research conducted by Hobbie and his team however, found that something akin to microscopic wrinkles can disrupt the random arrangement of nanotubes, and alter the coating's ability to conduct electricity.

The research team from NIST and NDSU is investigating ways to address the problem. According to Hobbie, films could be made thin enough to avoid the wrinkling or a second interpenetrating polymer network might solve the problem. "These approaches might allow us to make coatings of nanotubes that could withstand large strains while retaining the traits we want," says Hobbie.

Results from the study by Hobbie and the research team are published in "Wrinkling and Strain Softening in Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Membranes," Physical Review Letters, 104, 125505, March 26, 2010.

Hobbie is a professor in the Department of Physics and in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU. He also serves as director of NDSU's Materials and Nanotechnology graduate program that offers students a unique opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research. It is the only program of its kind in North Dakota. NDSU faculty from chemistry, civil engineering, coatings and polymeric materials, mechanical engineering, physics, engineering and architecture contribute to the Materials and Nanotechnology program. Researchers in the program also collaborate with the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering at NDSU. Hobbie previously served as a senior scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota.

NDSU Prof. Kendra Greenlee Receives NSF CAREER Award | 4/5/2010

April 5, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—A major national grant received by a North Dakota State University biology researcher will help develop ways to effectively control insects and will bolster research opportunities for students to encourage careers in science. Kendra Greenlee, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at North Dakota State University, Fargo, has received a Faculty Early Career Development award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Greenlee will receive a five-year, $800,000 award from the NSF to conduct research outlined in her proposal titled "Ontogenetic Changes in Tracheal System Structure and Function in Larval Insects." The grant is the largest of this type of CAREER award received by an NDSU faculty member in the past 14 years.

Dr. Greenlee's research program will focus on how the insect respiratory system works and how it has evolved as a high-capacity O2 delivery system. The studies on respiratory capacity in developing insects have direct applications for the development of non-pesticide based methods of insect control. Understanding how respiratory capacity varies throughout development may identify susceptible stages in insect life cycles. Manipulation of atmospheric gas composition is a growing method for controlling insects in grain storage, greenhouses and museum collections.

The grant award from NSF also provides for significant research opportunities for undergraduate students, as well as further educational outreach. Through grant funding, four NDSU undergraduates will participate in Greenlee's research program. In addition, students involved in NDSU's Research to Improve Diversity and Education (RIDE) program will spend two summers conducting related research in NDSU labs. Currently, the RIDE program includes students from Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, Miss. The program will be expanded to include students from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz., through the efforts of the NDSU Office of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach. Greenlee will also establish a social networking site for students participating in the program who will access research materials through the site, and receive mentoring on their scientific research activities.

As part of the program, one faculty member from Mississippi Valley State University will participate in research in Greenlee's lab. In addition, Greenlee will provide a research seminar at Mississippi Valley. A major goal of the outreach education plan is to increase the presence of underrepresented students in science careers. The grant will also fund collaborations between NDSU, Argonne National Laboratory, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Leloir Institute Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Research on mechanisms of gas exchange in larval insects will provide new understanding about the development of physiology systems and provide an excellent environment for students to learn about conducting scientific research and careers in science. The research will be of interest to scientists in physiology, respiratory physiology and developmental biology.

"Kendra is the first faculty member in biological sciences at NDSU to receive a CAREER award," commented Will Bleier, chair of biological sciences. "This honor is testament to Kendra's research abilities, creativity, work ethic, and diligence.  Research startup funds from the department, College of Science and Mathematics, and the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research have also been critical to Kendra's success," said Bleier.

Dr. Greenlee joined the NDSU Department of Biological Sciences in 2007. She received bachelor's and doctorate degrees from Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., in wildlife conservation biology and biology, respectively. Dr. Greenlee completed postdoctoral work in pulmonary disease at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. She has authored or co-authored 11 peer-reviewed publications. Greenlee also conducts science workshops as part of NDSU's Center for Child Development.

Since 1996, fifteen faculty members at NDSU have received prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards.  "National Science Foundation CAREER awards to NDSU faculty reflect the institution's ability to attract the best and the brightest among new faculty researchers," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer.

Overall, National Science Foundation CAREER awardees at NDSU have received more than $5.7 million in grants to conduct research in biology, chemistry, civil and electrical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, and coatings and polymeric materials. NSF career awardees currently at NDSU include faculty members Gregory Cook, Seth Rasmussen, Wenfang Sun, Sivaguru Jayaraman and Uwe Burghaus in chemistry and molecular biology, Sanku Mallik in pharmaceutical sciences, Magdy Abdelrahman, Xuefeng Chu, Chung-Souk Han, Kalpana Katti and Eakalak Khan in civil engineering and Kendra Greenlee in biological sciences.

The National Science Foundation CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of scholars who are likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. Recipients are chosen on the basis of creative career development plans that integrate research and education within the context of their university's mission.

NDSU Listed in Top 40 and Several Top 100 National Research Rankings | 4/5/2010

Fargo, N.D., April 5, 2010—North Dakota State University is listed among the top 100 research universities in several National Science Foundation (NSF) research categories for fiscal year 2008, the latest year for which national statistics are available. NDSU ranks 39th nationally in the NSF survey, when ranked by research and development expenditures among 554 research universities without a medical school.

When total research expenditures across all institutions are compared, NDSU ranks 122nd out of 679 institutions included in the National Science Foundation Survey of Research and Development Expenditures. The survey offers a snapshot of how NDSU compares among U.S. research universities and colleges included in the survey. NDSU's total research expenditures were $115.5 million for fiscal year 2008, the most recent year available in the national research survey. For fiscal year 2009, NDSU has reported an estimated $114.2 million in research activities for the next NSF survey.

Among various research categories in the NSF Survey of Research and Development Expenditures, NDSU ranks as follows:

  • In the field of agricultural sciences, NDSU ranks 26th in total research expenditures among universities and colleges for FY 2008.
  • When ranked by total research expenditures in social sciences, NDSU ranked 40th by NSF among research universities in FY 2008.
  • In the field of physical sciences, NDSU ranked 53rd in total research expenditures at colleges and universities in FY 2008. In the rankings, the category of physical sciences includes astronomy, chemistry, physics, materials sciences and other sciences not elsewhere classified.
  • In the field of chemistry, NDSU ranked 90th in total research expenditures among the top 100 universities and colleges in this category for fiscal year 2008.

"The NSF survey shows sustained research excellence at NDSU. Our faculty, staff and students continue to excel in areas of innovative and technology-driven research," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer at NDSU. "The continued overall national ranking illustrates the exceptional work by faculty, staff and students in a very competitive research environment," said Boudjouk.

A majority of NDSU research funding comes from multi-year federal research contracts and competitive grant awards. Additional research funding comes through awards, grants and contracts from state and business funding sources.

Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Research & Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, FY 2008.

NDSU Receives Scientific Equipment Grant from the National Science Foundation | 3/9/2010

Fargo, N.D., March 9, 2010—North Dakota State University has been awarded a grant of $351,764 from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Program, funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

The grant, under the direction of Sanku Mallik, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at NDSU, will provide highly-specialized equipment for faculty, graduate and undergraduate research in biomaterials. The award will fund an automatic isothermal titration microcalorimeter. Currently, 10 faculty researchers and more than 40 graduate and undergraduate students at NDSU and the University of South Dakota are studying the interactions of peptide nanofibers, lipid- and polymer-based nanoparticles with proteins, DNA fragments, aptamers, antibodies and groundwater contaminants.

The research collaboration includes Shek Hang B Law and Jagdish Singh, NDSU Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dean Webster, NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, and Daniel Engebretson, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of South Dakota.

The instrumentation will be located in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Instrumentation Core Facility in Sudro Hall at NDSU. The new equipment at NDSU also is expected to benefit high school students affiliated with NDSU's science outreach programs, such as the North Dakota Governor's School, and the Indians in Pharmacy program to encourage careers in science and technology. The equipment also will be used in undergraduate and graduate courses in pharmaceutical sciences and coatings and polymeric materials.

The instrumentation will enhance several research programs currently underway, including:

  • research on methods to attach anti-cancer drugs to nanoparticles and targeting molecules so particles only enter the cancer cells
  • research in the areas of diagnostics, drug design, and drug delivery for the prevention and treatment of cancer
  • drug delivery research efforts directed toward mechanistic studies for developing novel delivery technologies for biotechnologically derived molecules (e.g., peptide, protein, and plasmid DNA)
  • research to develop biodegradable and biocompatible smart polymeric delivery systems that can release encapsulated proteins over months
  • research leading to formulations of liposome based artificial antibodies which have the potential to inhibit and detect any protein to a very high degree of selectivity, as usually accomplished by natural antibodies
  • developing assays that ultimately can enable screening for disease in humans and animals
  • research to design novel polymer-based materials on a molecular level that will impact the design of new high-performance materials

"Enhancing instrumentation and research infrastructure strengthens the ability of faculty researchers to contribute to knowledge in their fields and generate discoveries. It also increases research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students," according to Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer at NDSU. "In addition, the equipment enhances opportunities for future research collaborations."

NDSU Pharmacy Research Ranks Higher in National Institutes of Health Funding | 2/23/2010

Fargo, N.D., February 23, 2010—The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy released the 2009 national rankings for National Institutes of Health funding for pharmacy schools. Out of 116 schools of pharmacy, North Dakota State University's pharmacy program was ranked ninth in the United States for the percent of doctoral faculty with National Institutes of Health funding. NDSU currently has 45.5 percent of full-time equivalent doctoral pharmacy faculty receiving National Institutes of Health funding. In 2008, NDSU ranked 13th in the nation with 41.7 percent.

NDSU's percentage of pharmaceutical sciences faculty with competitive National Institutes of Health funding exceeded many other prestigious research universities including Purdue University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Ohio State University, University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, University of Iowa and University of Florida.

NDSU ranked 45th nationally for total National Institutes of Health grant dollars awarded per full-time equivalent faculty, just behind the University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech University.

"This is a great acknowledgment of the quality and competitiveness of our research programs at NDSU and within our college," said Charles Peterson, dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences. "We have a great group of faculty, who are working very hard and producing great results. They are competing successfully with the best in the nation."

NDSU is one of 116 schools of pharmacy nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

North Dakota State University and Triton Systems, Inc., Partner on Coatings Research; Triton to Locate in NDSU Research & Technology Park | 2/19/2010

February 19, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—North Dakota State University, Fargo, and Triton Systems, Inc. (Triton), a Massachusetts-based materials products company, have announced a research partnership and Triton's plan to establish a new facility in the NDSU Research & Technology Park. The company's Fargo facility will primarily be devoted to applications engineering and manufacturing of advanced coatings for military products including bed nets, tent fabrics, and military garments. Future applications include chemical detection sensing systems.

The Triton facility, to be located in Fargo's NDSU Research & Technology Park, will house Triton's novel and environmentally friendly ASSET™ coatings capabilities.  The ASSET™ (Advanced Solutions in Surface Engineering Technology) coating method is a unique and powerful process enabling ultrathin, rugged, highly functional surface modifications and coatings for such broad applications as biomedical devices, textiles, optical systems, and electronics. The coatings can be applied to almost any surface making it ideal for a variety of new products. Initially, the facility will be set up to support applications engineering for a number of end-uses for the Department of Defense in partnership with NDSU. Triton plans to acquire approximately 3,000 sq ft of space with the goal of doubling that space within 24 months.

"We are excited that the company recognizes the opportunities and expertise available in partnership with NDSU," commented NDSU President Richard A. Hanson. "NDSU offered the first coatings course in 1905 and continues its international reputation for coatings research and licensing of coatings technology to global companies." NDSU's Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering specialize in coatings research.

"We see this as a great growth opportunity for Triton and for the NDSU community," said Dr. Philip Boudjouk, vice president for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer at NDSU. "Triton's partnership with NDSU leverages more than a century of experience in coatings research on campus and nearly a decade of cutting-edge expertise in robotics applied to polymers research and development. The support of U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan and the Red River Valley Research Corridor for NDSU's marine and antimicrobial coatings program laid the foundation for this significant new opportunity.  We're very excited to have Triton join our high-tech community."

Being close to the world-class facilities at North Dakota State University (NDSU) enables Triton to leverage the capabilities of NDSU researchers and Centers of Excellence, with Triton's engineering and manufacturing expertise to support concepts all the way to full production of coatings products. "Establishing this facility at this juncture, in partnership with the State of North Dakota, strongly complements the commercialization path that we're on," said Ross Haghighat, Triton president and CEO. "Our customers will benefit immensely from the synergy between Triton and NDSU."

Dr. Arjan Giaya, Triton vice president of technology, also noted, "Anti-microbial (anti-bacterial) coatings are increasingly important to the U.S. Military as service personnel deployed overseas are exposed to environmental conditions that can cause illnesses from airborne diseases and physical contact." The specialty coatings that Triton is developing for fabrics (garments, tents, etc.) and medical systems help to markedly reduce the risk of these diseases. The Triton-designed bed nets also combine unprecedented insecticide performance with a form, fit and function that promises to bring enhanced protection and added functionality.

"Having Triton open this facility defines the model of success that we're continuing to build on—to reach out to new technology companies to partner with us and to continue this path of success together," explained Tony Grindberg, executive director, NDSU Research & Technology Park. "We want our young talent to stay in North Dakota—we want companies to move in."

Triton has a proven track record of forging global alliances to transition product concepts out of the lab and into the marketplace, partnering with numerous Fortune 500 companies and major universities alike to mature ideas to marketable products. Triton plans to hire applications engineering, processing and manufacturing positions in Fargo.

About North Dakota State University (NDSU)
With more than 14,000 students, NDSU is listed in the top 100 research universities in the country in several National Science Foundation (NSF) research categories including chemistry, physical sciences, agricultural sciences and social sciences for FY 2007 (most recent available). As a metropolitan land-grant university, NDSU conducts more than $100 million in research activities annually. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies NDSU among "Research Universities (high research activity)." NDSU's thriving research enterprise has led to globally-recognized discoveries and NDSU continues to be at the forefront nationally and internationally in many disciplines. The Combinatorial Materials Research Laboratory at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) uses robotics and serves among the most well-equipped academic laboratories in the world for conducting polymer and surface coating research using a combinatorial approach. In addition, the Bioactive Materials Research Laboratory at CNSE researches biomedically-relevant coatings and materials, as well as coatings designed to be used in the marine environment.

About NDSU Research and Technology Park
The NDSU Research & Technology Park operates to enhance the investments in North Dakota State University by the citizens of North Dakota. Through partnerships with international, national and regional centers of excellence, high technology-based businesses, and the research community at NDSU, the Research & Technology Park will achieve successful technology-based development and broaden the economic base of North Dakota.

About Triton Systems, Inc. (Triton)
Triton Systems, Inc. (Triton) is an advanced materials and systems engineering product development firm headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts. Triton selectively combines US Government funds with private equity investments to transition ideas to the marketplace. Founded in 1992, Triton, along with its affiliates, has two locations in Massachusetts, a life science group in Berkeley, California, and a manufacturing site in Domat-EMS, Switzerland.

Namkung Named James Rosenquist Artist-In-Residence At North Dakota State University | 1/21/2010

January 21, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—The Department of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University has announced that Michael Namkung, San Francisco, Calif., has been named the 2010 James Rosenquist Artist in Residence at NDSU. Mr. Namkung will work spring semester 2010 in the studio dedicated for the program at NDSU's Downtown Visual Arts Department, interacting with students, holding public lectures and opening his studio to visitors. Mr. Namkung will present a public lecture on Thurs., Jan. 28 from 3–4:30 p.m., Renaissance Hall, Room 114 (650 NP Avenue, Fargo).

Michael Namkung performs kinesthetic drawing experiments that use the physicality of his body as the medium.  An amateur athlete, he uses his athletic training regimen to inform his creative research, which he defines as, "an exploration of what happens when the activity of drawing is infused with the language of athletic training."  Through video, performance, installation, and audience participation, Namkung investigates questions of process, materiality and perception, specifically in terms of their relationship to the body.  At NDSU, Mr. Namkung will teach a seminar course and the residency will culminate with an exhibit and donation of a piece of artwork to the James Rosenquist Artist Residency Collection.  Additional information about Mr. Namkung can be found online at

"Mr. Namkung's art is stunning and I know that he will make an indelible impression on our students as well as on the community," said Thomas Riley, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at NDSU.  "We are very excited that he has accepted the Rosenquist residency this year.

Mr. Namkung holds a B.A. in history and a M.Ed. in teaching from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.F.A. in drawing and painting from San Francisco State University.  He has taught at the Center for Elders and Youth in the Arts, San Francisco, Calif.; San Francisco State University; and the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, Calif. His work has been exhibited at the San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery, the LAB, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the POW! POW! Action Art Festival.  In addition to the James Rosenquist Residency award, Mr. Namkung has been awarded several graduate fellowship awards and the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts, San Francisco, Calif.

The James Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program for Visual Arts at NDSU honors James Rosenquist. Born in Grand Forks, N.D., Rosenquist is considered one of the greatest living artists of the Pop Art movement of North America. His work and career are internationally known. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from North Dakota State University in May 2005.

NDSU introduced the James Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program in 2006 with its inaugural artist, Hedi Schwöbel, of Ludwigsburg, Germany. One of her artistic installations included sculpted salt blocks placed in area pastures with cattle near Casselton and Leonard, N.D. The second artist in residence, sculptor Jonathan Pellitteri, used his experience as a mason and carpenter to create artwork that included various mediums and processes representing his observations of the world around him.  The 2009 artist in residence, Min Kim Park, explored issues revolving around gender, ethnicity and identity using multimedia performances.

"The thriving Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program has brought international artists to campus over the past three years, providing additional learning options for NDSU students, as well as high school students, alongside activities with the regional arts community," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer, which funds the program.

Life Sciences Research at NDSU Enhanced by Major Equipment Grant | 1/14/2010

January 14, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—It slices, dices and catapults with the precision and dexterity needed by scientists. Whether it involves asthma, lungs, bones, microbes, nutrition, endocrinology, or reproductive health, North Dakota State University researchers will now have a new tool to enhance research in life sciences and other areas. NDSU has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Program, funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

The grant, under the direction of Anna Grazul-Bilska, professor of animal science, and Jane Schuh, assistant professor of veterinary and biological sciences, will provide a highly-specialized microscope for faculty, graduate and undergraduate research. Among other things, the equipment can dissect a single cell with a laser beam.

The new equipment at NDSU is also expected to benefit undergraduate biotechnology students and high school students affiliated with NDSU's outreach science programs, such as the North Dakota Governor's School, State Science Fair, and local educational collaborations.

The Zeiss PALM MicroBeam IV Laser Microdissection Pressure Catapulting System (LMPCS) can highly magnify and excise a single cell for further study. The equipment uses a solid state ultraviolet dissecting laser with sufficient power to cut precisely through even tough plant tissue so it can be used in plant science, yet has the accuracy to dissect with the precision needed for intracellular research.

Archival, frozen or live cell samples can be dissected away from surrounding tissue for additional study, with minimal damage to extracted cells or cells that are left behind. The system's high quality optics and cameras allow extremely detailed imaging. The computer-guided path is cut around the tissue of interest and a laser pulse focused below the plane of the sample then catapults the sample into a collection tube, providing an unprecedented ability to capture fixed or living cells to a receptacle with no damage or contamination.

"The equipment is cutting edge," said Schuh. "It's a new tool for researchers as well as the students that we mentor. Training on such equipment gives students additional scientific skills to as they pursue advanced degrees, research or work in life sciences and other fields."

It's anticipated that more than 20 NDSU faculty will use the new equipment in their research programs. Research activities expected to benefit from the new scientific tool include:

  • bone tissue engineering—in which engineers and biologists develop substitutes to restore and maintain the function of human bone tissues so bones can better heal
  • reproductive physiology and epigenetics—studying factors controlling reproduction, growth and development
  • pulmonary structure and function—investigating how asthma affects lungs to lead to better understanding and treatment of asthma
  • wheat genetics and genomics—in the search of better wheat varieties
  • regulating microbes—to better understand the interactions between microbes that cause disease and their hosts
  • growth regulation—to improve growth in fish and other animals, and to detect and treat growth disorders in humans and animals
  • vascular development—to determine an optimal environment for maternal health in humans and livestock
  • nutrition—and the role it plays in healthy mothers and offspring
  • vascular reactivity—to better understand blood vessel development and function in growing tissues and how environmental factors impact tissue growth
  • environmental parasites—to identify sources of cryptosporidium which can contaminate water and lead to health issues

"This highly-specialized equipment will further enhance research programs at NDSU across a variety of disciplines," according to Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer. "The equipment will assist researchers across campus, particularly in life sciences."

The new equipment will be housed in the Advanced Imaging and Microscopy Lab in Hultz Hall. Last year, NDSU received a National Science Foundation grant for a high-resolution analytical scanning electronic microscope in NDSU's Electron Microscopy Center, allowing researchers to view materials at the nanoscale level. In 2008, the National Science Foundation funded an analytical transmission electron microscope (TEM) at NDSU.

"These tools help prepare NDSU students for professional careers in high-tech fields, and advance research opportunities in the region," said Boudjouk.

NDSU Prof. Sivaguru Jayaraman to Receive International Award | 1/5/2010

January 5, 2010, Fargo, N.D.—Sivaguru Jayaraman, (Siva) Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and molecular biology at North Dakota State University, Fargo, has been selected as the 2010 laureate of the Swiss Chemical Society's Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize. The honor includes an invitation to speak at the Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting in September 2010, a diploma and a financial award of 5,000 (CHF) or approximately $4850 (USD). Dr. Siva will receive the Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize in Zurich, Switzerland on Sept. 16, 2010.

The prize from the Swiss Chemical Society is awarded to a promising young research scientist for an outstanding contribution in photochemistry, photophysics or molecular photobiology. Research conducted by Prof. Siva involves the use of light to initiate chemical reactions and control photoreactivity in the excited state using molecular design and nanoconfinement.

The cornerstone of Prof. Siva's program involves synthetic effort that allows a freedom of design to produce new structural motifs not only for studying stereoselective reactions, but also for chemical and bio-molecular recognition of encapsulated guests within water soluble nano-reaction vessels. Dr. Siva's research investigates the molecular and supramolecular assembly characteristics of systems to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between molecular structure, assembly, dynamics and the role of external interactions critical for molecular recognition events in light-initiated reactions. Additionally, Dr. Siva's research group uses modern molecular tools and spectroscopic techniques to gain deeper understanding of molecular interactions in chemical and biological systems, using light as both a reagent that initiates the chemistry and as the product of excited state reactivity of organic molecules.

"This international award recognizes the exceptional contribution of Dr. Siva's work, highlighting the caliber of research conducted at NDSU that carries global impact," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer. "Faculty members such as Siva also provide valuable research and mentoring opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at NDSU."

Dr. Siva previously received a National Science Foundation CAREER award that supports the early career-development activities of scholars who are likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. The goal of Dr. Siva's research is to use environmentally-benign ways to synthesize chiral molecules and to understand the interaction of light with matter leading to stereoselective photo-transformations.

Dr. Siva joined the faculty at NDSU in August 2006. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University, New York, N.Y., with Prof. Nicholas J. Turro, after receiving his Ph.D. from Tulane University, New Orleans, La., under the guidance of Prof. V. Ramamurthy. Prof. Siva received his master's degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, (IIT-M), Tamil Nadu, India, and completed his bachelor's degree in chemistry from St. Joseph's College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India. For details regarding Dr. Siva's research, teaching and outreach activities, visit

The Swiss Chemical Society that selected Dr. Siva for the Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize is an international professional organization engaging in information, discussion and education in all fields of pure and applied chemistry including economical, ecological and social perspectives. The SCS has approximately 2600 individual and 40 corporate members and five collective member societies.
For information about the Swiss Chemical Society, visit

With a reputation for excellence in teaching and multidisciplinary research, North Dakota State University, Fargo, is a metropolitan land grant institution with more than 14,000 students. NDSU is listed in the top 100 of several National Science Foundation annual research expenditure rankings in the areas of chemistry, physical sciences, agricultural sciences and social sciences, with more than $100 million total research expenditures annually.

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