Iowa State University researchers are studying ways to protect the Earth from an asteroid strike.
Bong Wie, director of ISU's Asteroid Deflection Research Center, will visit Washington, D.C., on April 17 to discuss his research as part of NASA's Technology Day on Capitol Hill.
Though some wags may ask where was Wie's research team when the dinosaurs needed it, Wie said his research is no laughing matter. He points to recent events that have highlighted the threat of asteroid strikes, such as the 49-foot meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15, the same day a 148-foot asteroid passed within 17,200 miles of Earth.
During the past five years, Wie and his team have published more than 40 technical papers, won $600,000 research support from NASA and developed a proposal for a $500 million test launch of an asteroid intercept system.
Grant will help educate with an eye to industry
Central Community College has received a $5.6 million grant to lead a consortium developing new manufacturing education programs integrated with industry skill certifications.
The consortium, Innovations Moving People to Achieve Certified Training (IMPACT), targets unemployed or underemployed workers along with workers eligible for benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
The U.S. Department of Labor provided the grant through its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative.
Other consortium members are Metropolitan Community College, Northeast Community College, Southeast Community College and Western Nebraska Community College. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also is participating.
The manufacturing generalist program will be created from existing offerings in skilled and technical sciences, combined with a new set of four core courses. Students will be able to choose from seven focus areas: advanced manufacturing; drafting; energy operations; mechatronics; quality; instrumentation; and welding.
The first courses should be available in January 2014.
College summit to focus on women as leaders
The College of St. Mary will hold a student leadership summit for college women April 6 at its campus in Omaha.
Student leaders from colleges and universities throughout the region are expected to attend the event, which will include sessions on student government, program planning, academic-based groups and service organizations.
Early-bird registration, available through Friday, is $18 per person. After that date, registration is $25 per person.
To register, visit https://www.csm.edu/event_registration/ register.asp.
For more information contact Jenny Wittstock at 402-399-2458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 UNL health center employees honored
Two staff members at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's health center recently received national awards from the American College Health Association.
Kim Thompson, a registered nurse at the University Health Center, received the Ollie B. Moten Award, which honors association members who have made a significant impact on the colleges where they work.
Nathan Haecker, a physician, was awarded the Affiliates New Professional Award, which recognizes members who have worked five years or less in the college health field.
Exhibit a collaboration of four universities
An innovative “Tree of Life” exhibit, unveiled last month at the University of Nebraska State Museum, explores the complex evolutionary relationships of more than 70,000 species.
Researchers from four universities collaborated on the exhibit, which was developed with a three-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
Similar exhibits are being installed at three other museums: the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, Mass.; the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco; and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
The installation uses touchscreen technology to allow users to visualize 3.5 billion years of evolutionary history. A swipe of the finger allows the user to zoom through the phylogenetic tree to see how all life on Earth is related by common ancestry.
Judy Diamond, professor and curator of informal science education for the NU State Museum, worked on the development of the exhibit. She collaborated with Chia Shen of Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, Mike Horn of Northwestern University, Margaret Evans of the University of Michigan, and Harvard postdoctoral fellows Florian Block and Brenda Caldwell Phillips.
CU students will spend break as volunteers
More than 130 Creighton students will spend spring break, which began Friday and continues this week, on service trips to 18 communities across the country.
Examples include building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Stroud, Okla., and Sioux City, Iowa; working at the Native American reservation in Winnebago, Neb.; and working with economically marginalized and homeless people in Omaha, Albuquerque and Chicago.
The trips are sponsored by Creighton's Center for Service and Justice.
Pakistani scholars sculpted by U.S. visit
Three Pakistani scholars said their visit to Nebraska last week changed their image of the United States.
Eatzaz Ahmad, Rao Nadeem Alam and Waheed Chaudry are on the faculty at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, which is partnering with the University of Nebraska at Omaha to develop civic engagement efforts.
During their visit they traveled to West Point, Neb., as well as visiting UNO and several sites around Omaha.
"We had the impression that people in the U.S. are living independent lives and aren't very community-oriented," said Ahmad, an economist who serves as dean of social sciences faculty at his university.
"But we found people doing many activities and volunteer work and that people are involved with their communities."
Chaudry, an assistant professor of anthropology, said he and his colleagues found many examples of service learning and community engagement that they hope to transplant in Pakistan.
The visit resulted from a one-year program sponsored by the State Department to link universities in Pakistan with universities in the United States.
The three scholars said they are eager to continue the partnership with UNO even after the State Department program ends.
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