University of Nebraska-Lincoln political science professor John Hibbing, a national leader in the cutting-edge study of how biology shapes people's political temperaments, has been named a Guggenheim Fellow.
He was among 175 artists, scientists and scholars chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants for the honor by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
He will use his fellowship award to study the physiological differences of Americans who participate in the political process compared with those who do not.
UNL campus officially bicycle-friendly
After a two-year effort, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln recently was named a bicycle-friendly campus, receiving a silver award from the League of American Bicyclists.
UNL is one of 58 universities in 30 states to earn a Bike Friendly University award.
Stanford University is the highest-rated campus in the United States, with a platinum award. Eight Big Ten institutions have achieved the bike-friendly designation.
The program is designed to help universities make campus bike riding safer and more comfortable.
The awards recognize efforts to improve bicycling conditions through education programs, promotion, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
UNL teacher wins $10,000 physics award
John Woollam, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln electrical engineering professor, recently was awarded the 2013 Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics from the American Physical Society.
The $10,000 national award highlights the role of physics in industry and commercial product development. The prize has been awarded in odd-numbered years since 2009.
A UNL faculty member since 1979, Woollam was recognized for his work in spectroscopic ellipsometry, including improved instrumentations and numerous new applications. Ellipsometry is a process that uses reflected polarized light to detect properties of materials and to make precise measurements of films that are only an atom or two thick.
Woollam founded the J.A. Woollam Co. Inc. in 1987, which is now a worldwide leader in ellipsometry.
ISU physicist probes cosmos this summer
LINCOLN — Mayly Sanchez, a physicist at Iowa State University, will be among researchers who might unlock some of the secrets of the early universe through neutrino experiments beginning this summer.
Neutrinos are subatomic particles with no electric charge. They are extremely difficult to detect and there are only a handful of neutrino detectors on Earth. However, scientists can use them to study distant areas of space because they are not significantly weakened by interstellar travel.
Sanchez, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, holds a joint appointment with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. She is working on the NOvA experiment that will fire the world's most intense beam of neutrinos on a 500-mile underground journey from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., to a 14,000-ton detector in Minnesota. Although the trip will take less than .003 of a second, it will be enough time for the neutrinos to perform a transformation, known as neutrino oscillation, that physicists can study.
Sanchez, who last summer was presented a 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, will lead analysis of the appearance of electron neutrinos in the Minnesota detector. Other Iowa State researchers involved in the neutrino experiments include postdoctoral research associates Gavin Davies and Ioana Anghel and doctoral students Jose Andres Sepulveda and Tian Xin.
ISU greenhouses honor horticulture professor
Iowa State University's horticulture greenhouses recently were named in honor of Charles V. Hall, an emeritus professor who was chairman of the Horticulture Department from 1974 to 1990.
The $4 million teaching and research greenhouses were opened in 2011 to replace a nearly century-old facility. They comprise 12,000 square feet and include state-of-the-art computerized temperature, humidity and light-intensity controls.
Hall is widely known for plant breeding research that led to the Crimson Sweet watermelon, a variety that is grown in more than 50 countries. As an administrator, he advocated for improved horticulture facilities, including a 1980 expansion of Horticulture Hall.
Concordia University adds new department
Concordia University in Seward, Neb., has added a new academic department, Intercultural Studies and Modern Languages, with new courses to be added this fall.
The program will include a new major, teaching English to speakers of other languages,” which will prepare students to teach English as a second language in settings other than grade schools and high schools.
The department will continue to offer endorsements and concentrations for education students who wish to teach English as a second language in K-12 schools. The department also will offer a supplemental endorsement in American Sign Language for education majors.
Concordia also has revamped its Health and Human Performance Department, adding three new minors and revising its sport studies major.
UNL teachers receive grant for drone study
Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln journalism professors have received $250,000 from the Knight Foundation to create a mobile media laboratory and to explore drone journalism.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to create a lab in which students, faculty and research professors work together to improve news and advertising through mobile devices. Professor Gary Kebbel will lead the effort.
That grant follows a $50,000 grant awarded in June to explore the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, as news-gathering tools. Although drones are illegal for commercial use in the United States, Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to develop rules legalizing them by 2015.
Matthew Waite, a professor of practice, founded UNL's drone journalism lab in 2011 to study how drones might be used safely and ethically. Waite said the grant enabled the lab to purchase several small drones and to begin experimenting with them.
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