Raspberry Pi Jam in St. Louis this Saturday!

Are you looking for a fun science event that the whole family can enjoy on a Saturday afternoon?  Take part in the Raspberry Pi Jam at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO on January 31 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

This announcement was made on the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center website.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (St. Louis, MO) will host a Raspberry Pi Jam at the Center on January 31st, 2015 from 1-5 pm. The Raspberry Pi Jam will bring together students, educators, makers, scientists, and the public to foster opportunities for collaboration and education. We hope that this event will inspire current and future scientists to embrace using Raspberry Pi’s and other open-source hardware to interact and discover the natural world.

The Jam will feature demonstrations from the STL Raspberry Pi Meetup Group, Arch Reactor, Zagros Robotics, the Danforth Plant Science Center’s Education and Maker groups, and the Brutnell and Nusinow research labs. There also will be hands-on fun taking pictures in the Pi-Powered Photobooth and learning to solder.

This event is supported by a grant from the Raspberry Pi Education Fund and the Danforth Plant Science Center Outreach and Education Center. Ample, free parking is available to this indoor event. It is suitable for both children and adults interested in computers. We hope to see you and your family at the Jam!

See Dr. Nusinow discuss Raspberry Pi with Randi Naughton of Fox 2 News:

http://fox2now.com/2015/01/27/625385/

To register for this event, go to: Eventbrite - St. Louis Raspberry Pi Jam

For more information on the Maker Group at the DDPSC, go here or to the Maker Group site.

Silvia Jurisson Named a 2014 Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Silvia Jurisson has been recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as a 2014 Fellow for her “distinguished contributions to the field of radiopharmaceutical chemistry, and for establishing one of the top radiochemistry programs in the country,” according to the MU News Bureau Press release on December 10, 2014.  Jurisson is a researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and lead scientist with the Missouri-Arkansas RII Track-2 EPSCoR collaboration, the Plant Imaging Consortium.

Read the full story at the MU News Bureau.

2015 is the International Year of Soils!

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To celebrate World Soil Day on December 5 and to launch the International Year of Soils 2015, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an event at their headquarters in Rome with invited guests — from scientists to diplomats — from around the world.

FAO summarized the significance of soil for human and environmental health:

Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met.

World Soil Day was celebrated worldwide this year as seen in the map below:

Soil Day Events

In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) proposed in a resolution to celebrate World Soil Day every December 5 and convey the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being.

Even though World Soil Day has come and gone, the fight to protect the world’s soils and biodiversity continues on with the International Year of Soils 2015.  The UN has declared 5 pillars of action:

  1. Promote sustainable management of soil resources for soil protection, conservation and sustainable productivity
  2. Encourage investment, technical cooperation, policy, education awareness and extension in soil
  3. Promote targeted soil research and development focusing on identified gaps and priorities and synergies with related productive, environmental and social development actions
  4. Enhance the quantity and quality of soil data and information: data collection (generation), analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring and integration with other disciplines
  5. Harmonization of methods, measurements and indicators for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources   

You can contribute to the International Year of Soils!  The Missouri Transect education and outreach participants have developed a “citizen science” project called Missourians Doing Impact Research Together (MO DIRT).  MO DIRT will address the interplay between climate and soil that has an impact on global carbon cycling.  Citizen scientist volunteers will collect and analyze soil samples and record meteorological information in their communities.  The results will be sent to Missouri Transect climate, soil, plant and environmental scientists to enhance real-time data from around the state.

To get involved or for more information, contact Dr. Terry Woodford-Thomas, tthomas@danforthcenter.org.

Competition for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is Now Open!

If you know great math and science teachers, and want to nominate them for this prestigious award, read on!

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PAEMST is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for K-12th grade mathematics and science teachers. The 2015 awards will honor up to 108 7th – 12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers. In 2016, awards will recognize K-6th grade teachers.

To nominate a teacher, go to the program website and click on “Nominate a Teacher.” Completing a nomination form takes only a couple of minutes. You only need a teacher’s contact information to complete the form. It’s just that simple!

Awardees receive a citation from the President, $10,000 from NSF, and trip to Washington DC for recognition ceremonies. The website also has a link that allows you to search for past awardees in your home state!

Nominations close April 1, 2015 but please don’t delay. Give your nominated teachers as much time as possible to complete a competitive application.

For more information, contact James Colby

Deadline Announced for NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations

Please note that the National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) FY 2015 Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 Focus EPSCoR Collaborations (RII Track-2 FEC) solicitation has been released as NSF 15-517.  The deadline for proposals is 20 February 2015.

The solicitation is posted at: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505148.

In FY 2015, proposals aligned with themes consistent with NSF priorities, including such areas as cognitive science and neuroscience, clean energy, and food security, are encouraged.

Please contact Emily Haghighi (haghighie@missouri.edu) at Missouri NSF EPSCoR with any questions or follow-up.  We strongly encourage those who submit proposals through their institutions to let Missouri EPSCoR know that they submitted.


The Missouri Transect Community Team: A Closer Look at Resiliency of Missouri State Parks

Two University of Missouri (MU) researchers on the Missouri Transect Community Team, Dr. Sonja Wilhelm Stanis and Dr. Mark Morgan, are using their expertise in the human dimensions of natural resource management to study the impacts of climate change and natural disasters in Missouri state parks. The research group also includes two Ph.D. students and an M.S. student in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources graduate program, Lisa Groshong, Ojetunde Ojewola, and Yun Ho and one M.S. student in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism graduate program, Hongchao Zhang.

(left to right) Dr. Sonja Wilhelm Stanis, Lisa Groshong, Dr. Mark Morgan, Yun Ho, Hongchao Zhang, and Ojetunde Ojewola.

(left to right) Dr. Sonja Wilhelm Stanis, Lisa Groshong, Dr. Mark Morgan, Yun Ho, Hongchao Zhang, and Ojetunde Ojewola.

Dr. Wilhelm Stanis graduated with her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources’ Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Her research focuses on the social-psychological aspects of outdoor recreation and resource management. In particular, her work examines factors that facilitate and constrain outdoor recreation.

Dr. Morgan received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M and is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. In 2010, he was selected to be a Fulbright scholar and spent a semester of teaching and research at Vietnam National University – Hanoi. His research focuses on natural resources, specifically “policy, visitor behavior, and communications.” He has expertise in outdoor recreation management.

This research group aims to assess the resiliency of Missouri state parks in relation to the impacts of climate change on visitation and management. Initially their team will use historical data to map the frequency of events linked to climate change (e.g., floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, insect-borne diseases, fires) that may impact visitation and management priorities. Additionally, they will conduct interviews and surveys with park visitors, park managers and employees to gain a better understanding of preparation for and recovery from natural disasters and climate change impacts.

For more stories about Missouri EPSCoR people and their research, check out our page, Research and Accomplishments!

NASA EPSCoR: 2015 Research Awards Announcement

It is anticipated that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Education in conjunction with the NASA Mission Directorates, Centers, and Office of the Chief Technologist, will solicit proposals through the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NASA EPSCoR).

See the NASA Page for more information about the Request for NASA EPSCoR Missouri Pre-Proposals.

Special Report – Perspectives on Broader Impacts

NSF has released a Broader Impacts Special Report on broader impacts criteria of NSF proposals.  In 1997, NSF decreased the merit review criteria for proposals from four to two so that each proposal is considered based on its intellectual merit and its broader impacts.  This report discusses the need for broader impacts criterion and what this criterion is according to various perspectives.

Missouri EPSCoR Strategic Plan Approved

On Oct. 31, NSF EPSCoR approved the RII Track-1 Missouri EPSCoR Strategic Plan for Year 1.  You can access the document on the Strategic Plan Page of this website.

The document clearly defines the mission and vision of the Missouri Transect project and how it will compliment the other EPSCoR projects in Missouri.  The plan features each of the five research and education teams and lays out their goals, timelines and objectives.  It also defines the workforce development plan and identifies key personnel.

The Strategic Plan is a living document that will be updated regularly each year as the Missouri EPSCoR program progresses.  Please enjoy and let us know what you think!