“In the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado, four UNC-Chapel Hill students wake at 5 a.m. to melodic phone alarms and amble out of their dew-soaked tents. They sleepily shimmy into rainproof jackets, pants, and knee-high rubber boots. They heat water for tea and munch on Pop-tarts and energy bars while they wait. With steamy mugs in hand, they clamber into their white van to head to the field site a half-mile down the road.” READ MORE
Author Archives: Lori Shamblin
Eric was featured in the latest Teaching Newsletter, a weekly digital newsletter sent out by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Eric shares is creative take on open office hours! READ MORE!
The Graduate School and the UNC-CH Materials Research Society are partnering with faculty members, Dr. Sophie McCoy, Biology, and Dr. Ashalla Freeman, Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program, to offer a four-part workshop series for students interested in applying for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP).
The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers. Applicants must be pursuing full-time research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education at accredited US institutions. Final year undergraduate and first and second year graduate students (who do not hold a graduate degree) are eligible to apply. NSF offers an eligibility quiz to confirm your eligibility, and the full solicitation can be found on their website.
The GRFP includes three years of support, including an annual $37,000 stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance, which is supplemented by The Graduate School to cover the full cost of enrollment and health insurance. Applications are due mid- to late-October.
Please consider joining us for the following events (registration links below):
Information for NSF GRFP Applicants: Overview and Strategy
Date: Tuesday, August 30th
Hosted by: Sophie McCoy
Location: Kerr 1001
Information for NSF GRFP Applicants: Brainstorming Your Essays
Date: Thursday, September 1st
Hosted by: Sophie McCoy
Location: Kerr 1001
Understanding Broader Impacts for the NSF GRFP Application
Date: Monday, September 12th
Hosted by: Ashalla Freeman
Peer Review Workshop – Connecting Applicants with Fellows
Date: Wednesday, September 28th
Hosted by: Materials Research Society and The Graduate School
Location: Kenan Science Library (Ground Floor of Murray Hall)
Dr. Laura Ott’s UNC Biology undergraduate mentee, Parker Shoaf presented his disciplinary-based education research (DBER) project at the American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) recently, along with Katie French (NCSU undergraduate). Parker and Katie are mentored by Drs. Laura Ott and Erin McKenney (NCSU).
The presentation was a part of the NCSU STEM BUILD program (funded by the NSF) that Parker and Dr. Ott took part in over the past academic year. They collaborated with Katie and Dr. McKenney to design a tactile teaching tool with guided-inquiry activity on the gut microbiome and the physiological impacts of fermentation products. Dr. Ott and Parker implemented and assessed the activity in BIOL 252 this past spring.
Parker also has first authored a publication on this activity that is under review (Frontiers in Microbiology)!
“Our delegation toured the 20,000-square-foot GSC facility, which houses four state-of-the-art laboratories, each with a dedicated research focus: terrestrial ecology, marine ecology and oceanography, data science and visualization, and microbiology.
We heard from Corbin Jones about the GSC biobank, which is preserving the genetic resources of existing biodiversity and from Jon Bruno about experimental marine biology research on algae. We visited a field site to see Gregory Lewbart, from North Carolina State University, conduct a health assessment on a green sea turtle that included collecting height, weight, blood measurements, and facial photographs that will be used for an artificial intelligence-based turtle facial identification project. Lewbart was able to process the turtle’s blood sample in the field (on the beach!) using an ingenious centrifuge adapted from a small fan.”
Why These Frogs Make ‘the Grossest Blunder in Sexual Preference’
Interspecies mating has long been thought of as a mistake. But in the desert, it may sometimes be the best way to breed.
By Katherine J. Wu
Dr. Catherine Kehl (Postdoc, Taylor Lab) asked her BIOL 222 students to utilize Matplotlib (python’s central plotting / graphing library) to make art. BIOL 222 is Introduction to Programming and is meant for students with no programming background with an emphasis on practical hands on learning. The theme for the assignment was Halloween. To see some great examples, CHECK OUT THE MATPLOTLIB BLOG
Dr. Bill Kier has been featured in an article in the December issue of Scientifc American. “Movie-making Tech Reveals Elephant Trunk Motions,” quotes Dr. Kier, “It’s the first time that we’ve gotten a hint of what these more simplified commands might be in elephants,” says William Kier, a biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who studies trunk, tongue and tentacle movement and was not a part of the study. “I think it is a pretty important advance.” You can read more at SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
Dr. Ann Matthysse has been featured in Open Access Government, in an exploration of viruses for middle school students.
Read more HERE