Engebretson and MACCS team receive $425,919 grant from National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation has awarded a new three-year $425,919 research grant (NSF AGS-1264146) to Augsburg College’s Physics Department for continued operation of the Magnetometer Array for Cusp and Cleft Studies (MACCS), a longitudinally-extended array of 8 magnetometers located in Arctic Canada, and for space science research based on MACCS data. Continue reading “Engebretson and MACCS team receive $425,919 grant from National Science Foundation”

History Department receives $82,486 for Historyapolis Project

Dr. Michael Lansing, Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department, and Dr. Kirsten Delegard, Scholar-in-Residence, were awarded $82,486 from the Minnesota Historical Society through the State of Minnesota’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Fund for their Historyapolis Project. This is the first time that an academic department of history has received funding from this program for such a project.  Continue reading “History Department receives $82,486 for Historyapolis Project”

Mathematics Professor to Collaborate on NSF Grant

Congratulations to Dr. John Zobitz, Associate Professor of Mathematics, who will be participating as a Fellow in “Engaging Mathematics,” a NSF TUES funded project led by Wm. David Burns of SENCER (NSF ID: 1322883).

The Engaging Mathematics project will develop curricula that connects learning in mathematics courses to real and relevant local, regional, national and global issues and thus greatly improve students’ retention of the specific mathematics concepts and skills, along with their understanding of the role of mathematical modeling and quantitative literacy in everyday life. Dr. Zobitz will work in partnership with colleagues at two and four year colleges and universities locally and nationally to develop learning experiences across the mathematics curriculum.

To learn more about this project, please contact Dr. Zobitz at zobitz@augsburg.edu.

Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1322883. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Biology and Mathematics Professors Receive NSF Grant to Purchase Instruments for Plant Ecophysiology Research

Dr. Ann Impullitti, Assistant Professor of Biology, received a $122,684 Major Research Instrumentation Grant from NSF’s Division of Biological Infrastructure, and a $52,400 from the LiCor Environmental Education Fund (LEEF).

The funds will be used to purchase a suite of instruments for plant ecophysiology research.  Dr. Impullitti and her Co-Principal Investigators, Dr. John Zobitz, Associate Professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Dean Malvick, University of Minnesota, will use the instrumentation to investigate the physiology of economically important plants infected by fungi and study mathematical modeling of ecophysiological processes. Research activities will explore: 1) the physiology and productivity of economically important plants colonized by pathogens that do not cause symptoms of disease; 2) the functional role of endophytes in plants; 3) the impact of sublethal infections by soil-borne pathogens of roots on plant productivity; and 4) the measurement of leaf-level physiological processes to parameterize ecosystem models of carbon cycling.

The instruments will be used for faculty research and undergraduate research in plant biology, environmental science, and mathematics.  Students interested in research will have opportunities to be involved in quantitative data analysis in biology and mathematics, and research in a field and/or lab. The instrument will also improve collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects with faculty at the University of Minnesota.  Results from these collaborations will improve our understanding of plant-fungal interactions, and will be applied to improving soybean yield and productivity, an important model plant due to its economic importance and growth throughout the U.S.

Editor’s Note: 
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DBI-1337582. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Chemistry Professor Receives NSF Grant for Nucleation Research

Dr. David Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was awarded $386,163 from NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. The three year project, “Nucleation studies with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and Nitrogenous Bases,” will test models for nucleation rates that can be incorporated into global climate models. Continue reading “Chemistry Professor Receives NSF Grant for Nucleation Research”

Physics Professor Receives NSF Funding to Continue Space Research

Dr. Mark Engebretson, Professor of Physics, was granted a three year, $185,940 award from NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences for his project, “Collaborative research: Continued study of ultra low frequency (ULF) waves at cusp latitudes on Svalbard to probe earth’s space environment.” Continue reading “Physics Professor Receives NSF Funding to Continue Space Research”

Eppley Foundation Grant Supports Daphnia Research

Two biology professors, Matt Beckman and Kevin Potts, were awarded a grant from the Eppley Foundation for Scientific Research to study the effects of environmental factors on the behavior and life histories of the water flea, Daphnia. The grant will allow the two to carry out field collection and laboratory studies of daphnids collected from lakes in Minneapolis this summer. Working with Augsburg students, the two will study how these important indicators of lake and pond water quality respond to changes in their environment. The long-range goal of this work is to develop a simple tool that uses water flea behavioral measurements as a proxy for changing water conditions. Beckman says that this work will provide students who work on the project with a unique opportunity to carry out field studies as well as laboratory investigations.

If you would like to learn more about this research, please contact Matt Beckman at beckmanm@augsburg.edu or Kevin Potts at pottsk@augsburg.edu.

Leakey Grant Supports Chimpanzee Research

Dr. Kevin Potts, a faculty member in the Biology department, received a $9,315 grant from the LSB Leakey Foundation to support his research investigating the nutritional content of foods eaten by chimpanzees in Kibale National Park in southwestern Uganda. The goal of this research is to clarify the extent to which the nutritional quality of resources influences the population density and distribution of wild chimpanzees. This information will be applied to conservation initiatives focused on maintaining viable populations of this endangered species in a critical part of its geographic range. Dr. Potts has studied the population of chimpanzees in Kibale since 2002, and this grant will allow him to continue this work, which involves direct observation of wild chimpanzee feeding behavior combined with lab analysis of plant nutrient content. Dr. Potts will travel to Uganda this summer to conduct fieldwork in Kibale National Park and, in conjunction with Ugandan collaborators, will initiate a long-term plant sampling protocol during that time.

This is the second time Dr. Potts has received funding from the Leakey Foundation, which supports research on primate behavior and ecology, as well as paleoanthropology and human evolution. If you are interested in learning more about his work, you can contact him at pottsk@augsburg.edu.